Analyze my sons video PLEASE! He's 14

We are just starting to seriously look at his mechanics. We filmed the video to look at hip/shoulder separation. While videoing we saw a few other things but we need your help to point out the good points and bad.
Please Help,

Thank you!!


[/img]

Better control of posture and the glove side will enable him to delay shoulder rotation thus allowing the hips to fully rotate before shoulder rotation (i.e. increasing hip and shoulder separation).

Getting the hips moving foward sooner (i.e. before peak of knee lift) will also help.

I’m new to this. I do see the hips need to start moving before peak knee lift. I also see his glove side never extended and found a balance with his throwing arm, but can you explain control of posture and glove side for me.

Thanks for the comment

I’ll let Roger tell you about the glove side thing (We both are in agreement on that and it is crucial). I’d like for him to “start” right, notice his foot on the rubber? It is important to properly orient his body. The reason he has to clear his head (Move it out of the way) is that his glove side issue effects timing as well and if he’s to get his arm through on time to delivery something has to give…i.e. the ol brain bucket. Also it looks like he’s not getting his front foot down before his arm starts forward (Another timing issue).
I’m going to drop a vid of some drill work my son did with former ML’er Rick Wilkins, at one point in the vid you’ll actually see Rick take Andy (My son) to task for improper plate orientation :lol: pay particular attention to the 3rd set of drills (Called step-behinds) they are great for working on form and timing.

http://www.youtube.com/user/jdfromfla#p/u/14/mP6DKeAsAC0

All in all your son looks good, size wise and athletically, this is a very important time in mech development for him so with your sig I suspect you being somewhere in Ga. they have good pitching instruction in Ga. it may be a perfect time to make an investment in the boys future, a battery of pitching lessons would make a fantastic and meaningful Christmans present if you think about it :bigthink: :cap:

What I see:

Arm action issues - his throwing arm has a lot of “slop” meaning there a at least 5-6 frames where it is just moving along with his body and not really “loading up” in a way that would achieve a nice “whippy” arm.

His glove side could use a lot better extension also. The “equal / opposite” or symmetry isn’t bad between the two, but he could really use his arms to be a lot further out away from his body’s centerline with that symmetry.

Posture - As Roger noted, he could be a lot more “athletic” as he moves out. He is very upright which doesn’t help loading his core much and also his dynamic balance suffers as he moves out down the mound.

Tempo - He is very slow. He needs to move much quicker after his peak leg lift to release the ball. This slow tempo could be causing some of the aforementioned issues.

Some of this may be a maturity/strength issue, but are things that youo can definitely start to address for the long term.

Thanks for all your help.

Can you help explain the bad posture and “slop” in his throwing arm.

On the posture, the foot against the rubber square to the plate then leading more with his from hip. It looks to me as if he steps to foot strike instead of falling to foot strike with hip leading. IS THIS CORRECT??

I’m not sure what arm action issues mean can you help me understand?
Arm action issues - his throwing arm has a lot of “slop” meaning there a at least 5-6 frames where it is just moving along with his body and not really “loading up” in a way that would achieve a nice “whippy” arm.

Thanks again for all your help. It gives us a lot to work on. Drills and video dem’s would be nice.

Practice does not make perfect but perfect practice does!

[quote=“gtjackets”]Thanks for all your help.

Can you help explain the bad posture and “slop” in his throwing arm.

On the posture, the foot against the rubber square to the plate then leading more with his from hip. It looks to me as if he steps to foot strike instead of falling to foot strike with hip leading. IS THIS CORRECT??

I’m not sure what arm action issues mean can you help me understand?
Arm action issues - his throwing arm has a lot of “slop” meaning there a at least 5-6 frames where it is just moving along with his body and not really “loading up” in a way that would achieve a nice “whippy” arm.

Thanks again for all your help. It gives us a lot to work on. Drills and video dem’s would be nice.

[/quote]

Don’t mind helping but you could find a lot of this info on this site if you look around a bit. I would suggest doing some searches on key words such as “arm action” and “backwards chaining” and reading (A LOT) the info you find.

Gotta do some leg work and research if you want to make progress.

My two cents.

Unless he’s been taught to assume the heel-off-the-rubber position he needs to pivot so that his foot/heel are touching the rubber. In effect he’s lined up to the right of the right hand batter’s box and then must compensate.

It’s already been identified that his hips need to start forward sooner- preferably soon after his left leg comes off the ground. Tim Lincecum is a pretty extreme athletic example. The clip available in the video section should give you a good idea. Again not everyone is strong enough to do what he does but there are plenty of other examples such as Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, and even Sandy Koufax and Dizzy Dean.

The posture issue I see happens as he breaks his hands and gets near foot plant. I think I see his upper body starting to lean back toward the first base side. This could be a compensation for the foot position on the rubber in order to get his body back on line to home plate and could lead to a premature opening of the upper body- thus poor hip and shoulder separation. Ideally his upper body would rotate around an upright spine with minimal tilt and his head would move directly toward home plate until release.

Regarding glove position it should stabilize somewhere out over his front knee/foot as he releases the ball- not swing off to the side. The common thought is to think “chest to glove” not “tuck and pull”.

Someone mentioned “arm slop” or delayed arm action. In my opinion this will solve itself by getting the hips going forward sooner and getting into foot strike quicker and is not something that should consciously be messed with.

So that’s alot to think about. My suggestion is to start at the very beginning with position on the rubber and work forward from there. You may find that some issues solve themselves by working in this manner.

Again just my 2 cents.

check the length of his stride, see how close it is to 90% of his height. might try that. i like the back foot to use the front edge of the rubber for leverage and direction of the ball of that foot. koufax explains this clearly in his book a lefty’s legacy.

I like his hip-shoulder separation, even though it causes some head jerk. I think that stride could be lengthened.

[quote=“gtjackets”]I’m new to this. I do see the hips need to start moving before peak knee lift. I also see his glove side never extended and found a balance with his throwing arm, but can you explain control of posture and glove side for me.

Thanks for the comment[/quote]
For posture, starting at about foot plant he tilts his head back toward 1B. As the shoulders rotate, his spine follows his head. This posture change leads to early shoulder rotation and messes with his release point.

For glove side, getting the arm out to an “equal and opposite” position with the throwing arm (meaning equal angles at the elbows) and then stabilizing the glove out front while the body moves towards it. A stable glove usually leads to a more consistent release point while pulling the glove back usually has the effect of pulling the release point back (which we don’t want).

I agree with this observation and I agree with JP’s comment that increasing tempo by starting forward sooner/faster should eliminate that extra time in the delivery where the arm just sort of “hangs out” waiting to do its thing.

Kevin,
I feel the posture tilt is causing early shoulder rotation which reduces hip and shoulder rotation.

[quote=“JP”]My two cents.

Unless he’s been taught to assume the heel-off-the-rubber position he needs to pivot so that his foot/heel are touching the rubber. In effect he’s lined up to the right of the right hand batter’s box and then must compensate.

It’s already been identified that his hips need to start forward sooner- preferably soon after his left leg comes off the ground. Tim Lincecum is a pretty extreme athletic example. The clip available in the video section should give you a good idea. Again not everyone is strong enough to do what he does but there are plenty of other examples such as Randy Johnson, Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver, and even Sandy Koufax and Dizzy Dean.

The posture issue I see happens as he breaks his hands and gets near foot plant. I think I see his upper body starting to lean back toward the first base side. This could be a compensation for the foot position on the rubber in order to get his body back on line to home plate and could lead to a premature opening of the upper body- thus poor hip and shoulder separation. Ideally his upper body would rotate around an upright spine with minimal tilt and his head would move directly toward home plate until release.

Regarding glove position it should stabilize somewhere out over his front knee/foot as he releases the ball- not swing off to the side. The common thought is to think “chest to glove” not “tuck and pull”.

Someone mentioned “arm slop” or delayed arm action. In my opinion this will solve itself by getting the hips going forward sooner and getting into foot strike quicker and is not something that should consciously be messed with.

So that’s alot to think about. My suggestion is to start at the very beginning with position on the rubber and work forward from there. You may find that some issues solve themselves by working in this manner.

Again just my 2 cents.[/quote]
JP, good assessment. Did you also notice the non-existent or very short drag line (well, “drag” since there’s no dirt in which to draw a line)?

Roger

I did notice the short drag line. IMO before focusing on it I’d like to see if it gets longer as he solves the foot position/rubber issue and gets his hips going forward faster. Solving the posture (lean or tilt) and glove issues would likely help as well. IMO the rearward lean and tilt tends to pull the right hip “up” too soon as the hips rotate. I view drag line as an indicator or sign that other events are happening correctly. I try to avoid saying “just drag your foot longer”- because some kids can do it and still not solve the other issues- although every now and then it comes to that.

Additionally a “one-pitch event” like this video is tough for me. I tried to hilite the main points I saw with more emphasis on the early movements.

JP,
Agreed on all points. Although, I have seen House actually tell a kid to intentionally, drag his back foot - much to my surprise. It was a last resort tactic and it was intended only to give the kid a “feel”.

Thanks for the help. I feel I have a lot to work with.

In order of pitching motion not necessarily importance.
FIRST, I’m starting with his foot on the rubber in the proper way square to the plate. SECOND, I’m making sure we get more lead with the hip to the target. I believe this will speed up his momentum, lengthen his stride and may add a little foot drag. THIRD I’m looking at a equal and opposite glove side over stride foot with body coming to glove instead of pulling the glove to him. I believe this will square th upper body a little and stop him from dipping his head to the left so drastically. Once again thanks for the help. Please continue to comment with any helpful tips or drills.

I know that this may not fix all the issues suggested but I feel it is a good place to start. Watch for my next video to anaylize in about two weeks and maybe you will see some progress.

Roger, what is posture tilt? I am not familiar with it, I’m not a big NPA guy.

gtjackets

Good approach. You may want to begin from the stretch position- fewer moving parts- and then move to the windup as everything becomes more comfortable.

Look into these drills- Hershiser drill and the crossover drill. Both should help initiate forward movement with the hips. You probably can Google them to see how they are performed.

Tilting the head/spine to the glove side - usually occurs coming out of shoulder rotation. Causes a misdirection of energy, pulls the release point back and raises it up, and (according to an ASMI study) puts more stress on the throwing arm.