Foot Work

Ok when pitching I’ve been curious as to how the foot work goes. My interpretation is that you keep your hips closed until the last second and then push and twist off your back foot causing your front foot’s toe to point not straight at but close to the plate. I have been having trouble because I was opening up too soon and turning my back foot all the way over causing my foot to drag up by my shoe laces. So can someone explain the foot work of pitching to where I can understand it and correct my interpretation of it if it’s wrong. Thanks.

Yes, you do generally try to stay closed until the last (fraction of a) second. As for the push off, I believe there is a slight sideways push early in the delivery to help initiate the stride. After that, I don’t believe the is a push. Rather momentum has already been built up and the pivot foot is pulled off the rubber. Your opening up early could be caused by actively trying to push off the rubber. That usually messes up your timing.

As for the turning over and dragging of the pivot foot, that is appropriate.

A good starting point for hip rotation and the power that it can generate is with the pivot foot’s colasping in on the instep as the body drives forward down the slope of the mound. Why? Because when you allow your pivot foot to be lifted off the mounds surface by the body - instead of pushing off with the toe or pushing off in any other fashion, your NOT commiting your power and balance in the upper torso PRIOR to the legs and stomach wall muscles doing their thing. It’s almost impossible to coach a thing like this using this media, so watch a college club with a solid rotation and ask some of the players - or even their coach, to show you. (if there’s no one else). I’ve had youngsters as young as twelve (12) approach my crew and we’ve been more than happy to take a few minutes. But, sometimes time and schedules did not permit.

I made these two posts - relative to other questions, but they both have applicability here.

First— in response to a question about the pivot leg/foot:
The pivot leg is more than just the leg that supports the body as it turns-twists-collapses and drives in the direction of the pitch. (basically). This leg is an integral part of the body’s balancing system as the stride leg stretches out and plants itself followed by the turning of the hips…… then the upper body uncoils and the shoulders rotate exchanging the glove shoulder with the pitching shoulder. All of this mind you while the body is descending down a sloping surface.
So, some pitchers have an unsolicited response from their balance sensors/mechanism to hold back the pivot leg. Some pitchers extend their pivot let straight out behind them upon finishing their delivery, while others simply drag their leg along or just inches off the surface of the mound. Tom Seaver was one who used this technique. In fact, if you watch some of his video as he progressed in age – skill, you’ll notice he alters this style slightly depending on his pitch selection on any given day.
By the way, you’re a pitcher, right? Try this technique for yourself and see if it actually balances you off, makes the delivery process more stable, and/or lets you fit into the mound(s) better. However, I’m only suggesting that you try this posture, just as a teaching aid so that you’ll learn more about why you sometimes do things while your pitching. I am NOT a proponent of this format nor do I support it’s deliberate use as fundamental. But, sometimes the human body makes an unsolicited response in reaction to its environment – static or otherwise.
An extreme example to the contrary – upsetting the balance between movement and momentum can be see in the video footage of Hall of Fame great Bob Gibson, when he was with St Louis. His motion from the windup was so pronounced - tilting noticeably towards first baseline that his pivot leg literally kicked up and spun around in a half-circle. A very intimating thing for a batter to be looking at, I can assure you.
In any event, some pitchers – like Gibson, because of their pitch selection, or their forceful drive forward, will actually whirl around either to their glove side or their pitching side, or, will dive downward with a short but pronounced stutter-step (like skipping), mostly because of the pivot leg’s contribution or lack there of the balance afforded.
Again, as a pitcher – go out to the field and try various pivot leg postures. You would be amazed at how important this leg is to your delivery, accuracy, and finish form.

Second - in response to a basic pitching discipline relative to balance and forward progression of the pivot foot and a stable platform–Your pivot foot seems to be in a hole - in front of the rubber. So, here’s an absolute about pitching:
— starting off with your main balance/ momentum stabilizer in a hole, starts you off IN THE HOLE.
Anything that follows is going to go down hill from there. ----
Also, because your pivot foot is in a hole, your toe is pointing downward, which will force your weight slightly off towards the third base line, initially.
Then, as you drive forward your body’s balancing mechanism(s) go to work by OVER CORRECTING. Hence your now throwing accross yourself. Take a closer look at your video an what I alluded to just now. The final proof of the pudding is your stride foot pointing off to the first base line when you land and – if you look closely, your stride foot actually grinds sideways – again towards the first base line.

Level off the surface in front of the rubber, seeing how you prefer that style as appose to the :: step-back-rock, which is mostly impossible on most public and private diamonds.

Then I would suggest adjusting your feel to this level surface condition by first using a gentle leg lift - no higher then a foot off the ground as you turn, then sweep your stride foot -about six inches accross the mounds surface, just to get the feel of your controlled shift in weight driving towards home (target). Concentrate on planting your stride FOOT squarely at your target- not off towards the first base line. Concentrate, concentrate, concentrate on this fundamental stride foot discipline.
You’ll find that staying more upright during you stride - at first, gonig slow and easy does it, will sooner or later give you time to adjust to what’s needed to correct what you have been doing.

Mind you, this is just a starting point - not an end in itself. Practice and concentrate on your own, in front of a mirror - floor length if you have one. At the same time, reinforce your muscle memory to this posture.
it’s that important. Why? If you continue with this stride posture that you posted on your video, your forcing your stride leg/knee with loads it was not designed to support. In addition, your now probably experiencing stiffness in the base of the neck and lower back - if not in the near future, if you continue. And by the way, try and focus on the catcher’s mask as a target while you settling in with this discipline. This tageting point allows you to be a bit higher in your flight path of the ball and will help you ease the transition process.

Overall though, you seem to have great punch to your delivery. Simply work on the above - slow and easy does it and I guarantee you’ll be a competitor with an awesome command of the hill.

I have recently been taking my son to lessons.The instructor has worked ONLY on footwork / balance.1- step 2-turn 3-foot comes thru low. 4-lift,with shin bone straight down.toe down. 5-foot back down / hand break 6-while keeping head over pivot foot,begin stride with arch of foot down.Hands up.When your stride leg comes straight your hands should be in position to throw.Your pivot foot leg will need to bend at this point.EXPLODE here.your front foot will roll straight,and plant.—You will notice that your front foot is the key to keeping your hips closed until you bring the ball.Laces up on shoe–hips open.Laces sideways–hips closed. 7-Your position at plant(after ball goes bye-bye)should have your feet straight,spine straight,head straight momentarily before your foot rolls out to about a 45 degree angle in front of you.Plant foot stays down with only the slightest need to twist. WHEW! hope some part of that is useful.

Maybe I’m misunderstanding your description but what you’ve described sounds outdated to me. It sounds like the old “stay back” and “balance point” kind of stuff. I guess the biggest concern I have with what you described is how does one explode after moving things straight up and down and staying back with the head over the pivot foot? I’ve read a similar suggestion in a pitching book whereby the pitcher was to move slow-slow-slow-fast. How do you suddenly move fast? If you’ve “stayed back”, you’ve not generated any momentum - any energy - to allow you to explode. All you can do to explode is give a sudden physical exertion to really push off hard and that usually results in timing and other issues.

Please correct me if I’ve misunderstood.