High knee lift?


#1

Why a pitcher needs high or medium knee lift before a stride?

I mean, what are the benefits. I have trouble with high knee lift.
Somehow I dont feal torque in area of lower back and abs that I do feal with lower knee lift, its wierd i know.

I have a clip of Zumaya throwing 101mph where he uses slide step,
and Lincecum 100mph pitch where he lift his knee very little.

Heres how my leg lift looks like:


Notice how I lead my stride with sole (I think that how you call it) of my foot, I didnt realize that before I recorded myself, funny isn’t ut? Tho my mechanics could be a little diffrent on the mound.


#2

Knee lift is a matter of comfort and balance I think. If you aren’t comfortable with a high knee lift, then don’t do it. My opinion is that a higher leg lift can encourage a more dynamic and explosive move to the plate, but I imagine there are those who would argue differently.

Having said that, you tend to “spin out” of the load portion, that is, instead of picking the foot up, then bringing it down and then forward, you swing it around and then down. This awkward motion is used by some major leaguers, but is a very difficult motion, and if I were working with you I’d suggest you bring the leg up, straight to the target, turn toes to target, then plant.

One way to eliminate the swing is to work from the stretch (with a slide step if it’s more natural or comfortable for you), concentrating on moving the GS foot to target instead of out and around.

One other thing I think is happening here is that you aren’t throwing with enough aggression. Your stride is relatively short, and your body looks like you’re in slow motion. I am a very aggressive sort, boxed and played hockey and mangled my own (and some other’s) bodies in my day, and I always look to the more aggressive guys as the ones who can produce on game day.

It is a gift for those who can be mentally aggressive while remaining physically relaxed…but it is also something that can be learned if you really want to. Again, just my opinion…

By the way, WOW! Your english is waaaaaay better than my Russian! :wink:


#3

That way (in video) I really feal the torque through my body, but then my arm just whips around my body, I dont get a chance to use my arm strenght at all.

I started to do as you said, up down then towards the target. I dont feal that torque through my body as much (with longer stride I feal like my hips open by themself, not as powerful), but it looks like my velocity is same, maybe better, cant tell 'cause I cant get radar gun around here.

I have a lot of clips of MLB pitchers. I use a clip of Jason Davis as my guide.

My English got worse because I didnt use it for 6 years now. I learned it when I was a student (senior in HS) in USA.


#4

I don’t think a high knee lift is critical.

As you point out, many guys throw plenty hard with a slide step.


#5

Assuming you get your body moving, then the longer your leg stays in the air, the longer your stride will be. Now, you can achieve that by lifting the leg higher or by taking it back towards 2B. My opinion is that you should try to lengthen your stride to build up more momentum. That will create more energy that you can put into your throw. It will also make you appear more “aggressive” as Hoseman described.

By the way, I think part of the reason you “spin out” of your delivery as Hoseman pointed out is because you appear to stride to the closed side and then lean toward the target by bending at the waist. That is a late posture change that causes a balance problem which will lead to inconsistency.


#6

I don’t think a high knee lift is critical.

As you point out, many guys throw plenty hard with a slide step.[/quote]

I agree, if a pitcher want to have a high leg kick for style go a head.

The important thing is to keep the COG (center of gravity) over the pivot leg and behind the rear.