12 yr old working on hip/shoulder separation,updated 11/20

I really appreciate your input
Previous video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fwMr4maH0k

New video http://youtu.be/4zk4Qla61Nw


New video looks noticeably better than the earlier video. I like that he gets himself moving foward faster and more agressively.

He does have a sizeable drop at the beginning of his stride. That’s just his body adopting a posture in which it has the strength to do what he’s trying to do. We want his body to get to that posture. But we don’t want that extra movement during his delivery because that’s energy directed in a direction other than at home plate and it’s wasted time (runners are running while he’s moving up/down). The fix is to have him start with the knees and waist bent a little bit. In other words, start in that posture instead of adjusting into it during the delivery.

I’ll answer the ? first & then throw in a thought.

Fred Corral (search the username on this sight for the vid & link) a highly respected D1 pitching coach has a drill posted on this site that is focused on developing the hip/shoulder separation. The Rocker drill is prescribed for this as well.

My son is 13 & I was wasking the same ? two years ago. I was told about the drills, but also prepped that its difficult for that age group based upon strength & development. Their core may not be strong enough to get the results we see in elite pitchers.

My thoughts are that separation will come with solid mechanics & may be something to focus on later down the line w/ the benefit of strength development kicking in.

My son went from very little separation to exceptional in 12 mos. During that period he started doing pitching specific core & lower body workouts & his usual mechanical development w/ his pitching coach.

Many things need to take place before a pitcher can have quality separation… that applies to under developed youngsters & adults.

I always look at developing skills/mechanics from “front to end” or ground up. In other words I held off on arm action, separation & other movements until we felt the pieces to the puzzle that took place earlier in the pitchers chain of events were solid.

Separation is all about timing & having the lower half lead the process… if the lower half still has weak spots/fundamentals then the effect or reality of separation is suspect at best.

In short, put the topic to the side for now & dont be surprised when your focus on the lower half gets you the separation your looking for by osmosis.

Thanks for the replies. The reason for this topic is in previous videos. This is what was recommended as needed. Saw exactly what Roger talked about, as wasted energy. Any other things you see as major flaws or recommendations he works on. We don’t play year round competitively, but he doesn’t play other sports. He loves baseball, so we spend the off season working on fundamentals.

Thanks again,

I see some of the exact things my son worked on at the same age… pretty common I’m thinking for most kids at this age/stage.

His upper body is dominant & his lower body isnt being fully utilized. Its gonna take some reps & hard work (mentally understanding the adjustments… feeling them & then creating consistency thru repitions & muscle memory). The great news is yall work off season on fundamentals… perfect time for changes vs tweeks.

The telling pts w/ my son & urs was the point in the delivery they get to hi cock position. He should be at high cock position just about the time or right before he gets to foot plant. He’s there half way thru his delivery. That timing issue robs him of velocity & puts add’l stress on the arm & will reduce his ability to get deeper into games as he’s not using the lower half to its potential.

The top half is going 100%… the lower half roughly 60% utilization, hence the timing issue.

Check his stride… should be 80-87% of his heighth at that age. Hard to tell, but I’m guessing its 70%. Sure sign he’s not utilizing his lower half to its potential.

Getting his lower body to “drive” the boat will clean up his timing & I think the results will be very noticeable.

Some things to look at that fit in the equation are his dramatic head drop at handbreak as he starts to the plate. The head will always drop as he incorporates his leg drive to the plate, but he drops down significantly… then drives to the target. He should have more lateral hip drive to the target as he drops & the drop should be more controlled/gradual.

I believe Roger commented on the excessive downward energy, but energy not directed at the target unfortunately. Pitchers need a gradual lateral drive to the target that starts just before they hit peak leg lift.

The drill that’ll be perfect for this is the Herschiser drill… google or youtube for it.

He’ll be more dynamic to the plate & have his legs running the show vs top half dominant.

To a lessor degree I’d look at his plant foot after he’s thoroughly developed his hip lead and lateral use of his lower half. One teach at a time. Gotta finish course 1 before u can serve the next course. He cocks his heel up right before foot plant. My son did the exact thing. We worked on the foot being nuetral vs cocked & it helped him get better stride length, speed in his lateral movement & he planted and braced up better.

The next thing I’d focus on is glove side mgmt. He’s doing some good things already, but I think its the natural development area after the lower half is tweeked. Glove side mgmt will keep him closed & really help with the throwing arm/upper body timing. It’ll be the precurser to ur original question… hip/shoulder separation. Quality lower body work followed by glove side allows him to establish that separation.

Roger, who posted on this thread, is fantastic on many if not all topics… he’s my go to reference on most all glove side mgmt. Search his username & his glove side mgmt posts when you are ready to work on that.

look up Kinovea.com Its a free software that has a download for editing/viewing pitching/swing/sports mechanics. You can get 3X’s the frame breakdown & see a lot more things than the typical youtube video.

You’ll know he’s truly using that lower half & be able to better evaluate his timing & angles etc…

Ur boy is doing some very quality things, he has the balance, athleticism & arm action to be successful. I really think you are going to get some great results with the lower body emphasis… in my opinion its the critical transition for young pitchers… those that meet the challenge of pitching from the ground up get to move on, those that dont will wash out by 14 or 15 yrs old.

Does he do any arm excersises or core work? I’m not a huge fan of too much weights/workouts for pre 14’s but surgical bands & medicine ball work at a complimentary level is important.

The bands can be done in :10-15 & isnt too taxing, but the value in regards to avoiding injury is unchallenged.

Its a fun journey & yall look to be on a quality path… Enjoy!

Awesome reply! Exactly what I’ve been looking for. Started bands a few weeks ago and been doing a few medicine ball exercises. What exercises are you doing with the medicine ball ?


There is a lot of improvement from the first video, I could see the next thing to work on would be where he finishes with his throwing arm. Right now it ends up around his waist, I would like to see him finish just above the left knee, makes him pull the ball down more (tends to get more action on the ball) and develop better whip for more balance and accuracy.

Thanks Bu,
I agree and keep reminding him about finishing.

Just wanted to give a huge thanks to all of you that have helped. My son has much better command of his pitches and as far as velocity. Was consistently 51-53 with a max of 55. Now consistently 55-56 with a max of 60. We’ve worked on the last few recommendations. Knee bend, less wasted energy and finishing hand over knee. Which is still not all there, but better. Hey Rome wasn’t built in 2 months. He’s also changed up his wind up. Starting to get cold where were at, so not sure how much throwing we will get in. But, he’s doing band exercises. Will see where we are at when it warms up. Thanks again for all your help.

Stretch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-dwPrRLoig

Wind up: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmNbr8Tc5HQ