Coach Bill Thurston

Mr. Ellis, I took your advice and scheduled a lesson with Mr. Thurston, and it was today.
Man, he helped me more than you can imagine. I found out…
I naturally lead with my hip (plus)
I hide my grips (plus)
I have a good stride length, and direction (plus)
I have a good power arm angle (plus)
I open shoulders too early (negative)
I don’t get on top of the ball, but underneath (negative)
Lead elbow pulls in too soon (negative)
Now along with a complete breakdown of my mechanics, I have the entire lesson on tape with me pitching, and his instructions on my faults and drills to fix them. I also have his instructional DVD.
It was money well spent, and now I have a direction in which to focus my hard work.
Thanks Mr Ellis for pointing me in the right direction.
P.S. anybody in MA, or surrounding areas, get to Coach Thurston, you can find his email address and phone number at


 <ul>[i]I don't get on top of the ball, but underneath (negative)[/i]</ul>

is probably caused by this:

 <ul>[i]I open shoulders too early (negative)[/i]</ul>

and this:

 <ul>[i]Lead elbow pulls in too soon (negative)[/i]</ul>

You could have some timing issues as well.

Yep. The main thing he wants me to work on is the period in my delivery when the ball is brought back. If I can keep my lead elbow up, and get on top of the ball that should be a huge plus in my pitching.

Of course, without seeing you, I’m just speculating here. But be aware of what the symptom is and what the real cause is. I was saying that your failure to get on top of the ball is probably caused by your head and shoulders pulling out to the side instead of staying on line towards the target. So, not getting on top of the ball is most likely a symptom caused by a posture change. Now the question becomes “is the posture change itself a symptom of some other problem?”

It sounds like your instructor is trying to get you to keep the front side closed and more stable which should help your head and shoulders stay on target. Tom House would describe getting into opposite and equal arms at foot strike. This means upper arms aligned with target and equal forearm-to-upper arm angle in each arm. It helps with balance and timing which also plays into it - you need to open up at the right time.

Yeah, my shoulders are opened up too soon. Today I went down to the fields to work on fixing my problems and just need to fix timing. I settling into the new arm swing, and finding better balance. But now keeping my shoulders closed longer is causing me to throw up and in. I just need to get comfortable with the timing.