I know it’s college kids in the demos but if you coach youngsters, even as young as 6, the speed up drill is awesome. (they really get the bike analogy) Can’t tell you how many times a kid who could make a nice throw from SS to 1b, athletic, moving to the target would then get on the mound and slow down, even stop at the balance point (looking a little like the “karate kid”) and lose all velocity and control. Getting them to move their hips toward the target sooner and quicker has never not worked in my limited experience. Just a quicker tempo in general helps most kids. Just tell kids to lift up their leg and get movin’ sideways. The older and stronger they get the higher their leg kick will be. Fun to watch it evolve and some will figure the leg lift out, to a large degree, on their own.
Check out Coach Corral’s video on “Extension”. Excellent info as well but check out Luke Hochevar. Watch his hips get moving before the peak of his leg lift for a good example. I understand why coaches teach the balance point drill because balance throughout the delivery is important but it seems the drill makes a lot of kids think that reaching this “static” balance point is really the goal. While some stronger kids are able to regenerate their momentum, lots of kids don’t have the strength to get those hips moving sideways properly after that pause. It’s a shame because this pausing unecessarily limits their velocity and accuracy. As for pros that seem to hit that balance point before moving their hips to the target my guess is they are strong enough to regenerate their momentum but that’s just a guess.