Good mechanics


#1

I know good mechanics are very important to preventing injury, throwing with velocity and accuracy, as well as developing consistency, so could someone gife me a brief outline of what good mechanics are? Nothing too in depth or anything, just sort of a summary. Thanks in advance.


#2

There’s nothing set in stone as to what good mechanics are. Just keeping yourself out of the injury promoting positions, like making the M with your arms, and it has to be something you can repeat. If you can’t find the same release point, or arm angle from pitch to pitch, then you don’t have good mechanics. There’s no cookie-cutter form, just needs to be consistent and repeatable.


#3

What SnakeManiac72 says is true. A cookie cutter approach isn’t the path to follow. Which cookie would you like? Nyman? Mills? Woolforth? Ellis? House? Marshall? Joe Coach from down the road?

Now, having said that, there are some common elements that major league pitchers tend to employ.

  1. Smooth, fluid delivery with no “herky jerky” movements.
  2. Drive the front side, sideways at the target while not opening hips or shoulders too early.
  3. Hips rotate into landing with the shoulders remaining “north south”. You’ll see this referred to as hip / shoulder separation.
  4. Go through what is typically referred to as the “high cocked” position, or something close to it, just as the front foot lands and bears weight.
  5. Thrust the chest forward as the shoulders rotate and the elbow comes forward.
  6. Continue the forward “lean” and shoulder rotation into release.
  7. Finish by flexing the upper body forward over a fixed front leg, ending in a “flat back” finish which will allow for a long arc of deceleration.

This is a GROSS SIMPLIFICATION of a very complex process but it’s a start. Now, read as much as you can from posts on these forums.

Man!! I can’t believe I just did that. :smiley:


#4

Thanks, the helps to clear things up… I found this article, does it cover the basics pretty well, or should anything really be added to it?

http://www.thecompletepitcher.com/pitching_mechanics.htm


#5

That, and my little list, are both oversimplifications.

I would add a caution about one thing in that list. Item #8 states:

[quote]Get into good fielding position by squaring up to hitter on follow-through.[/quote]I’ve spoken about this one before. My problem with it is that, if a pitcher is attempting to get into a “good fielding position” on follow through, they MAY not be focussing on the entire pitching motion to it’s end because of the desire to square up to the plate. Now, that problem isn’t an absolute but I maintain that a pitcher’s first responsibility is to pitch, completely. Then, and only then, can he assist the fielders. This should be seen as a bonus. Pitch, then field, if you can.


#6

Yes DM you have it right with number 8. If a pitcher can get into a good fielding position great, look at what guys like Maddux can do by helpin themselves out, however i would say don’t sacrifice finishing your motion or following through just to get in a good fielding position.


#7

I agree. I’ll clarify in the article. This getting into position but is really after the pitch is released. There’s the violent follow-through with the back leg. A little hop on to the balls of your feet. And you’re into fielding position.


#8

The article is correct with everything Steve you just never know if someone will focus entirely on the fielding position and not so much of following through.


#9

While there are a number of points I would disagree with in that article, the point about pitchers not having to pitch the exact same way and the point about repeatability of mechanics are both excellent.

According to Tom House, today’s elite golfers are no longer being trained to have perfect mechanics - they’re being trained to have repeatable mechanics.


#10

[quote=“Roger”]While there are a number of points I would disagree with in that article, the point about pitchers not having to pitch the exact same way and the point about repeatability of mechanics are both excellent.

According to Tom House, today’s elite golfers are no longer being trained to have perfect mechanics - they’re being trained to have repeatable mechanics.[/quote]

Could you explain some of the points you disagree with? I’m just trying to find mechanics that will help me be as injury free and consistent as possible. Thanks for the help everyone.


#11

Tell you what. List the top 10 pointers you think comprise “good pitching mechanics.” We’ll reach a concensus, and I’ll replace what’s there. No big deal. What are the 10 most helpful “pointers” that you’d use to describe pitching mechanics?


#12

Also, what are these double spin mechanics I see and hear about sometimes. I saw that link in an earlier post about it, but could anyone explain what it means by synchronizing the rotation of hips with the rotation of the humerus? Thanks.


#13

Steve i like what you have up there. They are things that if focused on will help you become a better pitcher which is im sure, the reason you put them on there.


#14

I disagree with the following items for the following reasons:

Item: “Stay tall” and “Stay tall: Don’t bend back leg.”

Reason: Some pitchers need to lower their center of gravity to help with posture and balance issues. This means bending the knees more in their initial stance.

Item: “Lift leg into balance position, toe pointing down”

Reason: First, the term “balance position” often implies things like stopping at the top, staying back, etc. which I disagree with. Second, pointing the toes down use to be thought to help avoid landing on the heal but is really a non-issue.

Item: “Glide through the catcher: Once balanced in the balance position,
stay back and glide outward, directly towards the catcher. Use gravity.
Toes to the target.”

Reason: First, there’s that “balance position” term again. :stuck_out_tongue: Second, the term “stay back” is one I try to stay away from as pitcher usually need to get it going - not stay back. Third, “toes to the target” works for some pitchers but, for others, keeping the foot closed during most of the stride works better.

Item: “Bring glove-hand away from body and pull directly back into chest.”

Reason: I believe in leaving the glove out over the front foot and bringing the chest to the glove.

Item: “Whip the throwing arm across the body from 11 o’clock to 5 o’clock”

Reason: To me, the “11 o’clock to 5 o’clock” part dictates a specific arm slot. I prefer to let pitchers use their natural arm slot.

Remember that one of the good points made by the article was that not all pitchers need to pitch exactly the same way. We have to be careful to distinguish between those characteristics that most good pitchers have in common versus those that can differ with little consequence.


#15

[quote=“Steven Ellis”]Tell you what. List the top 10 pointers you think comprise “good pitching mechanics.” We’ll reach a concensus, and I’ll replace what’s there. No big deal. What are the 10 most helpful “pointers” that you’d use to describe pitching mechanics?[/quote]I don’t know about 10 but here are a few of the components I see in virtually all hard throwing major leaguers.

  1. Smooth, fluid delivery with no “herky jerky” movements.

  2. Drive the front side, sideways at the target while not opening hips or shoulders too early.

  3. Hips rotate into landing with the shoulders remaining “north south”. You’ll see this referred to as hip / shoulder separation.

  4. Go through what is typically referred to as the “high cocked” position, or something close to it, just as the front foot lands and bears weight.

  5. Thrust the chest forward as the shoulders rotate and the elbow comes forward.

  6. Continue the forward “lean” and shoulder rotation into release.

  7. Finish by flexing the upper body forward over a fixed front leg, ending in a “flat back” finish which will allow for a long arc of deceleration.

  8. Arm action that facilitates getting the arm into full external rotation of the humerus just as the shoulders have squared to the target.

  9. Bringing the elbow with the shoulder turn.
    
  10. Impeccable timing of the parts into a smooth overall “whole”.

  11. Implementation of the “kinetic chain” such that the energy built up in the larger, lower body movements is sequentially transferred upward to the next link in the chain at it’s maximum velocity.

  12. No pauses in the delivery which cause all previously generated momentum to be dissipated and not transferred.

  13. NOT reaching back for power. This isn’t where power comes from.

  14. NOT pulling the back knee forward and inward. This isn’t what major leaguers do (with maybe some rare exceptions). It inhibits getting contribution from the back leg.


#16

Also, I found these videos on google. Are they a pretty good example of solid mechanics?

1 - The Windup:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5337413828536108761&q

2 - The Cocked/T Position
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-462414173609124603&q

3 - Bracing the Front Leg and Trunk Rotation
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-927609689575581004&q

4 - Proper Arm Slot
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7866929301428150864&q

5 - Proper Arm De-Acceleration
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7563740039445791657&q

I can’t quite tell, but isn’t that Bill Thruston from Amherst College?


#17

You ought to consider going to my web site and looking at my breakdowns of the mechanics of the first group of pitchers…

All were highly successful and were much less injury-prone than most pitchers.

I also have breakdowns of the motions of pitcher with injury and control problems.


#18

Chris, it looks like the arm motion of most of those pitchers(injury free, successful ones) is more of a backwards “C” instead of the traditional down, back, and up, with a slight bend in the elbow. Is that correct?


#19

[quote=“Thrall”]Also, I found these videos on google. Are they a pretty good example of solid mechanics?

1 - The Windup:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5337413828536108761&q

2 - The Cocked/T Position
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-462414173609124603&q

3 - Bracing the Front Leg and Trunk Rotation
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-927609689575581004&q

4 - Proper Arm Slot
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7866929301428150864&q

5 - Proper Arm De-Acceleration
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7563740039445791657&q

I can’t quite tell, but isn’t that Bill Thruston from Amherst College?[/quote]
I’ve seen many of those video clips and I definitely think they contain a lot of old school instruction that is bogus.


#20

Chris O’ Leary I saw some of your stuff and you said something on how Zach Duke extends his glove side knee. What does that mean