13u Evanator Update

Hi everyone. Been meaning to post an update for some time now and just now finding the time. This is a recent outing approx 3 weeks ago. Please take a look and let me know where you may see room for improvement.

My thoughts are that I would like to see a little more follow through. I would like to see him present the back part of his throwing shoulder a little more towards the plate, hopefully allowing him to release that back leg a little bit more.

Anyways, please feel free to post. Any input will be greatly appreciated.

Thx, Jim (Evanators dad)

That’s better than sime mlb guys out there. The only bad thing might be that he starts rotating his hips before his foot plants, I have the same problem. But I admit that is above textbook form.
Nevermind, I think it might be the camera angle.

[quote=“thedudeguy”]The only bad thing might be that he starts rotating his hips before his foot plants, I have the same problem.[/quote]This isn’t a “problem”. It’s actually a good thing if it is just before foot plant and the shoulders don’t open until foot plant.

It is mandatory. If you didn’t rotate your hips before foot strike, you’d land sideways.

Dudeguy, thx for the positive words. He has worked so hard over the last couple of years to fine tune his mechanics and it is paying off as right now as he is pitching extremely well. So well in fact that I am hesitant to introduce any more tweaks.

However, as we are always trying to improve I am constantly looking for that something to fine tune just a little bit more in hopes to give him that little edge.

dm59 , I see what you mean. We have actually worked extensively on maximizing hip/shoulder rotation for the past year or so. Try explaining to a 13 year old that when his lower body wants to go to then he has to hold off on hip rotation then has to hold off even more on shoulder rotation :lol:

We did all the drills and all the analysis and at times it was awkward, then amazingly one day it just clicked, just like that, he “understood it”. Better said, his body just “got” it.

Just prior to heel plant(approx 19 sec) you can see that his hips have already started to rotate and that his belt buckle is facing the 3rd base line. At toe touch his throwing shoulder has not yet begun to rotate and is actually a little bit behind his body, sort of a counter torque? This is what you are referring to correct???

I guess overall we are extremely pleased with his mechanics, however as I mentioned in the original post i would like to see him release a little further out in front and follow thru across his body a bit more after release.

Am I nit picking??? If not then any ideas/drills on how to get him to reach further and follow thru more???

[quote=“Evanator”]I guess overall we are extremely pleased with his mechanics, however as I mentioned in the original post i would like to see him release a little further out in front and follow thru across his body a bit more after release.

Am I nit picking??? If not then any ideas/drills on how to get him to reach further and follow thru more???[/quote]

I think it looks to me like he’s well out in front of his glove-side foot when he releases, which is what you want. I think there may be some camera angle issues throwing this off.

If you want a drill for extension, I’d go with the towel drill. There are definitely some well-respected people who don’t like it, but I personally think it’s a great way to get a pitcher thinking about releasing out in front of the stride foot.

I also like the towel drill. It’s helped my son considerably over the years. In fact its part of his daily routine.

2 things. The towel drill isn’t for extension purposes. Roger can give a great description of the NPA’s thoughts on the towel drill. Also, I’d be very careful of getting a kid’s mental imagery in a place where forward extension is a goal. It can cause him to become too linear if it’s exaggerated. If he’s attempting to extend with his arm, a jarring snap at the elbow can result. Strong rotation is what he needs to be aiming for, not excessive extension toward the plate.

I like this kid’s mechanics. I’d like to see some full speed, full effort pitches. The only thing I’d say he could work on is rotating up and over that front foot. He kind of hangs back right now into release. Having the rotation happen up over the front foot will naturally bring the release point closer to home but not by thinking “extension”. A full speed clip might show if momentum is lacking, hindering his ability to get onto the front foot/leg.

I may have erred in using the word “extension”…my point is that one of the goals of the towel drill is to encourage a release point out in front of the landing foot or “glass wall”, no?

My thought on the towel drill has always been to get pitchers to pull the ball down and snap it off at the end of the action. I think that the towel drill isn’t very effective with most pitchers only younger ones that are trying to stop pushing the ball.

That’s exactly it!!! This is what I am seeing and this is what I would like to see him improve upon. That rotating over the front foot that I think would allow him to “roll” the back of his throwing shoulder more towards the plate allowing the hips and the leg to release all the way through his follow through.

Many thanks for putting it in a way that I can understand and that I think Evan can as well. I actually never thought of it as rotating over the front leg as much as reaching out, down, and across the body. This presents a visual I think he can grasp and build on.

I will post some real time video so that you can get a better look but I think you nailed it perfectly. Thx

The camera angle does make it difficult to judge the location of the release point. If the pitcher is out over his front foot, his release point should be 8"-12" in front of his front foot.

I don’t see a problem with hip rotation here. Hips start to rotate right before foot plant to allow the front leg/foot to open up into foot plant. The rest of hip rotaton occurs after foot plant - just like you want it.

The purpose of the towel drill is to practice good mechanics - mechanics that will result in a release point that is 8"-12" in front of the front foot. Stabilize your posture, take care of your glove, and create some momentum and you’ll be on your way to getting your release point out front and hitting the target with the towel. Hitting the target is not the goal - it’s just feedback. The goal is good mechanics. Mess up any part of your mechanics and you’ll most likely miss the target. Posture issues usually make you miss left or right. Glove issues (e.g. pulling the glove) or a lack of momentum will cause you to come up short.

Do you agree with using the towel drill? My son uses it as part of his daily routine to keep his mechanics in check. I have always found it useful.

Is there a downside to using the towel drill, if its done correctly?

Yes, I agree with using the drill. I don’t automatically use it with every pitcher I work with - just with those for whom I decide the drill fits a specific purpose.

For example, young pitchers who are trying to make a mechanical adjustment can use the towel drill to get in lots of reps without taxing the arm. Plus the fact that they’re not throwing a ball means no focus on where the ball goes.

In general, I find the towel drill useful for practicing putting together all of the other mechanical elements a pitcher has been taught and practiced. Once a pitcher understands those individual elements, the towel drill is useful in helping the pitcher understand the effects of messing up those elements and in assessing what they messed up when the towel misses the target.

Now, I am a firm believer that every drill must have a specific purpose - something that is to be worked on or accomplished. Otherwise, the drill is mostl a waste of time. Doing the towel drill daily is fine if there is a purpose. Possible purposes include working on stabilizing posture through the delivery, getting the arms to an “equal and opposite” position at foot plant and than transitioning to a “swiveled and stabilized” position while bringing the chest towards the glove, and created early momentum.

There is no detriment to the towel drill other than wasting time if you don’t have a purpose when doing it.

Thanks Roger.
He uses the towel drill after he stretches. He is basically using it to check his mechanics at the high balance point, at stride(front foot plant, and follow through.
After asking him why he felt it necessary to to the drill every day, he told me that its become part of his routine, it feels good to do a basics drill and is somewhat of a mental thing, knowing that when he takes the mound his mechanics are in check.

why is he playin on a softball field