14U Pitcher: Slow Mo Video

This guys drive me crazy… Mainly because he is my son and will not listen to a darn thing I say (not really, he just huffs and puffs alot)

Anyway… I know he’s not using all his available energy… He’s 14 and 6’2"… but just can’t get that lanky frame to work for him on the mound… any suggestions?

Thanks,

Chris

How strong is he? Right now is the prime time to get him involved in weight lifting, to get stronger for baseball. That will allow him to utilize his body better.

appears to be throwing mostly arm due to shoulders and hips rotating simultaneously with little to no lower body drive. Get his hips moving at the apex of his knee lift and make sure his upper body stays behind his hips while riding the back leg as long as possible. Don’t let his upper body throwing motion start until his stride foot has landed.

No doubt that he needs to get stronger… I’m a little afraid of him working out too hard though… we do a ton of conditioning; however, I’m going to guess it’s time to get him in the squat rack.

Viking… I’m trying to find the answers to the whole Shoulder/Hip separation and using more lower body…I’ve got three boys on my team that want to be better pitchers… and I can tell them these things all day long… but how do I get them to understand and apply???

Here ya go…

  1. Too much counter-rotation with the leg lift
  2. Glove too far away from the body during leg lift
  3. Hand break should take place around the belt and mid-line - not behind body
  4. He is “sandwiching” his body as he comes out of his leg lift; this looks like an attempt to “lead” with his hip, but notice he is not really going anywhere. If you watch his back lower leg, it stays vertical for much too long; in other words, he is not creating any momentum toward the plate.

At the top of his leg lift, have him stay centered and tall, then at the same time he lowers his leg, he should be moving his entire body as one unit toward the plate - hard and fast. He also needs to stabilize his back foot better. Get him to keep his entire foot down as long as possible, then drive hard toward the plate, keeping his body sideways until landing. The landing should occur only after his back leg has reached full extension, and his front foot should stay sideways until just before landing. As his front foot turns, his back foot turns down - notice how his back foot flops around as he turns (no good).

A couple of other things - notice how his arm follows through over his glove and then he slides his glove out of the way. Get him to think of rotating his entire torso as he throws - as hard and fast as possible. This should bring his glove to the side of his hip and out of the way of his throwing hand/arm.

If he makes these changes, particularly the ones earlier in his delivery, he will have better timing and he will use his body more effectively. Notice how early his arm gets up into the high cocked position. It’s just waiting up there to throw; he’s not even close to landing when his hand gets higher than his elbow and shoulder - instead of at touchdown. The high cocked position should occur at front leg stabilization.

He finishes well - he has good maximal external rotation and he gets out in front of his front leg. He also stabilizes the front leg well. Just work on all the other stuff!

Hope that helps - good luck!

[quote=Viking… I’m trying to find the answers to the whole Shoulder/Hip separation and using more lower body…I’ve got three boys on my team that want to be better pitchers… and I can tell them these things all day long… but how do I get them to understand and apply???[/quote]

Search this site or YouTube for some of House’s hip\shoulder drills. As for getting them to understand…well, that’s where you start earning your coach’s money! For my son, I was able to tell him something like “don’t start throwing until your front foot touches down” or “don’t let your glove side swivel until your front foot touches down” I think kids get in too big of a hurry to get into the “high-cocked” position. If your throwing hand is up before your front foot hits -it got there too quickly.

Or perhaps the body was moving too slow :slight_smile: Two ways to look at things.

Very severe counter rotation. He’s got his back to home plate.
This can be corrected with wall drills. Search the forum for any of my posts mentioning how to conduct the wall drill. It fixes the problem without discussion. I love it. You don’t have to be worried about him not listening to you, if you don’t have to talk.
It will fix, without words, counter rotation, hands away from the body. It will also get his momentum moving toward home plate instead of backward because he will hit the wall if he tries to go backward. This will get him leading with the front hip.

Wall Drill
Stand in the set position on flat ground with the outside of your pivot foot against the base of the wall. Now, with your arms folded across your chest, try to get up to your lift position. The goal of this drill is to teach your body how to get to the top of your lift without bouncing off the wall. In order to achieve this you will have to get your body moving both forward and upward together. After you get the feel for this movement, do about 30 reps a day until it’s something you no longer think about. Then you can progress to wearing a glove, striding forward and dry throwing from the wall.

I would also recommend the Hershiser Drill, just like someone else suggested.

Getting his momentum forward will also prevent injuries to his pivot knee. He’s almost got it turned 90 degrees internal to his hips during his lift–very bad for that joint.

He’s breaking his hands and he’s still got his back toward home plate. This is causing him to sweep his stride leg instead of striding forward to an equal and opposite position. He’s rotating his lower half into position which is very difficult to do with the precision necessary to get aligned down the target line. I fix this with a box. I put a cardboard box on the ground to the right of the target line. If he sweeps the leg, he kicks the box. Again, he gets reinforcement without a coach or parent having to say a word.

The early hand break and the slow lower half have him with his arm up prior to foot strike. This is a bad angle, but it also seems that his stride knee is right of his plant foot. This is an unstable base to transfer energy up the body. His shin should be vertical.

Since his upper half was ready before his lower half was, he has to slow down his upper half to let his lower half catch up. This is causing his hips and shoulders to be synced rather than separated. This problem should go away on its own if you can stop the counter rotation.

He has good external rotation.

Follow through is good.

Just the hip.

He doesn’t lead with his front hip (or really use it much at all).

VERY GOOD STUFF FOLKS!!!

After a very frustrating day yesterday (not so much this fella, but three other boys I happen to be working with felt the need to play “grab ass” for most of our designated workout time… Reality will hit them like a ton of bricks when its time for HS ball…!)

Anyway… after a very frustrating workout… here is a video that I think shows some improvement. Throwing arm might still get up a little early… and he’s trying to work on that… Also Hip and Shoulder separation need A TON of work.

By the way… I’ve noticed… and I need to get this on video… but when he throws his best is when he uses no leg kick in a quick pitch situation… he’s much faster on his delivery… which I believe might lend itself to what JP said [quote]Or perhaps the body was moving too slow[/quote]

IMO and as Coach Paul ID’d the leg lift/counter rotation is a source of problem/delay in the lower body. Fix this and learn to move toward the target sometime before top of leg lift and many other things will fall into place. Some counter rotation can be good- it can help load the hips- just don’t overdo it to the point that it creates momentum away from the target.

He’s got to avoid moving that stride leg in an arc. He’s sweeping it counter clockwise rather than striding directly down the target line. This is causing him to slow down his upper half because the lower half isn’t fast enough. Point A to Point B is a longer distance when travelled in an arc, right? He’s stubborn, I may have to drag out my dreaded corner drill.

It’s a variation of the wall drill where you stand in a corner facing one wall with the outside of your pivot foot against the intersecting wall. Stand back from the facing wall just enough so you can lift your stride knee up to hip level. Start from the set position and do 30 reps a day getting through your leg lift to an equal and opposite position. This should also help him with his problem of lifting his throwing hand too early! I love drills where I just say, " do this 30 times without hitting a wall."

Here is my two cents. I believe the majority of velocity comes from back leg drive and hip rotation and separation. I have a picture to show some muscle structure of the core.

See those oblique muscles that the arrow is pointing at? They travel from the shoulder area to where? The hip. So, this is where my hip rotation theory comes into play. If we use our throwing side hip to rotate to the plate, according to the muscle structure of the obliques, what must follow the throwing side hip rotation? The throwing side shoulder. But wait! before you go out and try to immediately start rotating the hip off the mound, there is more.

Slow hip rotation equals slow velocity. Fast and explosive hip rotation equals velocity. How do you get the fast and explosive hip rotation? You must learn to keep the hips sideways as long as possible. Basically, you would like both knees to be pointing towards the third base side of the field as long as possible. Once you have reached your maximal load on that drive leg, this is where the explosiveness kicks in. Using the drive leg and hip to thrust the lower body forward (while keeping the line created by the shoulders in line with the target) will stretch out those oblique muscles and create what you call “separation.” O.K. Now we have finished the leg and hip drive. If you can now visualize the picture of the obliques being completely stretched out and creating what we call torque. This is what Lincecum referred to as the “stretching of the rubber band” when he first came up. If the obliques are stretched out, what do they want to do now? They want to return to a normal state. So “the rubber band” must recoil, or the oblique must uncoil towards the target. This will create shoulder rotation and get you velocity.

Lastly, we want our energy and shoulder rotation to be going into the direction of our target. Ever heard of the terms “strong front side” or “chest to the glove”? This is when those cues take place. I like to use the analogy of tether-ball. When the ball is spinning around the pole the speed of the ball dramatically picks up when the rope gets really tight and tense. The rope is what I am referring to as the “strong front side.” If you stay strong with the front side, your shoulder rotation will keep its speed, continue it’s path towards the target, and result in a strike with velocity.

It’s all a sequence. Starts with the contact of the foot on the ground, moves up to the hip, then up to the shoulder, then elbow, then finger tips.

From watching the video, he has poor leg and hip drive and he has to make it up somewhere and he makes it up with the arm.

I hope this makes sense and helps. Good luck with your future baseball career!

Why do so many people believe that everyone should stride the same?

Sideways?

No arc or sweep?

I wish it were that easy but the goal is to match the lower body with the arm action.

If the arm (path) is vertical (towards 2B)out of the glove, his lower body will work more in a straight line. Clayton Kershaw

If the arm (path) is horizontal out of the glove, his lower body will sweep.
Jonathan Papelbon

You wouldn’t create max separation or stretch reflex if that doesn’t occur.

I think everyone agrees that getting throws consistently on target, is easier with alignment down the target line. If the stride follows the target line, no matter where your foot lands, you are online and on target. If your leg sweeps across the target line, now exact precision is required to land on the target line and that motion is lateral not direct.

If you wanted to line up machine gun fire in an aerial dog fight, you want to be directly behind or head-on. The last thing you would want to time-up would be a shot where the target crosses in front of you. There is more chance of a miss. You must be perfect, or it’s over.

Make it easier on yourself and follow the target line instead of trying line up a trick shot. :wink: