Dave's Pitching. Something's off but not sure what. Video

For starts Dave is 13 5’6 145. He has great control is able to paint corners well, and is almost always close to knee high in the strike zone. In 22 games last season only a handful of hits off him were solid line drive hits to the outfield. Most were back to the pitcher, or routine ground balls. He throw his fastball, varies the speed a bit, a change up, and a cutter. He gets some real nice movement on his cutter, really surprised me.

In my opinion to my sort of untrained eye, I think he needs more push off from his back leg, and a longer stride. But yet something else looks to be missing and I’m not sure what. Also what are some effective ways to get him to lengthen his stride while still keeping his balance?

Anyway please take a look and advise of any improvements.

Also he pitches really fast paced. He makes Mark Buehrle look like he’s taking his sweet time. Something I should correct, or let him be because he is effective?

Thanks

i dont know much about mechanics but it is obvious he uses all arm and he should use his lower body more like push off his back leg not off the rubber leg so thats what i see hope it helps

like u said he could also take a little longer stride and also maybe tuck the glove for more velocity

Two things should help. First, to improve his stide have him lead with his
stride leg hip. He can do this by feeling that push or effort in his post leg hip. This should lengthen his stride nicely as well as keep his weight back, but make sure he gets his chest over his lead leg as he finishes.
Second, when he throws he is not getting his arm up. When he delivers the balll his elbow is below his shoulder. Look at the numerous clips of
pitchers on this site. As they bring their arms through external rotation their elbow is even with the shoulder. It makes no difference what their body angle is. What may help him is to “reach for the sky” as he delivers the ball. To get the ball down, you must get it up first.

Dave’s dad:
After I posted a reply I relooked at the clips. One final thought to try. In addition to getting the ball up, have him try and release the ball more out in front. If you try these suggestions, I’d be interested in how they work out.

Thats one thing that gets me when analyzing his throw. Yes the ball DOES appear to be coming out early and you would think the pitches would be way high, but they aren’t. All 4 of those pitches were between the middle thigh and the top of the batter’s knees. He has better than average velocity. Was clocked last February cold at 63, and he is throwing a lot harder now. So I would guestimate he is right around the 70 mark, as a lot of hitters have a hard time catching up to him.

The more I look at his stride length in the video it looks like his stride is about 80% as long as he is tall. Not saying he couldn’t stretch it out a little more. I definitely think he needs more push off. He seems to finish the pitch well. Just something seems to be lacking.

As far as his arm position when throwing, he says he gets less discomfort in his arm throwing at that lower angle. I used to urge him to throw more over the top, but after a couple short innings of throwing he says his arm hurts too much. Now he does 3-4 innings and is in much less pain.

I think Dave could improve the following areas:

(1) I think he lacks momentum. Get the hips moving toards the target a tiny bit sooner and faster.

(2) I think his glove is a little soft. He never gets it up in front - keeps it low and lets it drop. I’d rather see him get the glove up higher and keep it out there bringing the chest to the glove.

(3) I suspect he may lack strength in his low back. Most pitchers get into the position shown in this picture
http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/photo?slug=61c5c5756c8d48569b766340de07130b.rays_jays_baseball_cptm105&prov=ap
right after shoulder rotation and before or about the same time the arm whips forward. Specifically, the head is stacked above the shoulders and the low back is arched to keep the upper torso upright. It takes flexibility in the low back to get into this position and it takes strength in the low back to maintain this position for a moment. Dave’s upper torso seems to flex forward immediately. The soft glove may also be contributing to this.

The person who noted that Dave seems to be using all arm has a very good point. When I used to go to Yankees games as a kid, I noticed that the Big Three pitchers (Raschi, Reynolds and Lopat) were all doing one thing—they were driving off the lower half of the body, using the legs, the hips and the torso in a continuous, seamless motion to generate the power behind their pitches, and in so doing they were taking a lot of pressure off the arm and the shoulder. I picked up on this and worked around with it, and Lopat helped me refine this move. I’m sure that if Dave starts doing this he too will take a lot of the pressure off his arm and shoulder and probably increase his velocity into the bargain.

I see what you mean by someing’s off. The only thing else I notice besides what everyone has suggested is to have Dave work on more forceful hip rotation, late torso rotation and trunk flexion. Along with their proper sequencing. Finally, his glove arm is too low on delivery. The elbows need to be in line towards the plate.

[quote=“Roger”]I think Dave could improve the following areas:

(1) I think he lacks momentum. Get the hips moving toards the target a tiny bit sooner and faster.

(2) I think his glove is a little soft. He never gets it up in front - keeps it low and lets it drop. I’d rather see him get the glove up higher and keep it out there bringing the chest to the glove.

(3) I suspect he may lack strength in his low back. Most pitchers get into the position shown in this picture
http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/photo?slug=61c5c5756c8d48569b766340de07130b.rays_jays_baseball_cptm105&prov=ap
right after shoulder rotation and before or about the same time the arm whips forward. Specifically, the head is stacked above the shoulders and the low back is arched to keep the upper torso upright. It takes flexibility in the low back to get into this position and it takes strength in the low back to maintain this position for a moment. Dave’s upper torso seems to flex forward immediately. The soft glove may also be contributing to this.[/quote]

  1. Probably the lack of momentum is what I’m seeing. Would this mainly get fixed from a stronger push off from the rubber?

  2. Glove position I have been talking to him about, trying to get him to do a more pull in and down to motivate his throwing arm more with more trunk rotation. He listens to me somewhat, but usually takes suggestions better from his coaches, so I’ll try to get them to burn it into him.

  3. Is going to be a tough one for him to break. All the years he has been pitching every coach preaches to “Bend Your Back” That he should almost be able to pick up dirt on his follow through. Not sure of his back strength at this point, and he is pretty flexible. May just be he doesn’t know how to use it. Sounds like it may really be time for some professional help. because I’m not sure I know how to effectively teach him this, and I know his coaches don’t since they have been preaching the bend your back thing all this time.

This is something I have been telling him for a while. I tell him he needs more push off. he tells me he is, and we go back and forth. I try to get him to use his body instead of his arm. He has gotten better actually, but has a long way to go I think.

Anything I can do to sort of measure how much force he is using for push off?

No. Pushing off with the back foot will likely disrupt his timing. Instead, have him lift his knee a bit higher and push his hips sideways towards home plate sooner and faster. He needs to get his center of mass “moving” with head and shoulders slightly behind the front hip into foot plant.

Don’t pull the glove. Once it extends out front, it should stay out front somewhere over the front foot while the body moves to it. Pulling the glove can lead to early shoulder rotation which leads to inconsistancy and puts more stress on the arm. Actually, I didn’t see him pulling the glove in the video. He extends it out front but pretty low and then he lets it drop.

As a general teach, the “bend the back” teach is a cookie-cutter teach, IMO. Would you have a side-arm thrower grab some dirt? I dare you to tell Randy Johnson he needs to grab some dirt. :stuck_out_tongue: Pitchers with low arm slots finish in a different position than pitchers with higher arm slots.

Now, maybe in your son’s case, the coaches noticed he was finishing too upright. In that case, they probably noticed a symptom of a problem earlier in the delivery. But the “bend the back” teach puts focus on the wrong thing. What ever is happening earlier in the delivery that was leading to the upright finish is what needed to be fixed - not the finish itself. A lack of momentum could very well be the culprit.

off topic so not mechanic stuffs

it looks like he doesnt wanna pitch, get an attitude up there! intimidate those batters. all the little things help!

What concerns me about Dave is that he is throwing all arm and Dave’sdad confirmed this analysis in his quote.

Much less pain? I recommend at his age pain should not be in his vocabulary.

I overcame a torn rotator cuff injury in college to make it to Pro Ball. What I learned was what caused my injury. The reason is why 99% of young ball players have arm injury. This is separation in the back hip to back shoulder. If you look at Dave’s video you will see when his back hip opens to the plate his back shoulder is traveling with it. This is an example of poor back hip to back shoulder separation. I hate to mention injury to parents but I would say Dave is putting to much stress on his arm because of this mechanical flaw.

The reason this puts more stress on the arm is because without good back hip to back shoulder separation the majority torque is in the shoulder of the throwing arm. With good separation the torque is majority in the core. Tim Lincuem calls this tighting his rubber band.

I spoke of this issue more in depth on this thread
http://www.letstalkpitching.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=7952&start=12

How to develop more separation? Good separation is the effect of good lower half momentum and scap loading. This means Dave needs to perform momentum drills for the lower half and loading drills for his core.

Ya know the one impression I had with the video was that he acted like he was in pain or attempting not to be in pain. Please have him checked top to bottom, have an mri, even request they inject dye if it shows nothing, his shoulders and posture are just not right. I just couldn’t get over that nagging feeling that he looked hurt and I really didn’t want to bring it up.
The text that Top Velo brought out just smacks me and I can’t not say it.
Lowering to relieve pain just bolsters it.

[quote=“RodriGueZ”]off topic so not mechanic stuffs

it looks like he doesnt wanna pitch, get an attitude up there! intimidate those batters. all the little things help![/quote]

He has that look for everything he does. He has always been very shy. Which is why I’m still surprised he really enjoys pitching, being the center of attention. Rarely does he show any emotion. He has confidence in what he does, but he doesn’t show it, actually when I talk to him he is actually quite cocky with his abilities, but does understand he has a lot to learn. I’m glad I’m not the only one that notices it. BUT While other kids tense up and stress when a ball gets hit their way, Dave stays calm cool and collected and just makes it happen.

As far as him looking like he is in pain in the video, he always looks like he is troubled. He is real good about telling anyone if he’s tired or sore. (He also usually catches for 2-3 innings a game too)

What I meant about the being in less pain or discomfort when he dropped his arm slot down, was that previously his coaches were really pushing him to be more over the top with his throws. They were trying to push him to throw in a position he wasn’t comfortable with . I guess I shouldn’t have said much less pain, just gets tired now from pitching and catching.

I agree he uses more arm than body. I’ll get him and get his coaches to start working on some momentum drills for him.

These are ALL great comments and gives me allot to look for in his form, AND more detail to get some private instruction going in the right direction early on.

He’s a very coachable kid, and seems to have a very open mind to critsism.

do you have any pictures,examples,or insctruction…i would love to do these but I dont know how

The momentum drills I coach use resistance tubing and a harness around the hips. You start in the stretch position and perform your delivery stopping at separation while someone holds the tubing towards second base. The focus is to lead with the hips and drive with your lower half while scap loading your shoulders.

[[Link edited by Admin. In the future, please post the pitching drills you’re referring to on the forums, not as a promotional link for your products.]]

You bring this up in about 85% of your posts.