dragging your foot

do you prefer to drag your toe/foot or not? it seems if i drag my foot, i have more control over the ball, but i have to think about dragging it, usually my leg will pull up in the air, and im more wild

thats probably because when you think about your foot you aim the ball. do you have signifiant velocity difference when you do so?

umm, seems like it might be slower, but im not on a mound or anything, just on a flat sidewalk/street

[quote=“sgp86”]… but im not on a mound or anything, just on a flat sidewalk/street[/quote]I wouldn’t take anything about control from your practice on flat ground and concrete or asphalt. If you transition from that environment to a mound with dirt, everything changes. Also, don’t make the dragging of the back foot a goal. It should be a result of the totality of your mechanics from a mound.

I think dm nailed it. If that back foot lifts off the ground instead of dragging, it can be an indicator of another issue - specifically the head and shoulders getting out front too soon. When that happens, you’re not in a position to fully utilize the body to throw. But it would take seeing some video to figure out the cause.

EDIT: I should clarify that when I talk about the back foot lifting off the ground I mean “before the ball is released”. The foot will, of course, lift off the ground during the follow through.

4pie…please explain how thinking about the drag foot causes aiming the ball…Jim Bibby, a former lynchburg red sox pitching coach and world series winner for pittsburg taught dragging the foot to throw a changeup.


Do you agree with that teach?

As a college player we learned the drag to slow the forward momentum.
Jim is a favorite of mine for personal reasons but once I learned more about teaching the craft I stayed with the “always keep the motion /arm speed the same but change the grip/pressure to fool the batter” philosophy

I agree with you whole heartedly about dragging the back foot. back in the 1950’s I had a high school coach teach us pitchers to drag the back foot when throwing the change up to assist in slowing the speed on the ball cause the batter would be concentrating on our hand and release point. (Seemed to work for us too!)
:smiley: Bill

The thing is, many of the top pitchers drag their back foot even when they’re throwing 90+ on their fastball. If dragging the back foot truly takes something off the pitch, then that says all of the 90+ guys should really be throwing 100+. But I don’t think so.

roger…good point about the big league pitchers. To bring up a past post discussion maybe the dick mills pull off technique would give those pitchers that extra speed. I’ve hesitated to change a pitcher who leaves a foot long toe/drag mark. With the landing foot lower than the trail foot on a regulation mound the drag seems inevitable. I wonder if pass catchers slow down on the sideline catch with their 2 foot drag.

FWIW, Tom House says the length and direction of the pitcher’s drag line are indicators of mechanical efficiency. The presence of a drag line is an indicator that the head and shoulders were stacked into release (back foot has to stay down for the head and shoulders to stay up). A longer drag line indicates the amount of momentum. The direction of the drag line is an indication of the direction of energy. Drag lines that tail off to one side indicate some energy was directed to the side instead of directly at the target.

[quote=“P’fessa”]… maybe the dick mills pull off technique would give those pitchers that extra speed.[/quote]Just as an update, Mills hasn’t been talking about the “pull off” idea for many years now.

Appreciate the detail presented by Tom House, and i agree, thank you Roger. What do you think about observing the dirt remaining on top of the rubber indicating that the final, let me say, push, placed it there. When the push is in contact with the top one-half of the rubber there is less dirt opposed to the push of the dirt when not against the rubber. Any thoughts?

Can’t say I’ve ever thought about the dirt deposited on top of the rubber by the pitcher pushing off. And I’m not sure if there is dirt deposted there by every pitcher. Are you saying you’ve witnessed this?

I guess I don’t feel that there should be dirt deposted on top of the rubber because I am of the opinion that there isn’t really much of a push off that late in the delivery. I believe there is a small sideways push with the side of the foot against the front of the rubber early in the delivery to help initiate momentum. But momentum then takes over as the stride leg sweeps forward. Right before foot plant, the hips usually need to open up and that usually requires the back foot to turn over. And, at this point, I feel momentum is pulling the back foot away from the rubber while it is turning over.

So, if a pitcher is building up a good amount of momentum, then there should be no “flick” of the foot to kick up any dirt. At least, that’s what I think should happen. I’ll have to watch for this.

The only way to really see it is while standing next to the pitcher. It occurs at the end of the pivot during the drag/push part of the action. As we know most amateur mounds do not have the dirt compacted as well as with the pros. When the hole in front of the rubber increases, without being re-filled and tamped the pitcher ends up pushing against the dirt which moves as opposed to the firm rubber. The rear footprint tells a story as does the drag line.

i have noticed that when i pitch my drag line is usaly longer than the other pitchers. also i get blisters every now and then on the side of my toe on my push off foot. do u have any tips on how to change my push off maybe?

A longer drag line is generally a good thing as it indicates you had a good amount of momentum that pulled you well off the rubber. You haven’t given me a reason to change anything.

i thought that the blisters where maybe caused by dragging my foot too much.

the blisters are caused from rubbing inside the shoe. The long drag is ok to do and helps control most of the time because you are on one foot and balanced by the toe.