Back Leg - Trevor Bauer mechanics

Been reading a lot about the back leg. my son is a 14 yo - his most recent coach really preached back leg - very firm, push into the ground, minimal bend of his knee of the foot, stride as long and far as possible and push with 100% effort every time.

ive been reading about Trevor Bauer - drift, drop, rotate and block. what he says makes a lot of sense. also read that driving / pushing off the rubber to almost creating a jump diminishes the power of the backleg.

what are peoples opinion on how a pitcher maximizes power from the backleg?

do you think the “rotate” or drive (as some others say) occurs after a 6-8 inch lateral drift after front leg peak?

any ideas on how best to coach this?

I also saw on baseball rebellion, they were suggested to “hook” the rubber to actually create a forward tilt to presumably help with the drift - seems completely contrary to what his coach has been telling him - his coach expected very little movement on the back foot until he drove off.

jkim8520,

“his most recent coach really preached back leg - very firm, push into the ground, minimal bend of his knee of the foot, stride as long and far as possible and push with 100% effort every time.”

Unfortunately, most coaches do not understand how it works Kinesiologically for Human forwards movement.

Think of it as how do we walk, trot or run. This motion known as gate is contracted from the glove side leg up into and across the pelvis creating rotation, this is where you should concentrate your effort maximally. Then watch the Velo rise.

There are 3 Kinetic chains involved in the pitching or throwing motion;

The first kinetic chain “Dropping in” or lengthening is used to set the muscles to length.

The second Kinetic chain “Drive” or shortening can not start until the Humerus is fully or close to fully outwardly rotated and should be timed with glove side foot plant stability.

The third Kinetic chain “recovery” or eccentric contractions (contraction while lengthening)

“ive been reading about Trevor Bauer - drift, drop, rotate and block. what he says makes a lot of sense. also read that driving / pushing off the rubber to almost creating a jump diminishes the power of the backleg”

There is no forwards power from the ball side leg when using the traditional approach, it us used to lengthen you, then you come to a complete stop until the Humerus is transitioned then ready to throw! It should be performed nominally and under smooth control.

“what are peoples opinion on how a pitcher maximizes power from the backleg?”

No amount of maximal effort is transferred into the second kinetic chain if the ball is not making forwards math.

“any ideas on how best to coach this?”

As long as this understanding continues coaches will try to add effort into this chain and will fail in getting it done because this is not how it works.

“I also saw on baseball rebellion, they were suggested to “hook” the rubber to actually create a forward tilt to presumably help with the drift”

Forwards tilt during the lengthening chain only serves to unbalance you by putting your center of mass to far ahead to take full advantage of the next kinetic chain, shortening.

The best way to take advantage of gate is to turn you ball side foot towards home plate 30 degrees, stay tall, stride shorter and rotate fast off the glove side leg by pulling back against it by continuing to stay tall.

Any question just ask?

I can only tell you what I’ve experienced myself working with my two sons. When we moved away from concentrating on “driving” off the back leg, ie. Thinking push; to a rotating down into foot strike, we saw significantly better velocity and control than before with less effort. The key term is Rotating DOWN and not across.

appreciate your comments - was a there a drill they did that help reinforce this?

JKIM,
Take a look at this short video of Trevor Bauer explaining to Michael Lorenzen on how to use his back hip and squatting during his delivery to increase velocity. This is exactly how I was taught and teach my pitchers. I was thrilled to see one MLB pitcher explaining this technique to his teammate. This should be taught to every pitcher. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=4&v=be_YYodJ214&feature=emb_title

Hope this helps,
Top Gun
Former College Pitcher and Current Pitching Coach