Drive from your legs?

I have some questions about the Leg drive part of the motion. I throw pretty hard for my age junior in HS 83-85, (fast hand speed) But I am very inconsistent.

   I don't really understand how to use my height (6'5), and the plane of the mound to drive down.

  I always thought that by extending your stride as long as possible, that I could get more power out of my legs, but I hear this stuff about late hip rotation or something. My coach tells me to land on a firm front foot, and throw through the catcher.

Could someone post some pictures of pitchers using their height, and leg drive?

Also could i get an explanation about the hip separation thing?

Thanks,
Dan

[quote=“pgp_dan”]
Also could i get an explanation about the hip separation thing?[/quote]

Ok, I think I can help you on this one.

Hip/Shoulder separation, is achieved when you rotate your hips well before the shoulders. To gain velocity you should first rotate the hips, and then the shoulder will come to square up with the target.

To help illustrate this, here is a photo of Fossum doing this (keep in mind that he is the extreme, it’s quite difficult to get such separation):

See how his hips are well turned already, and still his shoulder is still closed? His belly button is facing the target while his chest is still facing the camera.
This is hip and shoulder separation.

Hey, Im 6’5 too and I am on the opposite end of the sprectrum, I dont stride very far, but I keep my stride short and that way I can use leverage to open my hips and get on top of the baseball and drive it down, its all what feels comfortable for you.

Here’s a picture of me: to illustrate[/quote]

That doesn’t look like a short stride to me. I think it looks to be a good length. But I’ll agree that you don’t appear to have a lot of hip and shoulder separation - at least not at the point that picture was taken.

Roger, what does good hip shoulder seperation look like at the point of Rtusks picture and what kind of drills teach this, does the knee drill work on Hip shoulder seperation?

I’m concerned about the throwing arm position at this point in the motion. He’s landed already but the arm is still at horizontal.

In Rtusks’ picture, the stride foot is planted and appears to be pointing at the target. At the same time, the back foot has turned over. These are the ingredients necessary to let the hips open up. So, with good hip and shoulder separation, I’d expect to see the hips be more squared up to the target than in Rtusk’ picture while the shoulders remain closed. The famous Fossum picture shows an extreme case of hip and shoulder separation - most people can’t get that much separation.

As for drills, yes, the knee drill lets you practice torquing the shoulders back (i.e. closing) while keeping the hips opened up. The NPA’s mirror drill also allows the same. Any drill that lets you practice separating the hips and shoulders as far as you can in a controlled, safe manner will help you improve flexibility in the torso.

OK thanks

If one delays shoulder rotation as long as possible, then aren’t we really concerned about arm position at the point the shoulders begin to rotate as opposed to the point when the stride foot plants? Could there be enough time between foot plant and shoulder rotation to cock the arm?

[quote=“Roger”]If one delays shoulder rotation as long as possible, then aren’t we really concerned about arm position at the point the shoulders begin to rotate as opposed to the point when the stride foot plants? Could there be enough time between foot plant and shoulder rotation to cock the arm?[/quote]I would actually question the wisdom of saying that we should delay shoulder rotation as long as possible. The shoulders typically are recommended to start rotation AT footplant, not after. A pause between footplant and shoulder rotation would not be the proper timing to make use of the effective transfer of momentum from the hip rotation to the shoulders. A dissipation of this energy would result. What would happen between footplant and shoulder rotation?

just a quick question do any of the big name instructors like Mills and House talk about delaying shoulder rotation or hip/shoulder seperation? and if so which ones?

Roger could tell us about House. Nyman talks about hip/shoulder separation. As far as Mills is concerned, he agrees that it is a part of the equation but he doesn’t believe it can be taught, especially with drills. His philosophy is that, if you keep your hips closed as long as possible during the stride and begin shoulder rotation upon landing and no earlier, that the hip/shoulder separation will take care of itself.

I was wondering if you were going to bring up that point. 8) It’s what House teaches but I have also wondered about your concerns. I’ll have to fire off an email to the NPA and ask them about this. I’ll report back what I find out.

The body tracks forward to a position out over a firm front leg. At foot plant, your plant foot is typically out in front of everything else. But you don’t throw from that position. Your torso doesn’t stop and rotate at that position. Instead, you track forward a bit (especially if you delay shoulder rotation), the shoulders rotate, and the arm follows. And as the shoulders and arm come around, you continue to track forward.

Yes, Tom House teaches both hip and shoulder separation as well as delayed shoulder rotation. Separation allows you to generate velocity while delayed shoulder separation allows the body to track forward and to get your release point closer to home plate. It also lets you hide the ball a bit longer.

I’ve noticed this “tracking forward” for a while now and just went back to some videos (Clemens, Ryan, Prior, Brown, Wagner and Johnson) and confirmed that it happens “along with” shoulder rotation. Yes, the body must track forward (which is something a lot of amateurs don’t do and end up releasing with the upper body “behind” the front foot) but the shoulders are not staying “north-south” with no action during the tracking. This, as I said before, would not make full use of the stretch reflex. It would negate it actually.

DM, you’re stealing my lines. :wink:

Assuming you’re being serious, I happen to agree that this picture looks problematic. I don’t like that the glove-side foot has landed but the pitching arm side forearm is horizontal. I would prefer that the pitching arm side forearm was much closer to vertical at this point.

It reminds me of this photo of Kerry Wood, who I believe has a habitual problem with rushing (and shoulder problems as a result).

HOWEVER…

This photo may not be as bad as it seems if RTusk is a drop and driver. If he is a drop and driver, then he will stride into his glove-side leg more before starting to turn his shoulders, which will give his pitching arm side forearm more time to get vertical (and give his hips time to rotate farther ahead of his shoulders).

This goes to DM’s frequent comment to me that looking at single frames can be problematic, and the best way to do an analysis is by looking at both stills and video. The video, while lower resolution, will give you a sense of the timing, tempo, and sequencing of a pitcher’s motion.

I don’t think this photo shows great hip/shoulder separation at this moment. However, he may achieve it in just a moment.

House does, and it’s one area where he and I are in complete agreement.

I’m not sure if Mills does. He certainly doesn’t seem to emphasize it.

House does, and it’s one area where he and I are in complete agreement.

I’m not sure if Mills does. He certainly doesn’t seem to emphasize it.[/quote]
Chris,

If you agree with House on the delayed shoulder rotation, what would be your response to DM’s statement about delayed shoulder rotation negating the use of the stretch reflex? Or, why do you agree with delaying shoulder rotation?

Regarding delaying shoulder rotation:[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]House does, and it’s one area where he and I are in complete agreement.

I’m not sure if Mills does. He certainly doesn’t seem to emphasize it.[/quote]Mills recommends shoulder rotation upon landing, not before but I don’t recall him ever saying that shoulder rotation should be delayed beyond that. Regarding hip / shoulder separation, Mills doesn’t speak of it directly very much. He also doesn’t believe it can be taught. He wants to know what drills people believe could teach this because he says that effective ones do not exist.