Finishing


#1

How important is it to finish with the back leg swinging up and around rather than dragging it.

My son’s 13. He throws hard, has good control, and as a whole I’m not looking to change much in his mechanics.

I viewed some steps to increasing velocity with him. Videos were by Dick Mills. Anyway in his last step he talks about finishing with the trunk bent, head forward and facing the plate, and arm coming across the body. My son is doing a good job of this without much in the way of lifting the back or throwing side leg very much.

There’s probably successful MLB pitchers that have far less lift and rotation of the rear leg than say Lincecum, but this seems to be important to Lincecum’s velocity.

Also, what if any effects might this have on potential injury? My immediate thoughts would be that there’d be an opportunity for the pitching hand to travel further and increase the time for energy to be dissipated - a good thing.


#2

I think it is very important to decelerate the arma action, this helps in injury prevention etc.


#3

Typically, if you are moving fast enough and you bend hard over a firmed up front leg, the back leg is going to fly up to some degree - That being said, I don’t think it is something that needs to be enforced; however it can be a good cue to getting to a flat back position as it is difficult to balance oneself without raising the rear leg if the front leg is straightening and the torso is bending over the firmed up front leg. The key thing here is moving fast and getting out in front with the release.


#4

What is your son’s arm slot? The back foot usually comes around in the same slot as the arm. If it’s staying back like a boat anchor, then there’s a defficiency earlier in the delivery - that is what needs to be fixed.

Pitchers with low arm slots (e.g. sidearmers) will finish more rotated than bent forward. Be careful in teaching a flat back finish to all pitchers - it isn’t appropriate for all pitchers.


#5

To Roger’s point, I threw from a high 3/4 arm slot and therefore my back leg came all the way over on my follow through. But many pitchers that threw from a lower slot in pro ball tended to have a much less pronounced kick. Post some video, if possible…


#6

We’re overdue to get some current pitching video (got lots of batting cage video though). I’ll post some and I appreciate the help. It’s really cool that this site exists and people will take the time to take a look and comment on what they think.

Thought about posting a collage of still pictures as I’ve got plenty of those thanks to mom and grandma. Looking through them what I see is a nice job of a long stride, chest way out over a firmly bent stride leg, and freakish (for a kid) separation before initiating delivery. I mean his elbow and how is arm is bent back looks photoshopped.

There was some raising of the back leg. From what you guys are saying probably a nice acceptable amount for his sidearm delivery.

Gosh, I hate to say it, but it looks like he’s gotten a little lazy and maybe his mechanics while effective aren’t actually improving as much as maybe deteriorating??? He throws 3/4 now. There seems to be a lot of bend at the waist when he finishes now and less bend in the stride knee. Overall the stride seems shorter especially considering the earlier pictures were taken when he was pitching off a mound that lacked a lot of slope. His back where it used to be quite flat and his head was like one of those pointer dogs, isn’t like that as much.

Anxious to get video and perhaps some ideas.


#7

Thought I’d share this with those who already responded to my question.

I showed the photos I referred to in my last post to my son. You know, he didn’t realize that he had gotten away from the amount of rotating his back leg up and around.

Yesterday was his first opportunity to try the adjustment on for size. I was a little apprehensive about the timing because it was during a scrimmage. However, it was maybe the easiest and most right now results thing he’s done in regard to pitching mechanics adjustments. I was assuming it’d take some drills (possibly placing a bucket on the mound for him to step over) to condition him to do this.

His control is generally good, but yesterday went exceptionally well for him. He told me it felt unforced during, and that his arm seemed to feel less fatigued after.


#8

BigShug27, that’s great, glad to hear about the improvement.


#9

People learn in different ways: hearing, seeing, feeling. Many kids need to “see it” to get it. Video is a great tool for those types of learners.