I am a freshman pitcher in college and this is me pitching in one of my recent fall scrimmage games. I edited the video to show some of the best views on my mechanics. I would appreciate any help anyone can give me or advice in regards to my pitching delivery. Right not my velocity sits at 83-84 on the stalker gun and tops out at 86. I have been training hard and know I could increase that with better mechanics. Any help is greatly appreciated.
Man you got a whole bunch going on there. I have several things I see and would cause me concern…I’d like to know what your coach or P coach is telling you, as you are trying to make and maintain on a squad and I don’t have any right to step into their program.
Or even better yet…what do you see?
Are you satisfied that throwing across your body like that is good for accuaracy particularly when you are straight over the top (Think about how your body has to re-adjust and could that possibly impact velocity also?)?
Also watch how your body uses a wild flinging on the glove side…you are going in a whole lot of different directions other than the target…both of those actions put a ton of additional stress on both the shoulder and elbow (Not to mention it is not what could be described as the model of efficiency) so I hope you are very well conditioned and pay particular attention to de-cells.
My take is to get in control of your body and direct all that power and energy you use to re-direct, to flow towards the target…You’ve got a great pitchers physique…that will help you survive if you keep it up.
I believe that the mid-80’s is the most a human body can produce without achieving the most efficient level of mechs…in other words to get beyond that, the whole body has to be involved and going towards the goal…not that guys who throw across their bodies can’t get there…Randy Johnson did it, Bumgardner last night…but they were both very smooth.
You’ve never heard of “The Secret”? Well, let me tell you about it. I learned it many moons ago, before I even got into playing the game.
I used to go to Yankee Stadium—the original ballpark—every chance I got. I would sit in the upper deck behind the plate—as long as I wasn’t stuck behind a pole I could get a great panoramic view of the whole field—and I would watch the pitchers. I watched them in practice, warming up and in games, and I noticed that the Big Three (Vic Raschi, Allie Reynolds and Ed Lopat) were all doing the same thing> They were driving off the lower half of the body, using the legs, the hips and the torso in one continuous (and seamless) motion, and that was how they were generating the power behind their pitches. It seemed that the arm and the shoulder were just going along for the ride, and this took a lot of pressure off said arm and shoulder—even with Lopat, who was definitely not a fireballer.
I saw just how they were doing this, and I made a note of it and began working on it on my own. As I practiced this essential element of good mechanics I found myself doing the same thing they were, and even though I myself was not a fireballer I was throwing harder with less effort. How not to get a sore arm—or a sore elbow or a sore shoulder or a sore anything else!
There are some exercises and drills, such as the “Hershiser” and the crossover drill, which can be found on this website, and you will probably find a few of them useful. Go to it! 8)
JD: Thanks for the help, I play at a JUCO where we dont really have a solid pitching coach and in our program it is essentially do what we can on our own to get better as pitchers. So by all means i appreciate any help you can give and will use it. I have a few questions though,
So are you saying that throwing across my body could actually be good for me or is it hindering my velocity? Im not sure what you mean in that part of your response.
Also that is a good point about my glove side. Do you know any good throwing drills or things I could specifically focus on to help me improve in that area? Things that will help me “redirect and flow towards the target.”
ZITA: I try to use my hips and push of with my legs as much as i can in my delivery. Does it look like im not doing that enough? I have strong legs and will try to incorporate them as much as i can.
Tyler—I watched the fourth game of the World Series the other day, and I saw that Bumgarner (and what a splendid game he pitched!) has a delivery somewhere between 3/4 and sidearm. He was throwing across his body to some extent, and he did it with full control and command of his stuff and everything else. If that’s what you’re doing—if you’re throwing sidearm or close to it—don’t worry about it; you’re doing fine. Just work on getting your whole body into the delivery, and you’ll find that doing this will take a lot of pressure off your arm and shoulder. You might want to do some work with the “Hershiser” drill and the crossover; those two will certainly expedite things for you.
Yes you’ve got little time before before the end of fall season, so I want you to consider what you are doing.
As you deliver these things happen…you land with your foot in the direction of the right hand box…at that time your body has to readjust your arm (sub-conciously) to the target…but your glove side is slinging your entire body towards the 1b line…man!!! You deserve a medal for just getting to college and not getting hurt doing so. Really a tribute to your conditioning…but under college load…very honestly I’m very worried about the toll your current mechs will have…believe me you’ve never dealt with the inning volume you are about to…it will kick all hel l out of you unless you can get more efficient…even as big and strong as you obviously are.
The first thing I’d recommend is that you work on opening up, while keeping the glove side stable. This will get you flowing towards the target.
Without an active coach watching you…one thing at a time ok…a coach can adjust you…just try to get as much film of yourself as possible and work to it incrementally…look, you made it…now to stay there don’t try to move the earth in a day…work on it in drill work, flat ground work, shadow work…try to do it with as little physical impact as you can.
I have some stuff on YouTube search under my name…Workin with Rick ids the title…but also game day college prep (Steven features that one in one of his blogs)…get some ideas and GET TO WORK!!!
Please keep us up on your progress…don’t hesitate to ask more questions.
Thanks JD, you make some good observations. I think that i used to have a problem with opening up too soon and falling off to the first base side worse than i do now so i have developed a stride towards the right handed batters box trying to fix that problem.
What i think i really need to do is fix my stride to be more towards the plate while maintaining a closed shoulder throughout my stride. I think the key will be doing this while keeping my momentum going towards the plate throughout my delivery and not jerking everything towards the first base line.
Thanks for the help, I definitely got some things i know I work on now. Ill try to keep you guys updated on my progress.
I think one of th first things that could improve your overall balance and control is the fact that when you come to your post your leg is crazy high and affects the action of your entire body and balance. This seems to correct most of the time as you come to the plate but when it doesn’t you seem to open too soon and you don’t have good control (looks like you miss high then). Try to correct this so that you don’t have to fight your own balance issues first.
Here is a short slo-mo vid of my son, I want to show you some ways that can get you working on the stable front side with great lower half involvement…as you flow to the target…at this vid (His freshman year he was sitting at 90 at right at 6’ and 175lbs) I’d like you to see how you can get a more plate bound presentation with integrating all that power, still get a good leg lift and keep your front side stable.
The first commandment of developing both throwing speed and bat speed:
Or more specifically the rotational kinetic sequence.
The primary source of velocity is shoulder rotation i.e. the speed of shoulder rotation.
Maximum shoulder rotation speed occurs when the upper body converts lower body rotation to upper body rotation. What’s important understand is that when this occurs the upper body becomes “decoupled” from the lower body i.e. the lower body becomes a static foundation for the upper body to work against.
This is also why the differential angle between lower body and upper body is important i.e. upper body lags behind the lower body.
I don’t have time to create commented video right now other than to make the following observations.
You are doing some critical things well i.e. specifically your arm action.
What I see you suffering most from is you are trying to use your entire body to throw the baseball, your development of segmental momentum transfer is less than optimal. For example when you front foot comes down (plants) the front knee continues to swing open. If you look at high-level pitchers once the front makes firm contact with the ground the front knee (lower body) becomes a static base for the upper body to work against. There is virtually instantaneous transfer of momentum from lower body to upper body that causes the lower body (hip rotation close friend to come to a rapid stop, the stopping occurs primarily because the momentum of the hips has been sucked out (transferred) to the upper body (shoulder rotation).
Your throwing action reminds me of a catapult (a trebuchet):
This catapult is typified by a heavy counterweight on one end attached to a long slender body with a sling on the other end.
You are trying to use the entire body to swing forwards instead of developing upper body rotation. Effects of this is the rising of your hips over the front knee as you are releasing the ball i.e. you are essentially pushing the ball toward home plate. And then the exaggerated follow-through where the entire body is coming up and over the front hip joint.
Trying to push off the rubber is the last thing I would suggest i.e. will just aggravate the swinging problem. Landing to closed is usually not a problem if you are transferring momentum properly i.e. whipping the upper body around the lower body. One of the best examples of someone with a high arm slot who really whips the upper body around the lower body was “early” Tim Lincecum. There are clips of him where he would finish with his back facing home plate i.e. he was almost complete turnaround with his body heading toward the second baseman.
In summary velocity is directly proportional to the speed of upper body rotation. Maximum upper rotation velocity is achieved through the segmental transfer of rotational momentum from lower body to upper body. Maximum transfer of this momentum is typified by each segment giving up its momentum (coming to a rotational stop) resulting in maximum whipping action of the arm.
The following YouTube clip has some very good video of Lincecum.
I do not endorse the mechanics analysis. Parts of the analysis have some merit but in total there is many statements that I believe are in error. For example the statement that was comes extra rotation is 65° isn’t totally error ( how they measure extra rotation is totally bogus).
What I would like you to take away from these clips is how Lincecum transfers momentum from the lower body to the upper body i.e. sequential rotation and the violence of rotation of the upper body.
An observation that I don’t think many people make is with a high arm slot you have to curve the spine as you are releasing the baseball. By curvinf the spine I mean changing axis of shoulder rotation such that it points more towards first-base (for right-handed pitcher). If you don’t do this is virtually impossible to efficiently rotate the shoulders around spine. this is why trying to keep the head upper body going straight toward home plate as you release the baseball is a velocity killer i.e. you had a pushing the baseball because you have to disconnect from rotation of the shoulders in order to keep the head going straight toward home plate. Simply stated the higher the arm slot the more the head has to move toward first base (for right-handed pitcher) as the ball is being released.
Paul, first…nice look…very interesting comments
Second, could you then explain the role you feel the bottom half has? The statement seems incomplete…if the statement stands alone then a pitcher “should” be able to stand like say a Jeff Bagwell and just rotate into the 90’s…you know I’m not a Mills follower but mo has to be in there by my reconning…
Where would you suggest Tall here, with no apparent competent “on the ground” instruction, move foward with his development?
Wow thanks alot guys. JD and Coachxj, you give me alot to think about and work on here. Im going to have to try and break this down and start working on all of those little things piece by piece and hopefully i can have it together by the spring. Thats an excellent analysis and you guys see a lot i wouldnt see on my own, at least now I can reference back to this post to make my adjustments.