Analyze 12-year old

Just starting to get into pitching mechanics during our winter conditioning for my 13U team. Have videod most players to date-can you take a look at this one and let me know what you think?

Thanks so much for your help.

Bob

Here’s my observations/suggestions:

(1) In the wind-up, I don’t like all the sideways movement ceated by the sidestep. That’s energy directed in directions other than at the target and it can lead to posture and balance and consistency issues.

(2) In the stretch, I would suggest spreading the feet apart a bit and also putting a slight bend in the knees. This will put him in a more athletic stance to help him maintain posture and it will help reduce what I think is a significant dip at the beginning of his stride.

(3) He seems to stay over the back foot while he lifts his knee and starts to swing his stride foot out and around toward home plate. He needs to get his hips moving toward home plate sooner and lead with his front hip longer into his stride before the stride foot gets out front. This will help him generate more momentum (resulting in a longer stride) and will help him stay closed and rotate late.

(4) He needs to stabilize his glove out front and bring the chest to the glove. Right now he drops the glove before the stride foot plants. If he can get the glove arm to mirror the throwing arm at stride foot plant - even if only for a moment in passing - he will be able to keep the shoulders closed and rotate late. This will also allow a longe stride.

Roger,

Thanks for the great info. Just a couple questions;

"He seems to stay over the back foot while he lifts his knee and starts to swing his stride foot out and around toward home plate. He needs to get his hips moving toward home plate sooner and lead with his front hip longer into his stride before the stride foot gets out front. "

Any recommendations on how to cure the out and around? Will putting a tape line down the center of the mound help this at all? As for getting the hips moving forward sooner and keeping closed longer, what is a good drill to help with this? I see this alot in my other pitchers, but could really use some direction on this one to help with a cure.

Thanks again for all of your help.

Regards,

Bob

i see 2 things right away and i think they are related. 1. he goes into rotation well before he gets the stride foot down. if he can delay the rotation to just befor the stride foot gets down i think he will have better luck. so how do you do that, i think the stride is short and i would recommend lengthening the stride. should delay the rotation and if he will allow the front shoulder to get higher than the back shoulder (tilt the front shoulder up) it should help lead with the hips and lengthen the stride.

might also look at when he breaks the glove. i like my guys to stay in the glove until the stride leg knee is coming down. it tends to keep them together and tighten the arm circle in the back (which i constantly harp on).

he looks good. looks like he has a big frame and a great set of legs. he gets all that sync’ed up and he could be special.

[quote=“Bobbybanker”]Roger,

Thanks for the great info. Just a couple questions;

"He seems to stay over the back foot while he lifts his knee and starts to swing his stride foot out and around toward home plate. He needs to get his hips moving toward home plate sooner and lead with his front hip longer into his stride before the stride foot gets out front. "

Any recommendations on how to cure the out and around? Will putting a tape line down the center of the mound help this at all? As for getting the hips moving forward sooner and keeping closed longer, what is a good drill to help with this? I see this alot in my other pitchers, but could really use some direction on this one to help with a cure.

Thanks again for all of your help.[/quote]

Many pros swing the leg out and around so that’s not necessarily an issue. In fact, even if the foot hangs below the knee, the simple act of lifting the knee positions the foot out in front of the rest of the body. So most pitchers swing the foot around to some degree. But the “out” part is only an issue if it causes unwanted postural changes. My main point here was that he gets his leg out front too soon which means that his center of gravity is staying back too much. (The front leg getting out front too soon can also have negative effects on hip rotation though I don’t really see that with your pitcher.)

As for the fix, I would have him focus on getting this hips going forward sooner and faster.

One drill you can have him do is the Hershiser Drill. Stand sideways to a padded wall or chain link fence with the wall/fence next to the glove-side shoulder. Posting foot should be 8"-12" away from the wall/fence. Simply lift the knee and stride into the wall/fence by pushing the hips out first. Many young pitchers will wait until the knee lift has peaked and the leg is one its way back down (especially pitchers who were taught balance point). In this drill, have the pitcher try pushing the hips out at or slightly before the peak of the knee lift. This drill will help the pitcher make the initial adjustment and start to get comfortable with moving forward sooner.

From there, the towel drill would be a good progression from the Hershiser drill to live throwing. And I would suggest using the cross-over stance to start with. This is where the stride leg is crossed over in front of the posting leg. Bend the knees enough to let both feet be flat on the ground. Then go through the deliver pushing the hips out early and faster. The cross-over stance sort of prepositions the hips to lead the way. You can even have the pitcher preset a tilt in the hips/pelvis. After the cross-over stance, the pitcher can progress to a normal stance and do more towel drills.

Once the pitcher gets comfortable with this and can do this while still maintaining posture and balance reasonably well, then they can migrate to live throwing. But the towel drill can also be continued - especially on the pither’s own time at home - maybe in front of a mirror.

Roger and Dusty,

Thank you for the indepth replies-that demonstrates a great deal of care on both your parts-which is why this is such an awesome site/forum.

As far as getting the hips to start forward, we will work on the Hershiser drill with all of the pitchers. But just so I fully understand the mechanics of this, as the lead leg is raising, does the body “fall” forward to help with leading the front hip or should the back leg help to “push” it forward-thus starting the momentum at this point? Dusty, just as you said the front side tilt will help to force the hips forward too, but I just wanted to make sure what to teach in the early stage of delivery.

The only other concern I had was at 13U we do not always have the privledge of having pitching mounds on all of the fields that we play. I can see that as we practice to maintain the hips closed as long as possible, that this becomes harder to perform on fields with no mound. Does this come in to play much or am I over thinking this?

Regards,

Bob

the no mound is not as big a deal as you might think. the more you can get the hips in front and get your body to form a > as you go down the hill (or no hill in your league)

I agree with Dusty that the lack of a mound is not that big of a deal. Others will disagree, though.

As for the Hershiser Drill, it is largely a fall. Pushing the hips out also creates an imbalance that assists with the fall. If there is any push, it is a sideways push that takes place in the hip abductor of the posting leg. But this point is not clear to me.

[quote=“Roger”]I agree with Dusty that the lack of a mound is not that big of a deal. Others will disagree, though.[/quote]Gee, I wonder who you could be speaking of Rog. :smiley:

He’s not getting much separation of the hips and shoulders. Delaying the hip rotation as Roger suggests may help this, but it is an area that generates a lot of power and in my view an important aspect of throwing the ball consistently and hard.

Even though he seems to have a lot of excess sideways movement (he seems to hurry through the delivery, too), he seems to move directly to the plate well. However, he lets his glove hand come around his back and this causes his torso to spin out some. Again, Roger has the fix for this by teaching him to have the glove out front and move to the glove.

If you can, try to get a view from the front or directly behind so we can see his arm action from that perspective.

Hose

My intent is to work on correcting the hip/shoulder and GSA work items as you all have mentinoned and then I’d like to video again to see how he looks. I can provide front/back/side visuals at that time.

From 2-years ago to last year, I had noticed that his velocity had sort of plateau’d-but now realize that from 10-11-he was well ahead of most just to throw strikes. As long as he is able to make the adjustments through the teachings-I can see that the velocity is the by-product of these mechanical changes and can’t wait to see it take shape.

Thanks again to all.

Bob

Hah! It worked! :mrgreen:

Well since no one else has posted a picture…

That’s a good example :slight_smile:

The NPA has a life-size poster of that very picture hanging in their facility as it shows Hershiser leading with his front hip.

ur glove hand flies out…u should keep it in so u can field the ball and u really fall instaed of having more balance

Well, “after you release the ball” keep throwing your hand toward the catcher–this will "get your body–VERTICAL–to–the–ground! Throwing (ball hand) release the ball, reach toward the catcher, snap it off,(snap the towel), and complete your pitch( slap your opposite knee–while getting VERTICAL to the ground! Follow leg comes around and down. EYES FRONT! NOW–your glove hand–reaches forward–cupping your glove and bring your body toward the glove! Body toward the glove–as your going VERTICAL to the ground. TUCK the glove in your armpit!–as your going vertical. The glove should be somewhat in front of your body to receive a “COMEBACKER”!

When I said" get Vertical", I meant " get horizontal" to the ground.