Help with my mechanics

Here are some pics of me throwing at a recent game i am only topping 67 on a bushnell radar gun so if i can get any help on what to do in my mechanics to throw harder it would help alot




How old are you?

In general, it looks like your hips and shoulders are turning at basically the same moment, which will rob you of velocity. What you want are your hips to open up while your shoulders stay pointed at the target. That will stretch the muscles of your torso and powerfully pull your shoulders around.

That’s why you have to throw so hard with your arm (and pull your head off the target as you follow through).

15

67’s not bad for 15, especially if you’re effective. If you try to up your velocity too much, you could end up hurting yourself given your age.

My comments above about the problems with your motion still apply, but you might want to consider waiting a year or two to really work on the ideas.

There are a couple things, both of which belie a common denominator.

Your stride is very short and you dont get much turn or torque going towards the plate. I think Chris hit it on the head: your arm is doing most of the work. That being said, I think I can see the problem.

You need more flexibility and overall strength. The legs and hips look really tight throughout your motion, same with the lower back and shoulders. I am assuming that you are a freshmen?

Time to hit the weights and work on getting flexible. Both will improve your command and velocity, plus it will make you a better all around player.

Right on. You’re still real young so velocity will come with physical maturity. Start building strength through flexibility and work on your mechanics.

If you’re throwing at 67 mph with a lot of arm you might see a good jump in velocity if you work on these things. Your arm could have a chance to get pretty strong.

Post a video if you can, photos can be deceiving. How tall are you ? It looks like your stride can be lengthened that is why it is important to show a video clip and different angles. For the most part digital cameras can take video. IF you have a camcorder try to record your pitching and use Virtuadub to capture it. Video clips do not lie, photos do not tell the whole story.

Also if you have a 67 mph from a bushnell gun then the reading is probably false. Depending how far away they took the reading and the angle it may be 69-70MPH. Perfect example was when I was in Steamboat Springs Colorado last year. I had a Bushnell gun thinking my son was maxing at 65. Come to find out he was hitting 68 MPH.

A perceived problem at one point in the delivery is usually just a symptom of a true problem that occured earlier in the delivery. In the pictures you posted, I notice a problem with posture and balance. But the pictures don’t show the early part of your delivery so I can’t identify the actual cause. I agree with the comment that it appears you don’t get much separation between hips and shoulders but that could be caused by the posture and balance issue.

I don’t think this is that big of a deal.

I agree.

But you need to do the right kind of conditioning. You need to focus on your hips, torso, and shoulders more than on your arms.

I don’t think this is a problem.

He really tilts his shoulders which is a good thing since it raises his release point and makes the ball harder to hit.

I don’t think this is a problem.

He really tilts his shoulders which is a good thing since it raises his release point and makes the ball harder to hit.[/quote]

How much does his release point raise? Do you really think that little bit of extra height when compared to the distance to home plate really makes a difference to batters? I don’t.

But I think the head tilt and lean to the glove side will cause one or more of the following issues:

(1) Possibly lead to opening up the shoulders too early which results in throwing less with the hip and shoulder rotation and more with just the arm.

(2) Probably make the release point inconsistent.

(3) Will pull the release point back away from the target giving the batter more time to see and react to the ball.

(4) Will become much harder to get over the top of the ball when throwing a breaking pitch.

(5) Will cause the pitcher to tire quicker and not go as deep into games since it’s more work to align the shoulders in an uphill manner and still get all the way over to keep pitches down.

(6) Will leave the pitcher in a worse defensive position.

Posture and balance are the foundation for good mechanics. Poor posture and/or balance will throw off the timing of the sequence of events that make up the delivery so having good posture and balance is essential.

Yes. If you compare the release point of someone who’s throwing sidearm with the release point of someone who’s throwing 3/4 (or even overhand) there can be a 1 to 2 foot vertical difference. Studies show that the brain has a hard time processing purely vertical motion (which is why the 12-6 curve is the hardest to hit). Tilting the shoulders will also prepare him for throwing a 12-6 curve from this slot when he’s older.

Not necessarily.

First, Sandy Koufax had a lot of shoulder tilt.

Second, opening the shoulders early is a problem for lots of guys regardless of the arm slot. You shouldn’t start tilting your shoulders until they have started to turn.

Not necessarily.

Here we’ve got dueling gurus and will have to agree to disagree. Shaw says release the ball high (so it’s movement is harder to perceive and so that the ball spends the least amount of time in the sweet spot of the bat). House says release the ball close to the plate.

Last time I checked, Sandy Koufax had a pretty good curveball.

Not necessarily.

Not necessarily. What matters is where the glove ends up. I would prefer that he pulled the glove more into his glove-side pec. That would help his shoulders turn and leave him in a stronger defensive position.

Agreed.

But I don’t think that throwing from a high arm slot will necessarily cause problems.

Yes. If you compare the release point of someone who’s throwing sidearm with the release point of someone who’s throwing 3/4 (or even overhand) there can be a 1 to 2 foot vertical difference. Studies show that the brain has a hard time processing purely vertical motion (which is why the 12-6 curve is the hardest to hit). Tilting the shoulders will also prepare him for throwing a 12-6 curve from this slot when he’s older.[/quote]

You’ve just changed the context of this discussion. The person in question here doesn’t throw sidearm and we’re not talking about the difference between a sidearm slot and a 3/4 (or higher) slot. We’re talking about a kid with a given arm slot and the difference in height of his release point created by tilting the shoulders or not. That’s not that big of a difference in height and I still feel the disadvantages of tilting the shoulders outweigh any perceived benefits there might be.

Not necessarily.[/quote]

“Possibly” = “Not necessarily”?

For any given mechanics flaw, you can always point to some pro (e.g. Sandy Koufax) that was successful despite having that flaw. But when teaching young pitchers - and the person who started this thread is a young pitcher - I don’t think that is a very wise strategy.

Agreed about early shoulder rotation being a problem for lots of guys but I’m not sure why you’re discussing it in conjunction with arm slot. I was talking about it in relation to posture and balance.

Not necessarily.[/quote]

“Probably” = “Not necessarily”?

Here we’ve got dueling gurus and will have to agree to disagree. Shaw says release the ball high (so it’s movement is harder to perceive and so that the ball spends the least amount of time in the sweet spot of the bat). House says release the ball close to the plate.[/quote]

This assumes the batter doesn’t adjust the plane of his swing to match the plane of the pitch.

Last time I checked, Sandy Koufax had a pretty good curveball.[/quote]

Again, you can always find some pro who did something wrong but was still successful. Not a good way to coach youths, IMHO.

Not necessarily.

Not necessarily. What matters is where the glove ends up. I would prefer that he pulled the glove more into his glove-side pec. That would help his shoulders turn and leave him in a stronger defensive position.[/quote]

I’m a believer in bringing the body to the glove. But, regardless, are you telling me that in the last picture the pitcher, despite having the glove even more centered than his glove-side pec, would be able to effectively field a ball hit (or bunted) to the 3B side? Heck, based on where the pitcher is looking right after his release (next to last picture), it’s questionable whether he’d even see a ball hit to the 3b side (or even right back at him :shock: ).

Agreed.

But I don’t think that throwing from a high arm slot will necessarily cause problems.[/quote]

Arm slot isn’t the issue. Posture and balance is.

Longhorn,

As an aside, your body form and mechanics remind me of Bartolo Colon (and of Fernando Valenzuela too). You might be interested in the analysis that I did of Colon’s pitching motion and mechanics…

He has a similar amount of shoulder tilt as you.[/url]

Is the shoulder tilt considered a bad thing or a good thing? Thanks for the analysis

I think it’s good.

Others (e.g. Roger) think it’s bad.

I think it’s interesting that Colon does it pretty much as you do, and he won the AL CY Young last year.

No I haven’t. The only way a person (other than a young child) can throw from a different arm slot is by tilting their shoulders.

This is because the centripetal force that is generated by the rapid rotation of the shoulders causes the forearm to rapidly extend such that it is in line with both the upper arm and the shoulders. The only way to raise the pitching hand is to tilt the shoulders.

The only difference between Randy Johnson, who throws sidearm…

…and Chan Ho Park who throws slightly above sidearm…

…and Akinori Ortsuka who throws above 3/4…

…is how much they tilt their shoulders.

This is very hard to do well if the ball is moving in a purely vertical direction. It’s impossible with anything but a fastball.

I agree.

[quote=“baseballbum”]Post a video if you can, photos can be deceiving. How tall are you ? It looks like your stride can be lengthened that is why it is important to show a video clip and different angles. For the most part digital cameras can take video. IF you have a camcorder try to record your pitching and use Virtuadub to capture it. Video clips do not lie, photos do not tell the whole story.

Also if you have a 67 mph from a bushnell gun then the reading is probably false. Depending how far away they took the reading and the angle it may be 69-70MPH. Perfect example was when I was in Steamboat Springs Colorado last year. I had a Bushnell gun thinking my son was maxing at 65. Come to find out he was hitting 68 MPH.[/quote]
I have alot of video of me pitching from several games that i will get on here as soon as i can.

I also noticed that i have no reverse forearm bounce. Does this just happen when your shoulders rotate at a rapid speed like colon in this picture

[quote=“longhorn”]I also noticed that i have no reverse forearm bounce. Does this just happen when your shoulders rotate at a rapid speed like colon in this picture
[/quote]

You’re throwing hard enough that your forearm should be bouncing (typically only the forearms of little kids – 9 or younger – don’t bounce).

As it turns out, you can see your forearm bouncing in frame 3 of the pictures you posted…

The photo of you above above is taken at basically the same moment as the one of Colon (but from a different angle)…

Colon’s forearm is bouncing more because he is throwing harder (and his shoulders are turning faster).