Drills to Bring Back Leg Over


#1

Hi all.

I’m starting back up pitching work with my 11 year-old son, and I’ve noticed some problems with his finish. Fortunately, he is bending the back and letting the throwing hand finish between the knee and ankle; but he seems resistant to allow the back foot and leg to roll over and be pulled off the mound and swung around.

Are there some good drills that will allow him to feel how this is done correctly? I’ve just been letting him try to bring it over on his own. Sometimes it looks good. Most of the time it looks awkward and forced.

Thanks.


#2

The back leg follow through is a non-teach. Instead, use it as an indicator of things that happened earlier in the delivery. If the back leg isn’t coming through like you think it should, maybe your son lacks momentum down the hill. Or maybe he’s got a posture and balance issue tha pulls him off to the side thereby preventing a good finish.

Figure out what’s wrong earlier in the delivery and fix that.


#3

My son had a similar issue when he was younger. He would drag his back foot vs. letting it come up and over. The drill we used to correct this was what I called the “bucket drill”. When standing in the stretch position, I would place a bucket about 6 inches or so in front of him, centered to his body. He would pitch with the bucket there and would have to lift his back leg up and over the bucket during follow through. If he didn’t it his leg/foot would hit the bucket. It didn’t take long using this drill for him to get the idea.

The following link is to a video of someone doing this drill. However, I would only use one bucket and have it closer to him.


#4

lacks momentum down the hill.

what he said


#5

Be careful with the bucket drill. The back foot typically pops up in a slot that mimics the arm slot so trying to force it to arbitrarily do something different might not be beneficial and could be harmful.

Also, not only is the back leg finish a non-teach, so is the upper half finish. Trying to get pitchers to finish with a flat back isn’t appropriate for all pitchers. It might be appropriate for pitchers that throw over the top but not necessarily for pitchers that throw sidearm.

In general, anything that happens after ball release is a non-teach.


#6

Great insight! Thank you!

[quote=“Plaz”]lacks momentum down the hill.

what he said[/quote]

You guys are probably right. Due to weather, most of our work has been either in doors at home or out in the cul-de-sac, which is flat-ground pitching work. I’ll be sure to make a comparison once we finally get on a mound to see if this area of his finish improves.

We have been doing the rocker drill a lot this week, and I have noticed improvement in bringing the back leg over. Now that I now it is a momentum issue, I can essentially tell him that when the back leg doesn’t come over it is an effort issue. :slight_smile:


#7

No, not necessarily an effort issue, a momentum issue. These are different.
Momentum is associated with drive down the hill and with the shoulders turning and arm finish bringing the back leg around due to momentum.

He may be exerting all the effort he has, but if the drive isn’t there, the momentum down the hill will be lacking.


#8

I would say fall is a better term then drive. Drive usually means push off the rubber, which I dont like. The Hershire drill will help with fall, although its easier said then done.


#9

To me, it’s not a drive/push-off like I think many people think based on what they see the back leg doing with the naked eye. But it’s also not just a fall because I feel gravity doesn’t push you enough to get going as fast as I think you need to go.

So, to me, it’s a sideways push against the ground/rubber to aggressively initiate movement down the hill. The muscle activation for this is in the side of the back hip. Once this sideways puch has taken place, there is no more push with the back leg except possibly for some plantar flexion right before the back foot turns over.


#10

[quote=“Roger”]
So, to me, it’s a sideways push against the ground/rubber to aggressively initiate movement down the hill. The muscle activation for this is in the side of the back hip. Once this sideways punch has taken place, there is no more push with the back leg except possibly for some plantar flexion right before the back foot turns over.[/quote]

I have the Power Drive Pitching Mound, see below.

http://baseball.epicsports.com/images/detail/23853/view.html

Does it teach what you’re referring to? If not, is this something that my son can feel his way through on his own doing the Hershiser or wall drill?

Thanks for all your help, guys!


#11

I have no experience with that product but I don’t care for what I’ve seen of it on the Internet. It seems to require you to manipulate the back leg to tilt the platform forward and get into a position where you can push off using the big muscles of the back leg. One problem I have with that is that while you’re busy doing that, your center of mass is stalled over the platform. The other problem I have is the pitchers’ back legs maintain some bend indicating there isn’t really a push with the large movers.

The Hershiser drill and the towel drill can be used to work on getting your butt moving early and fast. The towel drill, of course, provides immediate feedback.


#12

Do you a link to the towel drill you are referring to? There seem to be so many towel drills in baseball, I want to make sure he’s doing the correct one. Thanks!


#13

There are lots of misconceptions about the towel drill. It is not about extension. And it is not about snapping down. It is about putting together the sequencing, mechanics and timing that results in a release point that is out in front. Messing up any one part of the delivery will cause you to miss the target - that’s where the instant feedback comes in.


#14

Roger,

Thanks for that link. We have been doing that drill now for several days and it seems to be helping quite a bit!


#15

:allgood:

The feedback is the best part of the drill. Missing the target left or right is usually a posture issue. Missing short is usually a glove issue or a lack of momentum. Of course, there can always be multiple issues at play at the same time.

On the other hand, hitting the target affords you the opportunity to pay attention to what it felt like when you put it all together.


#16

Now that my son has been doing the NPA Towel drill for a while, I had some follow up questions:

When he lifts his leg, I am telling him to pretend his glove and leg work together as a sort of pulley system where the glove goes up and the leg lift follows. Is this a good idea?

When he lifts his leg, I tell him not to swing it. I saw a post on another forum that said he should swing his leg to leg lift. Which is correct?

Leading with the hip or back pocket is our big focus currently. He has to fight opening it too soon. I think this is normal for his age (11). Is it?

While leading with his hip or back pocket he has a tendency to want to immediately bring his leg back down again. I want him to fall with this hip or back pocket longer to generate more momentum before putting his leg down. Am I correct in this?

Thanks.


#17

[quote=“pcarnette”]Now that my son has been doing the NPA Towel drill for a while, I had some follow up questions:

When he lifts his leg, I am telling him to pretend his glove and leg work together as a sort of pulley system where the glove goes up and the leg lift follows. Is this a good idea?[/quote]
Some coaches/instructors deal with that element of the delivery but I generally don’t as I believe things like the timing and path of the hand movements varies slightly from pitcher to pitcher. The lower half gets the body moving and that determines the timing of the whole delivery. That’s the part I prefer to instruct. The individual elements of the delivery have to fit into the overall timing of the whole delivery and I generally prefer to let each pitcher figure those out.

My opinion is that unless the movement can truly be attributed to some problem, this is a matter of personal style. As such, it’s a non-teach.

I think it does take a certain amount of strength in the body to do this well. But it could also be that he just isn’t used to the feeling of falling down so he needs more reps. It could also be that he’s trying to make too big of an adjustment and needs to dial it back a bit.

I think you are correct but, regarding his tendency, I think that is fairly normal. Again, lots of reps to get comfortable and maybe dial things back a bit. Sometimes it’s better to make multiple small adjustments that one big one.