Glove Side Foot Flip

Gentlemen,

I’m sure most of you coaches have run up against this issue in one way or the other; but my question is on the topic of the glove side foot flip, with the lead foot finishing pointing directly toward the target.

I know that there are countless examples of the pros that finish this way, and I am teaching my 13U boys to work on this, but I have run up against a father/son that were taught for this front foot to finish at a 3/4 open position (pointing between 3rd and home for a righty). How do I get them to “change their ways”? This seems to be a struggle for me and any coach to re-train ones that have bad habits.

Any thoughts or comments?

Bob

If I understood you correctly, you have two battles to fight: one is to convince and the other is to implement.

If you look at what various pro pitchers do, you will see that some land with the foot slightly open, some with the foot pointed directly at home plate, and some with the foot slightly closed. So not everyone must be exactly the same. However, too open or too closed is generally considered bad. For example, too open can cause the hips to rotate prematurely. Too closed can block off hip rotation and put extra stress on the hip, knee and ankle joints because the upper half is still going to try to square up to the target and may try to rotate beyond the point the lower half rotated to. This can also lead to throwing across the body a bit if the hips and shoulders don’t get fully squared up. And that can lead to health issues. So here’s your argument for the convincing part.

Now, to implement, it’s going to take commitment from the pitchers and lots of reps to break their current habits. The tricky part is to figure out what is really appropriate for each pitcher. As I said above, not every pitcher should necessarily be exactly the same with their foot positioning.

do you think the effort to change will be worth the results. what if they make the change and then can’t find the plate, who do you think they will blame. and are you sure what you are teaching is better. if they are set on what they are doing, i would give them my opinion and leave them alone as long as they are effective.

Roger and Dusty-

Thanks for the input both of you. Roger-you say not every pitcher is the same and Dusty you say who are they going to blame if they run into problems-all GREAT points.

Is is so hard sometimes as a coach when to find the proper time to step in and correct or adjust some mechanical issues with the pichers-for those exact reasons you mentioned. This GS foot being somewhat of a minor issue, at this age level (13U), I should probably concentrate more on throwing strikes and full range of motion and follow through than anything else.

Thanks again.

Bob

Sometimes focusing on the results is appropriate, especially at that age.

At a minimum, when you step in and make adjustments is when you identify a problem. It could be a problem affecting their performance in some manner or it could be a realization by you of something that could lead to injury in the near term or down the road.

Beyond this, you would have to have the knowledge and experience to understand each individual pitcher’s make-up, develop an idea of where each needs to be down the road, and then implement changes to get them there. Obviously, this is difficult to do well.