Head tilt

Is moving your head out of the way a bad thing? I nocticed a few guys who do this. Here are a few examples.



What is the head moving out of the way of?

The arm coming through at that high angle.

Hmm, I don’t see the arm coming anywhere near the head in those pictures. :tongue:

:smiley: You’re right. It can’t. Maybe I should have added that the shoulders have to tilt pretty severely in order for that arm slot to be possible. That takes the head with it. Maybe one could keep the head from tilting and keep the eyes level (potentially desirable) but it wouldn’t be easy. It would still have translated to the glove side though.

I think that is part of why Maddux is so good (amongst a million other things). He is a rare case of a pitcher with a high arm slot but with his head and eyes still level to the plate. He probably sacrifices some rotational velocity for better command. Clearly a good decision for him.

I see exactly what you mean palo20. Maddux head stays perfectly straight the whole way.

So do you think that you can actually gain velocity by pulling your head off to the side? Hideki Okajima is a great example. I remember hearing that some Japan coaches thought this would give him greater velocity:

How does he throw strikes like that?


Heres an example

No, it’s not that you can GAIN velocity from pulling your head to the side–the pulling of the head (more accurately defined as a tilting of the spine and shoulders) is a result of powerful rotation and a high arm slot.

Okajima is the ultimate exception to the rules we like to throw out here on this board and in the pitching community in general. For every piece of advice that we throw out there, there’s somewhat out there doing the opposite and having success.

That’s why my best suggestion for everyone here is to not look for black and white definitive answers to questions–most answers end up in some kind of gray area.

But once again, the head tilt is a result, not a cause, so No, yanking your head will not increase your velocity.

Ok. So what if you have a low arm slot but tilt your head to the side.

That would be something I would correct as I see no benefit and possible issues in that.

Exactly. I may have come across as a wise guy with my somewhat “pointed” questions but I was really just trying to make people think a bit. I’ve heard more than once the explanation about tilting or clearing the head to make way for the arm. But I have a problem with that description because, to me, it implies one can raise their arm slot significantly without tilting the head and shoulders such that the head gets in the way of the arm. Well, I don’t think so. Homey don’t play dat. :mrgreen:

[quote=“Roger”]
Exactly. I may have come across as a wise guy with my somewhat “pointed” questions but I was really just trying to make people think a bit. I’ve heard more than once the explanation about tilting or clearing the head to make way for the arm. But I have a problem with that description because, to me, it implies one can raise their arm slot significantly without tilting the head and shoulders such that the head gets in the way of the arm. Well, I don’t think so. Homey don’t play dat. :mrgreen:[/quote]

The description of “clearing the head to make way for the arm” is just a visual or mental cue. Some people may successfully rather use the cue “tilt the shoulders” or “clear the front shoulder” instead. It’s the same thing. Just different words to describe what’s happening.

Some pitchers will actually lead with a tilted head (Lincecum) while others will rely more on shoulder tilt (pulling the front shoulder down).

I knew what you were up to, Roger, you trouble-maker. :boxing: :lol:

I would say that head position is a result of arm angle. Typically, body tilt determines arm angle. When you tilt your spine obviously your head will try and stay in line with it. You will see that most pitchers that sink the ball tend to keep their head/spine inside or in line with their front foot/knee. Pitchers that throw a straighter ball throw from a typically more over the top arm slot and thus tilt their body to their glove side more. A pitcher who has made a noticeable adjustment in head/body position and is sinking the ball now is Josh Beckett. He has increased the movement on his fastball making is already nasty stuff even filthier. Was he bad before when his head was way outside his front knee? No, but he definitely had the best year of his career after moving his head more over his front knee. I don’t think anyone could argue with that!

Just another way to look at it…
Head tilt is a result of arm slot. We spent all these years telling kids to ‘get on top of the ball!’ So they do… and tilt their head to the side to get their arm higher. Result is slight alteration of correct timing and sequencing. And arm injuries but that’s another story.
Ryan is a perfect example. Had 250 K’s each year for several years, but also had 200 W’s too. Higher arm slot. Then he started to drop his arm slot and keep his head straight. Still 250 K’s but only 60 W’s. Pitched another 6 years when he thought he only had one or two left.

Just another thought!

Cheers;

O