First bullpen of the season discussion


#1

I just finnished up my first lesson/bullpen of the season and wanted to bring up something things my pitching coach told me to work on to get your perspective. I’ll get a new video up this week.

Reaching out - The one thing he probly stressed the most out of any. I would be leaning to my left side rather then going forward.

Staying less closed- I was staying closed too long so he told me that i should make my shoulders stay perpendicular to the mound rather then slightly closed. My hand was dragging behind and wasnt able to hit the low outside corner.

Hand Break- My hands were breaking too late which was another reason why my hand was lagging behind the rest of my body. he said i should “break the rubber” as in break my hands when my leg gets to the highest point. i was breaking my hands after that point and once i started moving forward already.

Leg lift - I was breaking the plane too much, which made it harder to get my leg around, which was cutting off my rotation. so now i raise the leg to be parallel with the mound.

Curve ball- I should start the curve ball later and finish harder. The earlier i start it the more it sails and is harder to get down in the zone.

I know it seems like alot, but for the first time throwing off a mound this year i felt great. Its still early.

Any drills for these things to help them sink in?


#2

In teaching the curve ball, I like to use a drill my college coach taught me called Shoot the curve.
On one knee, with another pitcher just a couple of feet away as the catcher to analyze you, rotate hips and go through your arm motion thinking fast ball all the way to release. When your arm gets to release, you replace your thumb and middle finger so you thumb is on top and and middle finger is down. Stop at that point. It will look like you are making a gun with your throwing hand and shooting the target. Have the other pitcher watching critique to make sure you are out in front of your body and that you didn’t preset the curve. Hold for couple of seconds then finish the pitch pulling down and finishing low over your opposite knee.

For the hand break. Ideally, you would like to break when your leg is at its highest point, but that is hard to do. I teach pitchers to just “break over the rubber” In other words before your body has left the balance. If you look at major leagues, most do this and not many break at highest point. Those that break even later just have ridiculously fast arms.


#3

What do you mean by “preset the curve” and why shouldn’t you do it?

Ae you talking about timing or physical position of the hand break? If physical position, how do you suggest pitchers get their hand and glove over the rubber?


#4

out of the approximately 500 pitchers i have worked with, i’ve never had a single pitcher stay closed too long. almost all of them go into rotation and pass the verticle line with their head and spine before the front foot hits the ground. there is a great picture of clemens in the new joe torre book and he is well behind verticle and his front foot is just about to hit the ground. a great teaching picture.


#5

Pre-setting the curve is when a pitcher rotates their wrist too soon, which will slow down the arm and show the hitter whats coming.

By “breaking over the rubber” I mean that when your hands break your body is still stacked over the rubber, not falling/driving to the plate yet.

Sorry, I am a bit of a technological dinosaur when it comes to adding video and picture, and I am not sure how to even show your quotes you asked me about. [/quote]


#6

Ok, I undstand what you’re saying. I agree that presetting the curve can tip the pitch if done too early or in too obvious of a manner. But I think this is not a bad approach for teaching young pitchers. You seem to be promoting supination while the arm is traveling forward but I feel that is what makes the curve hard on the arm. I think presetting the curve is a good way to get young pitchers to NOT supinate during that phase of the delivery.

Understood. But that wouldn’t work for me because I teach early momentum such that by the time the knee peaks, the body has started forward.

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