College Freshman RHP Mechanics

I’m a freshman (6’4", 200 lbs) in college getting ready for my spring season. I’d appreciate any comments on my pitching motion. I’ve attached a Youtube video from a recent inning this past fall. When I struggle I feel that my timing is off and that my arm lags and I can’t release out in front. I feel that my lead arm and throwing arm may be out of sync. Any help would be appreciated.

[quote=“pmt3”]I’m a freshman (6’4", 200 lbs) in college getting ready for my spring season. I’d appreciate any comments on my pitching motion. I’ve attached a Youtube video from a recent inning this past fall. When I struggle I feel that my timing is off and that my arm lags and I can’t release out in front. I feel that my lead arm and throwing arm may be out of sync. Any help would be appreciated.

http://youtu.be/Sfhj5i_q_iM[/quote]

What’s your fastball at?

My fastball is at 85 mph. I’d like to be high 80s by beginning of summer.

[quote=“pmt3”]I’m a freshman (6’4", 200 lbs) in college getting ready for my spring season. I’d appreciate any comments on my pitching motion. I’ve attached a Youtube video from a recent inning this past fall. When I struggle I feel that my timing is off and that my arm lags and I can’t release out in front. I feel that my lead arm and throwing arm may be out of sync. Any help would be appreciated.

http://youtu.be/Sfhj5i_q_iM[/quote]
There’s always 2 ways of looking at things. Your arm might be late or something else might be early. :wink: Arm lag is a timing issue - it’s an issue with the timing of shoulder rotation. Specifically, it’s early shoulder rotation. Delaying shoulder rotation should let your release point happen further out front.

So the magic question is, what can you do to delay shoulder rotation? Deliberately trying to delay shoulder rotation might help but it might just slow you down and make you too robotic. Maybe a better approach is to avoid doing those things that trigger early shoulder rotation. These things include late posture shifts and poor glove control (dropping, flying open or pulling the glove).

In your case, you appear to start on the 3B side of the rubber and you also appear to stride to the 3B side of home plate (tough to tell given the camera angle). This sets you up to tilt to the glove side as your shoulders square to the target. Tilting can cause early shoulder rotation and it will pull your release point back and raise it up.

Also, it’s hard to tell if you’re pulling the glove due to the camera angle so I’ll only suggest this is a possibility. Pulling the glove back usually leads to early shoulder rotation.

Note that early shoulder rotation takes away time for the hips to fully rotate which can reduce hip and shoulder separation thereby robbing you of some velocity.

Thank you for your great post. What you say makes total sense to me. My dad takes a lot of video and when we look at the video frame by frame I do notice that I tilt quite a bit back and to the side (late posture shift?) as I am releasing the ball. In fact my head is way off to the side and my eyes are looking down and to the side instead of at the catcher. So I don’t feel like I’m getting much out of my trunk (flexion) and my arm lags. I will work on those things you mention (i.e., stay on-line, minimize early shoulder rotation and tilt (late posture shift)).

IMO, you can’t do any better than to keep up this dialogue with Roger…he’s an outstanding coach who has personally trained for years with Tom House.

One suggestion that I do have for your dad…spend $30 on a cheap tripod and use it.

Hand-held video is usually too shaky for studying pitching mechanics in any kind of serious way…it’s very difficult to study the motion of a subject when the video is also confounded by movement of the video field itself.

Once he gets the tripod, ask him to take full-body videos of your delivery from 3rd base angle, 1st base angle, and behind the catcher.

Thanks for the advice laflippin. If Roger is willing I would love to continue the dialogue. We do have a tripod but just didn’t have it with us that day. I will get the other views soon and post them.

Thanks for the kind words, la.

pmt, the first thing you should try to address posture is to simply move to the glove side of rubber. Imagine a line running from the center of the rubber to the center of home plate. Instead of starting on the throwing arm side of the rubber and striding away from this line, start on the glove side and stride towards this line. This way, the shoulders won’t have as big of a “corner to turn” to square up to the target. The result will be less of a tendency to tilt the head and spine to the glove side to get the shoulders squared.

This is a “freebie” as you don’t really have to change anything about how you throw the ball. Just move your starting position.

I can see from your video what you mean when you say you feel out of sync. One thing you may try is, instead of holding you hands high in the stretch, start with your hands belly button high. From there break your hands to deliver the ball as normal using the equal and opposite approach. This should quicken up your right arm to catch up with with your left arm.
Right now you keep your hands high, and then drop them to belly button high to separate them.

Hi all. Sorry it’s taken me a while to post. Here’s a short recent bullpen video. I’ve been working mostly on staying closed longer and stabilizing or controlling my lead arm better. It was one of my best bullpens…released way out in front, threw harder than ever, slider was working, etc. I would appreciate any comments on my mechanics. Sorry, I will try to get some side videos.

I really like the way Matt Cain (one of my favorite pitchers) uses his lead arm (see video). Does anyone have any good additional advice on lead arm stabilization and how it relates to getting the throwing arm to release out in front?

Thanks!

You seem to have some good pop on your pitches, and overall seem solid in your mechanics. Perhaps a bit short with the glove side, but would need to see side video to confirm.

The camera angle may be deceiving me a bit, but it looks like you throw across your body. To what extent, it’s difficult to tell without the home plate view. In the video, if I look at your shoulder, hip, and stride alignment when you are just about to strike with the front foot, it appears you will throw several feet off toward the 3rd base side.

Your stride is definitely toward the third base side of your pivot foot. I see a dark patch of dirt that appears to be where a foot would land if it were on the center line and your plant is well off that mark.

I also see stride leg tilt with the knee closer to the first base side than the ankle. Front leg stabilization is a big key to power, velocity, and being able to release out in front. While, undoubtedly, throwing across the body assists with pitch deception, generally, I like to see a vertical alignment of the ankle and knee.

A tripod for the camera would be a good investment. Better angles would also assist in the video analysis.

CoachPaul, thanks for the observations. I purposely start on the first base side of the rubber and also try to start with my front foot more toward the 3rd base side. I do these two things mainly to help me stay closed longer. You are right that I should watch landing too closed and throwing across my body. I will pay attention to that. I will also remember to work on stabilizing the front leg better so the knee lines up with the ankle.

Hi all. I was able to get home for a bullpen with my Dad over spring break. Here are videos from three different angles using a tripod. I’d appreciate any feedback. Thanks!