My son is just turned 13. He has always had an above average arm but has never really pitched much because of poor mechanics and control issues…and I liked the fact that he was not wearing his arm out at an early age. I never really did much work with him until last year and then he started having shoulder issues which were due to poor mechanics. Feel like he has come along way since that time and would like to see him improve mechanics so that he is prepared for high school. Please check out clip that I shot 2 days ago. He has always had a tendency to throw with his arm and after doing some research it seems to me that it has a lot to do with hip/shoulder separation. Am I on the right track?
Check out the Hershiser drill, as he is limiting hip involvement during the stride phase. Also, he gets his arm up too early and uses his glove side improperly. Focus on these things first, separation will come a little more naturally.
His throwing arm action is almost perfectly timed with his foot strike. He might just be a smidgeon early, but I think there are other things that might get that corrected without any real focus on the throwing arm, and throwing arm is the last thing I try to mess with if possible.
His glove is still not forward when his throwing arm is fully extended backward. I would work on this first of all. Get to an equal and opposite position as best you can with the front arm mirroring the throwing arm action. This way, he’s properly aligned when it’s time for his hips to rotate forward. The sweeping of the glove side and failing to get the glove arm on target is probably leading to much of his accuracy woes.
The rest of his body, with the exception of the glove arm are all moving down the target line, which is perfect.
He seems to be opening his hips just a bit early, so I’d try to get him to plant with his front foot straight on the target line or ever-so-slightly closed. Right now, he’s landing on his heel because it’s easier to land open that way–which you don’t want.
Also, opening the hips and the plant foot can lead to improper shin angle. Check him from the front and make sure his shin is vertical and not tilted to the first base side. I can’t tell from the video.
Completely agree on the glove arm situation. The other thing I see right off the bat is his pivot foot - it is not flush against the rubber. He should keep his right foot parallel to the rubber rather than just the toe box area making contact with the front of the rubber.
Thanks for feedback so far. Found Tom House vid with Hershiser drill. In regards to glove forward…is this what we are looking for (at 0:09 mark)? Sorry but I am a high school football coach with little knowledge of pitching mechanics and a visual learner so need lots of pics/vids to get it.
Got it. Will have him fix.
Right, not to be misunderstood in my previous post, if you are focusing on Hip drive this will automatically fix an small timing issues, increase velo, and reduce stress on the arm. The hips are where it is at.
Here is vid shot last night after we worked hershiser drill. Definitely feel like there was some improvement. Glove hand still needs work. Any drill recommendations for glove hand?
Another clip from behind catcher…at this point he had been reminded about his glove hand so does a little better job:
I hadn’t really noticed the counter-rotation of the leg lift. That’s going to do two things. It will limit the ability to get the front hip far enough out in front, and can hinder your ability to get your stride down the target line because it leads to stride leg sweeping from right to left and not having time to get all the way to the target line. See that white mark on the ramp? That coincides with the center of the rubber. You notice your foot is centered on the rubber, but when you plant, you are well to the 3rd base side of center. Often when counter-rotating pitchers try to get on the target line, they often will open their hips early and land with their foot open at plant, which gets them on the target line, but it eliminates all the energy from stride and syncs the hips with the shoulders–all of which is bad. Ditching the counter-rotation is the simplest fix.
The glove needs to move downward in a pendulum swing beginning at hand break and then extend toward the target coming from underneath–not over the top.
Makes sense to me. I think he started the counter-rotation in an attempt to lead with the hip. I will work with him to get rid of rotation using the hershiser drill. Have already started working on hand break. Will post an updated vid this week.
Remember that his glove side and throwing arm should be equal and opposite.
A drill I like that can reenforce this is the rocker drill. Equal and opposite is only one facet of the drill but it can be useful in getting the feeling of leading with the glove side. It can also give him the feeling and placement of where he needs to be following foot strike through release and finish.
Thanks…found a good example (see below):
Really highlights the importance of good t-spine mobility (go to 58 sec mark). I run the warmup for my son’s team (I am a HS strength coach) and have them perform t-spine mobility every practice. I know that they could care less about the drill right now but also know t-spine mobility is huge for all athletes and probably even more so for baseball players.
[quote=“Turn 22”]Remember that his glove side and throwing arm should be equal and opposite.
A drill I like that can reenforce this is the rocker drill. Equal and opposite is only one facet of the drill but it can be useful in getting the feeling of leading with the glove side. It can also give him the feeling and placement of where he needs to be following foot strike through release and finish.[/quote]
Updated vids of my son after working on less counter-rotation (thought he did an o.k. job in 1st vid but went back to more counter-rotation in 2nd vid)and getting the glove side out front and opposite throwing arm. His velocity was very impressive in the 1st vid…not as much in 2nd vid but still better then previous sessions. Please let me know what you think.
He looks much better. Work on the front side control. This will help him control his front side and prevent his shoulders from opening too soon.
looking at the front side video you can really see how he shows the ball throughout his entire delivery. I would have him break his hands a little more straight back to hide the ball a little better. I think this helps kids stay on line a little better as well.
Thanks and front side control is next on the list.
I am a little confused. Seems to me that there are a lot of pitchers that show the ball. The last vid is playing at 1/4 speed but at full speed…you don’t see the ball for very long. He definitely shows it more now after trying to improve hip/shoulder separation. Should I mess with this now or continue to work on leading with hip, glove hand, and front side?
I would have to say he does look much better. Watch that plant leg still. He’s still not fully upright with the shin. He’s still throwing slightly across, but vastly better than previous video. It’s much easier and most efficient to stabilize your upper half when that plant leg shin is vertical. He’s within half the width of his foot, I’d estimate, of being right on.
I’m also seeing good hip and shoulder separation. His hips are at least 50% around before the shoulders move and when his hips are squared up with the target, he’s still got a good amount of shoulder turn remaining.
[quote=“CoachPaul”]I would have to say he does look much better. Watch that plant leg still. He’s still not fully upright with the shin. He’s still throwing slightly across, but vastly better than previous video. It’s much easier and most efficient to stabilize your upper half when that plant leg shin is vertical. He’s within half the width of his foot, I’d estimate, of being right on.
I’m also seeing good hip and shoulder separation. His hips are at least 50% around before the shoulders move and when his hips are squared up with the target, he’s still got a good amount of shoulder turn remaining.[/quote]
Having a tough time understanding. Can you help a dumb football coach by being more specific? Are you talking about his left or right leg?