Hey, my name’s Elliott and I’m currently a sophmore pitcher in college. I’ve consistently struggled with my arm path getting too long and my front side getting too high. This leads me to have an extremely inconsistent release point and I feel the long arm path takes a lot away from my velocity. I’m also working more on “hinging” and keeping my weight over my heel/balls of my feet more.
There are a couple of things I noticed right off the bat.
- Posture and Weight Distribution - Posture should be upright with your chin over your bellybutton and your shoulders in a relaxed position. your shoulders are too far sideways. This takes you way out of your driveline. Shoulders should be more in a direct line with home plate.
- Prior to hand break and coming out of leg lift, you shift your arms too far away from your body. This has an effect on control.
- Back Leg Action - your back leg must have some bend in order to shift your weight properly and create leg drive.
- Weight Shift - No hip load. When a pitcher sticks his front hip out and tilts back (just like your pic), pitchers do not create momentum at all.
Leading with your hips the right way really means shifting your weight and getting over the center of gravity moving towards home plate in your leg lift. When done correctly, this is a gradual process where momentum builds while staying loaded over your hips and over a strong back leg.
Hope this helps
Hey Steve, thanks so much for the reply. The concept I’m still confused about is getting the correct weight shift without either staying over my back leg too much and tilting or coming forward to soon and my arm being way too late (both of which are things I’ve struggled with). Besides the steps you’ve listed, is there anything else to think of when trying to lead with the hips?
This is the best way I can describe the move. After the height of your leg lift, you will need to focus on keeping your back drive foot anchored flat to the ground while at the same time driving the rubber back towards second base and pushing your core down the mound.
When you start weight shift, make sure make sure you stabilize your back knee over your back ankle and drive your body as a single unit down the mound. The timing trigger for this is hand break.
Think of this in two phases: load and go. Leg lift is the “load” where your weight shifts over your back leg and you corkscrew or load the hips. Make sure your foot is flat on the ground. You need that foot to create good ground force energy. Hand break is the “go” where you explosively drive your core away from the rubber, sit into your delivery and stay closed as long as possible. Look at Kimbrel driving his core away from his body and sitting into his delivery
Look at Carson Fulmer in slo mo moving his core down the mound. His foot remains flat on the ground, his shin is over his ankle, he has used ground force to explosively move his core down the mound, and he is sitting into his delivery.
Watch this video on How to load to increase pitching velocity This will also help explain the movement
When moving my core down the mounds, should I try and bring my upper half forward while keeping my back foot firmly planted into the ground as long as possible?
Your entire body should move forward down the mound as one. It is important to remember to work on a good hip load that will ultimately allow you to sit into your delivery and ride the slope of the mound. So in your lift, load the hips and drive your core down the mound.
To better understand the feel of this movement, try this drill. Make sure you pre set your hip load while your front leg foot is on the bench
Here’s what I see…
Your front side is not too high. It’s where it needs to be to get to a good equal & opposite with respect to your throwing arm.
It’s hard to assess timing with only a slo-mo view but it looks like you don’t start moving forward until peak of knee lift so I’m going to assume you’re too slow into front foot plant. This injects more time into your delivery during which you have to manage posture and balance. It also allows your arm path to be longer as a longer arm path takes more time. Try to start your forward movement earlier before peak of knee lift. This will shorten the overall timing of your delivery which should reduce the amount of time during which you need to maintain good posture and balance and will likely shorten your arm path and keep your hands closer your center of mass. All of these should result in better consistency/control.
It looks like you could use more hip and shoulder rotation. It’s tough to tell from the camera angle but it looks like you pull your glove back which usually results in early shoulder rotation. And that results reduces separation. It also pulls the release point back and it can be a health issue. Pulling the glove can be a difficult habit to break but it is worth trying to fix.
What would you recommend to work on to stop my glove from being pulled down too early?
The issue isn’t with pulling the glove “down” - it’s with pulling it “back”. With a high front side, it is natural for your glove to come down. You don’t want to change that. You just don’t want it to come back from the furthest forward position it gets to.
Check out this video of Andy Pettitte. (Change the YouTube Speed setting to “.25” to slow it down.) Notice the high front side prior to front foot plant. Then notice the glove come down and momentarily stabilize in front of the torso above the front foot while the body moves towards the glove.
Search YouTube for “NPA Rocker Drill” for a drill that will let you get in lots of reps throwing while focusing on maintaining your glove out front. Always follow drill work with live throwing incorporating the same focus.
I could help you if you are willing to learn some physics (most sports-minded instructors are not so accommodating). Back-in-the-day, I threw 95 mph as a minor league lefty, but had injury after injury. Now as a physics professor, I’m trying to show players some better ways to throw and swing based on physics. Some of my work was featured full-page in the NY Times in 2018. Of course, new ideas scare people so the road to re-education is a bumpy one.