Drifting

is there a good drill for drifting forward to soon?and my sons leg start to come down and his upperbody goes with it,he will not stay back,any drills for this?

Drifting isn’t a bad thing. Myself and some of the others on this site believe in generating early momentum. Early momentum means getting the center of mass moving toward home plate early - like slightly before the peak of the knee lift. Look at video of pitchers like Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, or Tim Lincecum and you’ll see that by the time their knee lift peaks their hips are already moving toward home plate.

As for the upper half not staying back, there could be a number of contributing factors. Can you post some video?

One of the most common reasons for early commit or drifting as you call it, has to do with the hole usually found in front of the pitcher’s rubber.

I’m gong to shape my answer for a right-handed pitcher, below. Following that I’ll qualify my answer for the south-paw (lefty).

Most pitchers in our game are right handed. Thus their pivot leg/foot, being the right leg/foot is the primary supporter of all their balance and feeling of security while going through the windup … or stretch, prior to delivery.

This being the case, the platform that these pitchers stand on is so very important and contributes to everything that follows … everything.

I can’t impress upon young pitchers and their coaches how this platform - the mound or even flat surface supports or destroys an outing. Especially for the young developing pitcher whose in the learning phase of this sport. Hence, that feeling of stability, controlled movement forward when the youngster is ready for it, does wonders for the learning curve and the enjoyment of day.

Now here’s what happens to make your son commit or … drift … forward before he’s ready. The picture below will show you a hole in front of the pitcher’s rubber that commonly found an ALL public and private ball fields. The problem here is that the youngster’s foot is pitched downward, thus leaning the youngsters weight foward slightly even before he’s/she’s starts their leg lift and strides. So,… as the leg lift starts its motion the youngster starts to tilt slightly forward … then he/she realizes that their really not ready to commit to the stride yet, … then their body’s natural balance mechanism kicks in and try’s to hold them back … just a bit … which in turns upsets the rhythm of their entire progession and concentration of what to do next. AT THIS POINT … their flying blind.

the picture on the left is commonly found for a right-handed pitcher and the pitcher on the right is commonly for a right-handed pitcher. In other words, the foot is ponted downward. The downward pointing of the foot is caused by the hole made by the repeaded turning of pivot foot by right-handed pitchers and usually slants from right to left.

So, if your son is right-handed, the next time you see him on the mound or whatever surface he’s pitching off of, take special note of the hole that he might be starting off with. Also, notice the hole that his stride leg/foot is landing in. If you look at this stride hole, from the back of the pitcher’s rubber … towards home plate, you’ll probabily notice it to is slightly off to the RIGHT of center, which explains a lot of the early commit … drifting … of other pitchers that perform before and after your son’s appearance that day.

Now for lefty’s … lefty’s don’t seem to have much of a problem here due to the slant of these holes going in the opposite direction. In other words the slant of these holes is facing up … not down. Hence, much of their early balance and security feeling is supported back just a bit, instead of tilting forward like the right-handed guys.

A simple garden iron rake can be brought to the park and used to rake up the mound or even out and fill the hole on the surface. Then, stomp down with the cleats or footgear. And by the way, don’t be shy about bringing an iron garden rake with you to a game and doing this yourself. After all, this is about safety and your son’s well being … not to mention the safety and well being of the kid up to bat with only a plastic helment for protection … with a so-so fit, and with limited practice on how to avoid wild pitches.

Coach B.