THIS IS A POST FROM DICK MILLS
Momentum Pitching With “Pump and Drive” Described permalink
Myself and my coauthor Dr. Brent Rushall made a discovery recently on how to improve pitching velocity by increasing forward momentum. This technique I now refer to as Momentum Pitching.
When done correctly it will increase a pitcher’s stride length to a minimum of 100% of his height instead of 90% minimum which was previously recommended . I have had success getting pitchers to stride over a foot beyond the height of their body. This added stride length is an indication of their momentum and speed of movement…the two most important elements for improving velocity.
This technique allows the build up of more kinetic energy (movement energy) that converts to more elastic energy upon landing. This stretching out of the pitcher’s body like a huge rubber band produces elastic energy and is how the body “sling shots” the arm into ball release at very fast speeds.
You can now accurately say that velocity is produced before the pitching arm even moves because this energy is stored once the pitcher lands. After landing it is released.
Besides more velocity production, control can also be improved because pitchers will be landing on a flexed leg and will be closer to the plate.
It will also reduce the risk of arm injuries because the pitcher’s body will be doing much more of the work in producing energy. Currently too many pitchers are trying to gain velocity with their arms when the role of the arm is for control only.
If a pitcher currently has good mechanics and has good posture and balance there is no reason not to have him use this technique…whether the season is in full swing or not. Do not wait for the season to be over. When done properly and smoothly this should easily add a minimum of 5 mph to a pitcher’s fastball. Some may go above 10 mph.
Remember what kills pitching velocity today is hesitation. Much of this is the result of emphasizing a “balance point” and doing all sorts of foolish drills. There is no such point to get to in the delivery. A pitcher is either balanced or he is not.
The point to get to is landing as fast as possible and in a good mechanically sound position. This is why you must use a camcorder for “every” lesson with your son. I video tape every lesson with every pitcher including professional pitchers so I know whether we are making progress or not. If you are trying to guess you will lose.
Also the first thing I do at every lesson is draw the mid-line from the ball of the pitcher’s foot to the plate. I want the pitcher to land on the line or to the open side of the line but not ever across the line. We want to make sure there is room to fully rotate the hips and trunk.
I also draw a line where the pitcher lands and then a line at 100% stride length. That 100% stride length is the minimum goal but I usually want much more depending on the level of the pitcher. I continue to check the pitcher’s stride length throughout each lesson as well as his landing position and his posture. There should be no leaning to one side or the other. That is not acceptable and reduces velocity and control.
Explosive Pitching is still a sound method of pitching. I believe Momentum Pitching simply adds a turbo-charge effect and is more advanced for producing velocity. If you don’t want to change what you are doing then that is your personal choice. But this is “the” only way to improve velocity. I know of no other way.
I will soon be providing a DVD on this new method and hope to have it ready by mid April.
Here is a description of Momentum Pitching with “pump and drive”:
The key to increasing velocity is maximizing forward momentum using a new "step back"technique where the pitcher steps straight back as far as he can while staying under control. Most pitchers today use a small start step back or many more take a small step to the side.
I call this “step back” technique “pump and drive” where the pitcher starts in a slightly bent over position with his foot on the back side of the rubber. He then takes a big step back while at the same time lifting his hands up to a comfortable height.
I refer to this new style of pitching as Momentum Pitching. This is a natural style that was used by many pitchers decades ago such as Nolan Ryan, Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson…all Hall of Fame and high velocity pitchers. They all did this naturally because they felt it allowed their bodies to build momentum going toward the plate.
Taking a short step to the side or back does not help the pitcher gain forward momentum which is the most important element for improving pitching velocity. You can see on the video How To Analyze Any Pitcher’s Mechanics that Matt Kinney would easily add another 5 mph to his velocity.
Most pitchers today are trying to gain velocity much too late in the delivery and thereby end up using their arm too much.
This new Momentum Pitching using the “pump and drive” technique forces the pitcher to develop momentum as early as possible with the added benefit of starting his body further away from the plate which also improves force production. The further away you can start the mass of an object while producing adequate movement speed the more force that is produced.
The result of this, when done correctly, is that the pitcher will end up with a very long stride, normally much more than 100% of this height…not 90% or less as has been previously recommended.
The faster a pitcher moves into landing and the longer the stride the more kinetic energy gets converted to elastic energy which is the over-riding factor in producing arm speed. This is what whips the arm through at high speed.
From the step back point, where the pitcher drives off the lead foot into the pivot and then the positioning the body sideways to drive away from the rubber is an important transition. This transition must be made smoothly and without hesitation.
In order to accomplish this we recommend that the pitcher not lift his leg higher than waist height. Lifting higher slows forward momentum. Another positioning factor is to have the lead knee when lifted to waist height point half way between home and third (RH pitcher) instead of having the knee pointed at third base. This allows the pitcher to gain more speed of movement into landing as long as he is still leading with his front hip.
This will not cause him to open up too early as most would probably believe as long as the lift leg foot stay positioned under the knee.
The hands can go over the head, up on top of the head or up to the face, chin or chest height. That is a personal thing…whichever is most comfortable. For younger pitchers I would recommend that less is better and more simple.
The key is the timing of this transition so that the hands are coming down to break at the bellybutton as the lift leg is ready to move down from waist height. You don’t want the hands and the lift leg to meet because this will slow things down.
When the lead leg is lifted up make sure the foot remains positioned “under” the lift knee. Then just continue driving sideways to landing. Do not swing the leg out and around.
Upon landing you still want the pitcher with his head between his two feet and you want his back foot to stay on the ground all the way until ball release. Drag the foot.
The head and chest must be in line with or out over the lead knee at ball releases when viewed from the side angle. If it is not this just means the pitcher is moving too slowly. In other words you must get the trunk to rotate up and over the lead leg.
This is what the mechaincs are sopose to look like this kid is a begginer.
I’m going to say wow thats crazy and will not work. Also that is in my oppion going to make you less explosive and I feel that normal pitching ways are better then that as long as you move the momentum and rotate fast