Head Jerking

Ok, Chris L. pointed out that my son (just turned 15) has this “big head jerk” going on. See video…From the front view he really is cranking his head! Last night I work with him from a flat ground keeping his head/eye level while throwing slow.

Any other secrets/tips on how to work through this issue is appreciated.

BTW, I still feel he is getting to the high cock position to fast!

Head violence isn’t good no doubt. The little additional lift on his foot at second six has him late. The head is clearing so he can get his arm through. 2 things I’d suggest… work on 2 drills…toe taps and step behinds (I’d show the drill but I’ve posted it so many times it might cause someone to gnaw off their arm…if you want the link I’ll get it to you) so he can get himself at the power position coincident with footstrike and try to get him to open just a bit more (Draw a line between his feet and try to get his footstrike on the glove side of that) this should square the shoulders and allow the arm to get through without clearing the head…should really improve his ability to command both sides of the plate and hit his spots.

I am very new to this forum so sending me the link (…toe taps and step behinds ) would be great! Thank you.

Regarding, “drawing the line…” Are you suggesting his footstrike be slightly open to the glove side arm? Please clarify.

Thanks!

Between his feet on the rubber, have him land on the left side of the line…or try to get to that side, he’s landing on his right or throwing arm side…not a bad thing necessarily if timing is good but if timing is an issue opening up can help.

Most of these drills this day were aimed at timing…use what looks good, discard what don’t

[quote=“syphegl”]Ok, Chris L. pointed out that my son (just turned 15) has this “big head jerk” going on. See video…From the front view he really is cranking his head! Last night I work with him from a flat ground keeping his head/eye level while throwing slow.

Any other secrets/tips on how to work through this issue is appreciated. [/quote]
You could have him do some backward chaining drills where he starts off with just the tail end of his delivery doing it without the head crank. Then he backs it up to include more of his delivery - again without the head crank.

Another option that may or may not affect the head crank but which needs work regardless (IMHO) is to keep his glove out front longer (until foot plant) before dropping the elbow and turning the glove over. This will improve his timing and allow him to delay shoulder rotation longer to maximize the energy transfer from good hip and shoulder separation. Who knows, maybe staying closed longer will change the feel of things such that he no longer cranks the head.

Watch when his hips start moving forward - too late in my opinion. Get him to start his hips forward both sooner and faster. The timing of the arm will take care of itself and probably look better to you.

Speaking of head jerking—here’s an amusing story. Back in 1961 the Cincinnati Reds had a relief pitcher named Howie Nunn whose pitching delivery was truly extreme. He wiggled and wabbled and jerked his head around like a rooster and threw his arms, his legs, his neck and just about every other part of his anatomy into his motion, and it looked very funny—except to the batters who had to face him, because he got some good stuff on his pitches. And pitching coach Jim Turner never said boo to him. :lol:

Between his feet on the rubber, have him land on the left side of the line…or try to get to that side, he’s landing on his right or throwing arm side…not a bad thing necessarily if timing is good but if timing is an issue opening up can help.

Most of these drills this day were aimed at timing…use what looks good, discard what don’t[/quote]

I would suggest you be careful with this. JD is right that closed stride position can cause the head jerk, but understand that an “open” stride is not a good thing. Studies have shown increased kinematics at the shoulder in an “open” stride position. The best stride is always straight to the target, but if you have one or the other, closed is better.

Hummm…I’m talking about landing with your toe on the line…I wouldn’t want you to open to the point where there would be space, my communications skills always under construction :smiley:

[quote=“syphegl”]Ok, Chris L. pointed out that my son (just turned 15) has this “big head jerk” going on. See video…From the front view he really is cranking his head! Last night I work with him from a flat ground keeping his head/eye level while throwing slow.

Any other secrets/tips on how to work through this issue is appreciated.[/quote]

His arm slot is relatively low, so that’s not the problem.

It looks like he’s actively trying to pull the glove in to his chest. I would try the idea of bring the chest to the glove and letting the hips pull the shoulders around.

This is similar to what Roger said.

Actually, he’s right on the edge of a timing problem.

Agreed, but I think it’s a definate timing issue. It looks like there are two seperate parts to his arm action. I don’t think you should ever really “see” the high cocked position. If your arms are working in tandem the ball won’t be in that position until the arms swivel with shoulder rotation.

Anyone else think that a proper scap load might help here?

Maybe in a more developed guy, I’d suggest keeping it as simple as possible until the head violence issue is resolved…then build. If he gets to too much thinking at this point I’m not sure of a positive result. jmo but if he gets timing right much will clear up and then I’d like to see what his vid looks like.

Thanks again guys! Right now I am keeping it simple. Working on timing between getting from his backleg to the landing position. Lower body first , then upper body later. He is making progress…I will post a video in a few weeks.

I used to have a slight head jerk which was caused by ‘over-throwing’ and tensing up the upper part of my body. Because my shoulders and arms tensed up the head would just follow along.
Try having him be more relaxed while throwing and not ‘muscle up’ on all of his pitches. Everyone says that you throw slower if your muscles are tensed up anyways.
While playing catch (not on the mound) see if he’s jerking his head to the side and if so then have him throw with more ‘umph’ (arm speed/ hand speed/ whip) and not muscle up like he’s shot putting.