Hip Rotation Teach

For those that have done or still do instruction, what’s your focus when talking about hip rotation? I’ve always talked about opening the front hip into front foot plant. I watched Mike Fetters work with a kid yesterday and he focused more on back side rotation.

My worry with focusing on back side rotation was that it would happen too early, when a higher percentage of the weight is still on the back side.

Not looking at timing/sequencing discussion, just from an instructional point of view, experience and results from different approaches to hip rotation.


Thanks guys.

When my son and I work 1-on-1 together, I do try to pay attention to hip/shoulder separation and delayed shoulder rotation in some of his drills/conditioning.

When we do Rocker drills, for example, I include purposeful opening of the hips in the “rock-forward” part, while keeping the shoulders closed.

On the “rock-back” part of the Rocker drill, we close the hips…and of course we re-open them on the next “rock-forward”.

For each iteration of the Rocker drill we usually go through 3 or 4 cycles of “rock-forward, rock-back” and then throw the ball on the last cycle.

I also discuss with him the idea of rotating his hips open into foot-strike during flat-ground/mound throwing sessions.

Looking at videos, it strikes me that there may be some degree of range in the timing of initiation of hip-rotation versus foot-strike among the many good pitchers around baseball, so I don’t dwell much on trying to teach an exact timing of it to my son.

This has been my dilemma EXACTLY.

Thanks for the drillwork thoughts, really appreciate it.

I believe a pitcher’s flexibility determines when the hips must start to open in order to open the front leg/foot into foot plant. Some can open the front leg/foot while keeping the hips closed longer than others.

I am curently attending the NPA’s Coaches Certification and earlier today, Tom House said that hips rotation is a biomechanical inevitability. Translated, that means hip rotation is a non-teach.


Now depending on the pitcher’s physique and “on board” flexibility, then comprehension level, you’ll get varying degrees of what looks like … " got it!"

Some pitchers, because of their girth and body makeup, sense of balance, and maturity seem to be more flexible by first leading with their upper body - in particular their belly and torso, while bringing the hips around as an after thought. And no matter how hard one tries to convince these pitchers to do otherwise, they don’t. Nevertheless, some of these people seem to have success with what feels comfortable, but their longevity is short lived due to the strain that the shoulders and arms take upon themselves.

Reasoning out the health benefits of the technique that your trying to coach here is so important to proper development and all the other things that fall in line with said same.

However, no matter how hard one tries to coach a pitcher in proper techniques - under pressure and strain of the moment, a person will revert back to what they feel most comfortable with, regardless of how right or wrong it is. This “throwback” to what’s comfortable is the mind’s way of reassuring itself under stress. So when coaching this part of the pitcher’s progressive movement, don’t under estimate this portion of the experience.

Coach B.

Hip rotation is an inevitability if you start from a closed position and throw the ball.

But, hip/shoulder separation is not necessarily an inevitability for everyone and it can be taught. Some of House’s towel drills do help with that, unless I am “misremembering”, to borrow a phrase.

Most coaches have seen examples of kids who “throw all arm”, or tend to rotate their hips and shoulders forward simultaneously. Most of those kids don’t go anywhere beyond LL, unless they learn more effective use of their hips and torso.