first time on the mound this offseason. Tried to just be athletic and throw hard. Couple things that stick out to me are: landing foot needs to drive through heel, and throwing hand is too close to ear around front-foot strike… My question is how important is arm angle at FFS? What is optimal for health/velocity?? I’ve heard anything greater than 90 degrees can cause injury (hence the use of things like the connection ball) but what about the other end of the spectrum? Thanks
Not sure what you mean by “drive through heel”. Regarding your arm angle, I don’t see anything wrong with it. In my opinion, arm position at front foot strike isn’t nearly as important as arm position at the start of external rotation when you really do want about a 90 degree angle. I think your arm gets there, So I wouldn’t place any concern on that.
Some areas I would focus on are:
- You don’t start moving forward until after peak of knee lift. I think you look athletic enough to start moving forward a bit sooner. Doing so will help you generate more momentum to maximize stride length. It’s also more energy in the system that can be delivered to the ball (assuming you sequence and time well the rest of your delivery) to maximize velocity.
- You tend to drop quite a bit before driving. If you do something similar from the stretch then, obviously, that makes you slower to the plate. It can also shorten your stride. You could try starting with more bend in your knees (and waist) so that when you start going forward you just go forward.
- You have a posture thing going on with your head (and probably spine - tough to tell from the side). This will pull your release point back and raise it up which give the batter more time to see the ball, makes it harder to keep your pitches down, and makes it harder to get on top of curve balls to put good spin on them. Every inch of inappropriate head movement costs you about 2 inches at release point. Try to keep your head upright.
Roger, when you mention head tilt, is that in relation to the spine? In other words, if the shoulders are tilted at an angle to the ground, but the head is at 90° to the shoulders, is that OK?
That’s a good question. I don’t care so much about shoulder tilt as much as I do head and spine tilt. Maddux was one who had some shoulder tilt but still kept his head fairly upright. I feel that as the head goes so goes the spine and probably the shoulders. Take care of your head and everything else will probably take care of itself. Head perpendicular to shoulders but everything tilted is not ok to me.
Another reason I like the head to be upright is that the force of gravity gives you a natural reference point that you can feel. You can probably stand up, close your eyes and find vertical more accurately and consistently than you could find a 20 degree tilt. What does that say about repeatability?
Thanks Roger and yeah I now notice the slight collapse of my back leg before moving down the mound. What I meant about the driving through heel was worded poorly. If you focus on my landing foot closely through ball release it actually looks as though I’m driving through the front of my foot around the toes but if you look at high velocity pitchers they almost always tend to have that foot planted throughout release and deceleration causing the landing leg to firm up/brace aggressively. As far as the head tilt I think that may be the outcome of focusing on flat ground bullpens these past few weeks.
Your arm is probably fine. Greg Maddux and Bartolo Cologne had their arm cocked near their ear. So did Tim Wakefield. Don’t think it causes too much of a problem u less you wanted your delivery to look smoother. The other end of the spectrum being under 90 degrees of flection is bad because it’s a lover path to external rotation and makes external rotation harder. Just try not to trick your arm so early
Sorry, longer not lover.
And cock not trip. Autocorrect is annoying lol.