I’ve been searching for an answer to this question. I know some pitchers prefer either windup or exclusively from the stretch position. I’ve read that you can have the same velocity pitching from the stretch, so why pitch from the wind up?
It is a great question. My take is, if you are one that can generate equal forward momentum from the stretch (with no runners on) then you should not lose velocity . Some might find it more comfortable ( consistent balance / rythym/timing ) to pitch solely from the stretch than going back and forth . Also makes sense to think that pitcher will be more comfortable with runners on base … still, at the end of the day , the answer is all about results … may not be the same for every pitcher , but I like it !
So do some pitchers feel that there is more velocity to their pitch because possibly they have more recoil in the full wind up? Or is it a control thing? The reason I’m asking is because the head coach asked my son to practice from the full windup because thats what he learned from clinics. I’ve read that he should not learn the full windup due to possible balance problems. (He’s 11 years old.) He’s got good velocity already and has decent control, but if he can improve somehow with the windup I’d like a reason why.
In my opinion, the benefit to the wind-up is that tempo can be established and momentum built up more slowly (and possibly under more control) using a “running start”. To achieve the same tempo and momentum from the stretch, the pitcher has to start forward more explosively to get up to speed more quickly. Many coaches think young kids should pitcher from the stretch only because there is less movement that might lead to balance issues. But I think when young kids try to be more explosive, that can also cause more movement as they maneuver their bodies into that position from which they can explode (e.g. collapsing the back leg to push off the rubber). So I really think the “less movement” thing is really a wash.
Furthermore, many young kids start off doing what they see the pros doing (most pro starting pitchers pitch from the wind-up). Thus, by the time they get to organized baseball, they are more practiced and, therefore, more comfortable from the wind-up. And there’s a lot to be said for comfort. But not all kids are more comfortable from the wind-up.
BTW, there is one pitching expert out there who is pushing tempo and momentum to an extreme and, based on what I’ve heard, this seems to work better from the windup than from the stretch. It’s a stretch but maybe your son’s coach is a follower of this expert and is positioning your son use this expert’s mechanics.
How does collapsing on the back leg looks like? I dont know if I am doing it because I dont know what it is. Someone care to explain?
It is simply bending the leg and lowering the torso while shift the weight and maybe tilting the hips in order to get some angle in the back leg to be able to push off explosively.