BACK LEG DRIVE

I believe I found the solution to some of my mechanical problems. I originally thought it was my leg stride but after measuring I found that it was right where it should be. But after analyzing a video of my bullpen I realized my mechanics and delivery are really smooth but I barely have any back leg drive at all. This will probably be the focus of my offseason bullpen practices.

There is no one set of “perfect mechanics.” Some pitchers stride 80% of their height and throw 100mph, some stride 120% of their height and throw 100mph. Describe what you mean by “back leg drive,” are you asking for advice here or just telling everybody what you did?

Thank you for replying so quickly. By back leg drive I meant my leg pushing off the rubber and then going into a forward plunging motion. It’s hard to explain. If you watch Pedro martinez’s mechanics his back leg drive was very explosive. I also don’t have the biggest frame standing 5’9 135 pounds so I’m always told to use everything in my body and really drive towards my target.

And for the post it was mainly just to get feedback and advice that would be beneficial to a 14 year old pitcher looking to improve pitching skills and reduce the risk of injury.

Many moons ago I used to go to the original Yankee Stadium every chance I got, and I would sit in the stands—the upper deck behind the plate, where I could get a panoramic view of the entire field—and I would watch the pitchers in action during the pregame practice. I noticed that the Yankees’ Big Three pitchers—Vic Raschi, Allie Reynolds and Eddie Lopat—were all doing the same thing: they were driving off the lower half of the body, using the legs, hips and torso, in one continuous motion, and that was how they were generating the power behind their pitches. They were creating a nonstop flow of energy from the bottom all the way up through the shoulder and arm to the fingertips, even Lopat who was not a fireballer, and in doing so they were taking a lot of pressure off said shoulder and arm so they could throw harder with less effort—the shoulder and arm were just going along for the ride. I saw just what they were doing, which included firming up the back leg—this may be what you’re talking about—and I made a note of it and started working on this on my own. As I practiced this essential element of good mechanics I found that I was doing the same thing they were. Not only did this take a lot of pressure off my shoulder and arm, but also my sidearm delivery had more snap and sizzle to it, and I was able to ramp up my crossfire.
I wish I had at least some photos you could see, so you could get some idea, but I’ll bet you could work on this element. 8)

Sethcopp, Yes, I agree that powerful back leg drive is an important part of generating velocity (and as Zita points out, taking some stress off your arm). And it sounds like you have the right approach, but I would caution against just thinking of it in terms of “pushing off the rubber.”

There are some interesting studies out there, one in particular focused on ground-reaction forces generated with the back leg in the stride (also in the landing leg at front foot plant, but that’s another topic). Essentially what it showed was that applying force into/against the rubber too early did not correlate with higher velocity, but that applying that force later did. It also showed that in some cases pitchers pushed harder and actually threw slower… the classic over-throwing scenario.

here’s a link to the study: Characteristic Ground-Reaction Forces in Baseball Pitching

Basically what I’m saying is that yes, you do want to “push off” to some degree, but the timing of that push is equally important as how hard you push.

You really want to just create some momentum, get the hips and center of gravity moving towards home plate and let things build up before beginning that powerful back leg drive.

Hope this helps, if you have some video it would also be helpful to post that here.

Interesting study Phil thanks for providing it

Phil what part of CT are you in?

great post

Lanky, thanks. the part that got hammered by Sandy and is about get nailed again by this nor’easter! lol, just when we got power back… if I go MIA for a few days u know why.

Facility is in Norwalk, CT (fairfield county). thanks again

:shock: Stay safe.