I’ve seen a lot of major league pitchers lift their leg far above their hip. Guys like Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens and especially Bronson Arroyo. It’s not that I’m looking to emulate any pitching mold, I’ve just wondered. My fastball is in the low 70s and I am 18 years old with most of my friends pitching a little faster than me. I place my fastballs really well but I still get hit. Low outside low inside, up high and just plain on the corners. Yesterday, 4 IP…9 H…8 ER…0 BB…2 HR…2 SO…1 HB. I’m not embarrassed by those numbers because I know that I am better than that and everyone has their days. But what I would love is to at least get my fastball in at least the mid 70s if not the high 70s. Plenty of long toss strengthens the arm, that much I know. But even my pitching coach has talked about a higher leg lift for a little more velocity. Is this true? I thought that I read something about it on here once, but I didn’t pay it that much attention.
Yeah, it really helped me. My leg lift barely came to my hip, so I highered it a lot. I got more velocity on my fastball, but you have to get used to it, it took me a few bullpen sessions to get it down. When I first raised my leg left I was pretty wild. Another thing I do is move forward before I reach the top of my leg lift (like Roy Oswalt). That helps too.
but then how do you explain guys using shorter lifts from the stretch and not losing any velocity from the windup?
Well who’s to say that they wouldn’t gain a few MPH on their fastball if they lifted their leg instead? There’s a good chance that they have more explosive hips than I do and have a better physique.
Nolan Ryan claimed he threw harder when he lifted his leg higher. My opinion is that the higher leg lift helps create a little more momentum which, in turn, contributes to velocity. But, the knee lift needs to fit timing-wise into your delivery otherwise, it might actually interfere with velocity.