Father and son comparison

here is me and my son both pitching for comparison. i was interested to see if we looked similar due to genetics. of course i’m way past my prime and he is just getting started (i’m 44 and he’s 11).

any comments or tips would be welcome. my son starts the new season shortly and we are working on his mechanics. i am most worried about his really late arm cock. he never really gets into the high cocked position, probably because he drops his arm too low (ala Tim Lincecum) but is unable to get his arm back up in time.

He does have that Lincecum look with the “dangle” after hand break. I think the short stride magnifies the timing deficiency. a longer stride creates many positives including more time to get the arm up.

People will suggest tweaking the hand break… I’d go longer stride 1st so you can create multiple benefits from one adjustment.

Just a quick look & I see a lot of rotation (a good thing), but not enough linear movement to compliment it. the lower body is the linear piece & the piece that is the key to any good pitcher.

I get my son go think “ride the inside of the right foot/thigh” and “sit & spread sideways” “show the outside of your left foot longer” whatever it takes to get longer linear stride with out lunging or forcing it.

Right! I was looking at the videos and scratching my head as I tried to figure out what the difference—and the problem—might be, and I reallized that the kid isn’t using his lower half nearly enough. You are right—it’s the lower half of the body that is the real key to a pitcher’s power, and if you watch a lot of major league pitchers in action you’ll see this. I learned this—I call it “THE SECRET”—from doing just that, watching the Yankees’ legendary Big Three and seeing how they were doing it, and I picked up on it and started working on it on my own.
And this is the key to getting batters out. If you’ve ever noticed, you’ll see that most batters are zeroed in on the upper half of the body—the arm and shoulder—as they look for pitches they can hit, and they’re never aware that it’s the lower half that powers up the windup and delivery. My pitching coach of long ago—he was a member of that rotation—knew this, and he saw what I was doing with it and helped me refine it. It’s quite a feeling, having a lot of pressure taken off the arm and shoulder so one can throw harder and faster with less effort.
You have to get the whole body into the action. 8)

is there a drill that would help develop a better/longer stride? or should we be working on things that just give us more flexibility?

There’s a whole slew of drills and exercises that can be found on this website and the NPA as well—you can look them up and pick out the ones you think will be most useful. One of the best is called the “Hershiser” drill, which aims at getting the hips fully involved in the process, and no special equipment is needed for that one—just a fence or a wall; you can even do that one in the garage if it’s raining. Getting the whole body into the action will help lengthen the stride and get more momentum into the overall delivery. Give it a whirl. 8)

we have been using the drills mentioned since last season, which helped. we just started a flexibility class yesterday. my daughter teaches cheerleaders how to stretch for splits; she is also teaching us. we will post another comparison after we get more flexable.

Keep in mind you are only looking for 10-15" in stride extension. Thats a guess based on the angle. Thats the good news… I dont think you are looking at major changes.

A long stride is the result of previous “correct” movements. A lot of people are obsessed with long strides largely in part because of Lincecum & its the “hot topic” it seems.

The mistake is that they measure off 100-120% of heigth & put down a spot & say “get to it”. Next thing you know is that you have a “rushing” problem (too quick lower body) & the problem is even worse than the short stride.

ZC has the right advice on the drill… looks like you have used it. Revisit the drill & compare a dead on side video of your son & where Roy Oswalt or Randy Johnson are @ hand break. Youtube has great slo mo clips that will showcase this.

I think you’ll see Oswalt & Johnson have a good 8+ inches of hip lead down the hill & off the rubber before they break their hands. Your son, again tuff angle to see, appears to hover over the rubber & then lead toward the plate. Very common for youngsters.

That move right there gets you 75% “home” in my opinion. Add in the he is flat ground vs mound… the angle of the mound makes it easier to get early & longer stride momentum.

Last thought is to get him to think & feel that he is riding the inside of his right leg & foot for just a bit longer after hand break. Just a split second of more linear drive to the plate equals several inches on the stride. Im not saying push off… but definitely feel the ground force against the inside of the right foot & leverage gravity & momentum towards home plate.

Go one at a time on the adjustments starting with the Herschiser drill. Once you see results & “he gets it”, then advance to the next adjustment. Let him see the drill, comparisons & results on video.

I believe 86% stride length to heighth is the avg. without letting him know what ur up to measure of the distance of his stride before you tweak anything & then set up realistic goals.

I believe I’m quoting Roger but one of the best things I’ve ever heard re: stride length is that its a RESULT of things being done properly in the previous points to the kinetic chain vs the act of just getting out to 86, 95 or 105% of heigth.

Good way to measure the “effective results” is to look at the point where he initiates foot contact with his left plant foot. If he is still closed to the target with his shoulders & his weight is still back (draw a line from belly button to head… that line should be vertical or slightly towards the rubber vs leaning towards the plate) then he’s in good shape.

i looked at where we are at front foot plant and indeed we are not vertical or leaning slightly back as we should be. we will work harder at getting the hips going sooner.

Its a deceiving angle on that video… a pure side view will be better.

Im gonna guess your son may actually be “staying back” but the camera angle is throwing you off.

Work on getting those hips moving out sooner & then get a side view. You may have the results you are looking for & be set to go.

My son struggled with timing for a long time & we tweeked a lot of stuff with no results… after focusing on the hip lead it was an amazing dare I say “quick fix”.

believe it or not, that is a straight on side shot and the ground does slope like a pitching mound.

i will go out to the ballpark and video on their mound so it will look right asap.