Anybody wanna break me down? velocity and control problems


well one thing i notice is on your leg lift you are already leaning forward as you bring your leg up. then it looks like you are falling off the moung a little and your arm is lagging behind.

This really belongs in the section on mechanics, but I’ll see if I can answer your question here.
In part this is a postural problem—you really need to make sure you’re staying upright, thus avoiding falling off the mound to either side. I’ve seen a lot of this, even in the major leagues—there are a few pitchers who fall off the mound to such an extent that they almost fall down, and that affects their control so that their pitches are way off the strike zone. As for the velocity—let me share a secret with you, something I learned a long time ago.
As a kid I went to the original Yankee Stadium every chance I got, and I watched the pitchers, particularly the Yanks’ fabled Big Three guys—Vic Raschi, Allie Reynolds and Ed Lopat. I noticed that all three of them were doing the same thing: they were driving off the lower half of the body, using the legs, the hips and the torso in one continuous (and seamless) motion, and that was how they were generating the power behind their pitches, not to mention that doing this took a lot of pressure off the arm and shoulder so that they could throw harder and faster with less effort. I saw exactly how they were doing this, and I made a note of it and started working on it on my own. As I practiced this essential element of good mechanics I found that I was doing what they were doing—throwing harder with less effort; it seemed that my arm and shoulder were just going along for the ride. Because I was a natural sidearmer the whole motion just flowed, and even though I would become one of those snake-jazzers I could throw faster as well as harder. And not a sore arm or a sore elbow or a sore shoulder or a sore anything else in the bunch! (Eventually I came up with an 81-mile-an-hour four-seamer which my pitching coach told me was, for a finesse pitcher such as myself, was a fast ball!)
And here’s how I worked on control: I would get a catcher, and either he would mark off with chalk a home plate and a pitcher’s rubber at the requisite 60’6", or if we could get to an unused playing field I would take the mound, which in my day was higher than it is now, and he would get behind the plate. We would then play a little game we called “ball and strike”; he would position his mitt in various spots, high, low, inside, outside, every which way but standing on his head :lol: , and I had to get the ball smack-dab into the pocket of that mitt. It was more than just a drill; it was a terrific workout and a lot of fun, and what a good satisfying feeling it was when I heard that “thwack” as the ball hit the pocket! I did this with all my pitches, throwing from full windup and the stretch, working with the crossfire (that’s a move that works only with the sidearm delivery), and from time to time we would get someone to stand in the batter’s box so I could really zero in on the strike zone. I can tell you, there’s really no better way to sharpen up one’s control than doing this. Even some years later when I was playing regularly and winning a lot of games and rescuing others I continued to do this. So—for what it’s worth, there it is, and I hope it helps. :slight_smile:

haha zita i reply with your falling off the mound. and then you come back with like a book on how to fix it all. it just makes me laugh. =]

It’s nice that you can see the humor in the situation. Not too many pitchers do, especially when it’s been happening to them. Now, I never had to face such a situation, so I never had to “fix it” as you say, but I have seen plenty of this, and if I can advise as to how to remedy the situation I will do so. As to “The Secret”, as I like to call it, I learned it many moons ago, and later on my pitching coach helped me refine it. I don’t understand—and believe me, this isn’t funny—why more pitchers and pitching coaches haven’t latched on to it and learned how to make the most of it.
Incidentally, my pitching coach was one of the aforementioned Big Three of the Yankees’ pitching rotation—a top pitcher who could also coach and teach and who, as a result, was sought after by not only his teammates but others around the league who needed advice and assistance. He knew where I was coming from, and he was ready and willing to work with anyone who was really interested, who wanted to know, and who was willing to work at it. The day I asked him about the slider he knew I was one of those—really serious, wanting to know about that pitch—and so he had no hesitation about not only showing me how to throw a good one but also teaching me a lot of advanced stuff he felt I needed to know in order to become a successful finesse pitcher. His name was Ed Lopat, and I will always remember him.
So, my friend, go ahead and have a good laugh. It never hurt anyone—except the batters. :slight_smile: 8) :baseballpitcher:

Ive learned slowly through this site that experience is invaluable. I can see some things that could be better with a pitchers mechanics but then many others with more experience can be of much more help. I just had a laugh when I thought about how little detail I could input.