Disconnect Correction


#1

My younger brother’s high school season just completed yesterday and is getting into his summer ball season in the next 2 weeks. Over these next 2 weeks I just want to polish some things up that I’ve noticed over the last 2 months. His season had its up and downs, but his downs were simply him beating himself. Not getting ahead of hitters was a big problem. He got himself into sometimes up to 6, 3-ball counts over a start, and it is demoralizing to fight back into that count and that baserunner gets on in any way.

Simply put, we wasn’t get rocked and was not overmatched. His command to throw strikes wasn’t there. The correction I want to make is not to hit spots; it’s to get him to understand the intent and tempo he needs to have every pitch to throw the ball hard over the plate. In his last start, he struck out the side in the 4th. His intent to throw the ball by kids went way up; his fastball had to be 5 mph up from the inning before. His curveball had a different bite to it. I want him to have that every inning.

Mechanically, I wonder about his ability to throw strikes; or for what I want him to do, consistently throw the ball over the plate. I think the combination of some lower half disconnect (being front hip dominant) with some pulling glove action results in a posture disconnect. He releases the ball from a high arm slot. As his forearm gets vertical before external rotation, his trunk pulls hard to his glove side. Is that a disconnect or is that his body making way for his over-the-top arm slot? He windmills a bit, and could get more forward rotation or late launch.

I want to lose the postural disconnect. Improving his lower half, mainly through better tempo and making him aware of how he could move his glove side more efficiently should help the disconnects before release. I want him to forwardly rotate into the plate, not into the first base dugout.

How do I make this correction?


#2

Here’s a video from Feburary that shows the disconnect I’m talking about:


#3

You ask, “Is this a disconnect or is it his body making way for his over-the-top arm slot?” It could be both. A lot of pitchers are throwing from an arm slot that may not be the right one for them, for whatever reason—so I would suggest that he consult a good pitching coach and have this checked out, perhaps to see if a change to a lower slot—such as 3/4—might help. And he should review “The Secret”, which I have spoken of so often—review it and, especially practice it. The combination of these two elements may just help straighten out this so-called disconnect. Good luck.

Goddess of the Slider


#4

Does he always use a slide step like in the video?


#5

We went to a stretch-no leg lift stance before the season to help improve his direction, alignment, overall control of his body. And it really helped.

Of course his high school coach got him right back into a windup-full leg lift delivery. With his size and constant growing he has a hard time being consistent because of the constant change in his body.

Sometimes you just have to adjust to your coaches. He doesn’t need to be arguing with him about his delivery. So now he is in a windup-full leg lift delivery but the emphasis now is on tempo which is the real reason why he has some directional and lack of control in his movements anyways.


#6

Question is: Is tilt, trunk position, arm slot or a combination of these an area of concern?


#7

I wouldn’t consider arm slot an issue because it is a byproduct of tilt/trunk position. I am a firm believer of House’s philosophy: Take care of posture, let arm slot happen.

In your brother’s case, I would consider posture a concern because it happens before ball release. It results in a misdirection of energy and can possibly lead to early shoulder rotation. The tilt also has the effect of raising and pulling back the release point which can make it more difficult to keep the ball down in the zone and to put good spin on breaking pitches.


#8

In his case I think a more efficient back to front stride that also moves faster would be beneficial. As well as a cleaner glove action. What can I do about his hard leaning posture to his glove side? Something that moves his energy more direct to the plate…


#9

In the video above, it does look like he “stays back” and never gets out over the front leg although it is hard to be sure from a rear view. So I’d agree with your weight shift comment. I can’t really see his glove action so I have no comment on that.

As for the lean, I’m wondering if staying behind and never getting over the front leg causes the front leg to act like a wedge that blocks him from continuing forward and instead makes him spin out. I’d be inclined to have him get his butt moving earlier and keep his front leg closed off longer instead of just (slide)stepping forward. Consider the NPA’s Hershiser drill and Crossover drill. (Committing your butt in the right direction early in the delivery can help with directional issues, too.) Give this some time to settle in and then see what effect it has on posture.

One other thing I see in the video above is that he comes set with a slight bend in his knees but a very upright torso. Then, his first movement is to hunch forward (i.e. bend forward at the waist) towards 3B. This is his body adjusting into a posture of strength. But it is also unwanted and unnecessary movement in a direction other than towards the target. And I suppose it could also be contributing to the tilt because bending forward (towards 3B) sends some of his weight in that direction for which he has to compensate. If that’s where his body wants to be have him come set in that position (i.e. with some bend in the waist). That way he doesn’t have to inject that movement into his delivery during his delivery.


#10

Everything you just said makes complete sense. It’s a combination of posture, lead leg dominance, not enough momentum, spinning off because the rotation has to come from the upper half.