How much velocity can you really gain?

Can someone please, please tell me why we should listen to more drivel about how a longer stride inhibits hip rotation? Why?

I suggest that the people saying this tell the following people that their stride inhibits hip rotation:

Nolan Ryan
Roger Clemens
Casey Fossum (look at your famous clip, Chris)
Kevin Brown
Billy Wagner
Josh Beckett
Justin Verlander
Mariano Rivera
Mark Prior
Roy Oswalt
Curt Schilling
Scott Kazmir

Come on guys. This has got to stop. All of this talk is so absolute!! Cause and negative effect. “This” will definitely, 100% lead to “that”. Not according to the guys who are actually are doing this at very high levels. Honestly, we keep doing this “cause and effect” thing. Look at the pros. They’re proving us WRONG!!

Maybe I need to describe this a different way. Good mechanics will allow your release point to occur out front where it should. We’re not trying to sacrifice mechanics for the sake of getting the release point as close to home plate as possible. Poor mechanics will prevent you from getting to the release point that you otherwise should. So, for example, tilting the head and shoulders to raise the release point will prevent it from occuring out front where it otherwise would.


One of the things that allows you to get your release point closer to home plate is to delay shoulder rotation. That also helps you hide the ball longer.

[quote]When the kids were 12 I had the two hardest throwing kids in the league. The harder thrower threw all of 1 mph faster than the slower one. However, you would swear he was throwing 5 mph faster. The 1 mph difference was the same however on gun readings and on readings at the plate. Kids tended to take wild swings and miss and were often as not swinging way too early against the 1 mph harder thrower. However, the better hitters who weren’t fooled by the motion tended to hit him fairly hard.

The other one was much smoother and didn’t look like he was throwing as hard as he actually was. Kids weren’t anywhere near as intimidated so they tended to strike out less against him. On the other hand they tended to be behind the ball more often and very seldom hit a ball hard off him, although that may have had more to do with the movement he had on the ball. He was more effective against good hitters while the harder thrower would completely dominate the weaker hitters due to intimidation.[/quote]
Getting the release point out front where it should be also improves your movement on breaking pitches. The proper release point is a stronger release point from the standpoint of putting spin on the ball.

You’ll also probably sacrifice some movement on your breaking pitches.

I don’t think pitchers should try to release the ball any where. Instead, they should try to have good mechanics and allow the mechanics and the natural arm slot to dictate the release point.

What fixed axis? I’m not sure what you mean.

Chris, why do you insist on speaking to House’s old teachings? If you’re going to criticize him, you at least owe it to him to be up to date on his teachings. Any respectable pitching expert will continue to learn and update his teachings along the way.

I can compare what he teaches in his coach’s certification clinic to what he includes in his book to what’s presented in his latest DVDs. I’m not sure where you think he’s holding back from but I can honestly say that the same information is included in all of the above mediums. The only thing that differs is the coach’s clinic since it contains even more up-to-date information that what was last published in book or DVD format.

You need to take a look at the “Pitcher Abuse Points” thread. You still haven’t proven to me that you truly know the story behind Prior.

As for blaming Prior, where did you get that from? I have never heard that.

A stride that is inappropriately long or that is lengthened by inappropriate means can cause those things but I don’t think anyone is recommending that. When I talk about a long stride or a release point out front, I’m talking about where it should be given proper mechanics. But some folks on here seem to think I mean sacrificing mechanics to achieve those things. Couldn’t be further from the truth. The issue is that improper mechanics prevent you front achieving what you should achieve.

The number would be a bit bigger starting from 46 ft. since you are using a smaller distance to start with, however typically speeds thrown by 12yo at 46 ft. are proportionally lower so you’d get roughly the same result I did.

The math works out pretty simply. I assumed a release at 54 ft. from the plate and a release at 53 ft. from the plate. You can then take about 1/53 of the velocity to get the apparent change in velocity. For the result to be a change of 3 mph the average velocity would have to be about 160 mph. I think that may be a few years away.

As far as the difference between reaction time and velocity approaching the plate let’s go back to the LL vs MLB example. A 70 mph fastball thrown from a 46’ mound will reach the plate in the same amount of time as a 91 mph thrown from a MLB mound so the reaction times are the same for the two pitches. I’ve simplified this by using the mound distances rather than the release distances but the result is essentially the same.

The 91 mph fastball, on the gun, approaches the plate at about 82 or 83 mph. The 70 mph fastball approaches the plate at about 64 mph. Reaction times are the same, but I’d find it a lot easier to hit the ball moving at 64 mph than the ball moving at 83 mph and I think the same goes for most people not playing pro ball. If I practice I can hit that 70 mph fastball from 46’. I could practice all I want and I could never get around on a 91 mph fastball thrown by a pitcher from a 60’6" mound. The easiest way to tell the difference is to put on the gear and try catching them. That 70 mph fastball from 46’ is catchable for an old duffer like me. The 91 mph fastball from 60’6" would be just plain dangerous, gear or not.

I don’t know how many times I’ve seen coaches throwing to players at half the distance from the mound at 40+ mph and the kids just hammer it. Yet the same kids can’t catch up with an 80 mph fastball thrown from the mound to save their lives.

In essence one has to fully commit to the swing when the ball is further from the plate if the ball is moving faster as it approaches the plate. That is not directly related to reaction time as you can see from the LL vs MLB example. The ball speed as it approaches the plate when the ball isn’t in exactly the location you are expecting is one reason why bat quickness is so important and why sluggers like Dave Kingman who had great bat speed but not quickness struck out so often.

Now if you take two pitchers throwing the ball at the same speed at release and one is releasing a foot closer to the plate then there will be a small change in reaction time which we’ve seen isn’t that important and a much smaller change in the speed of the ball as it approaches the plate. The difference is about 1/8 mph. That is virtually meaningless considering the relative speeds of the bat and ball.

you want to talk about getting your release point closer to home plate? Well how about cheating?

I’ve found that it’s easy to get away with planting my throwing side back foor about a good two inches up in front of the rubber.

That shortens the distance by a solid two inches. 60 feet, 4 inches.

Is that too small to make a difference? I can’t say for sure. Whaddaya think?

Well I’m more talking about the stride. I think there is a point in the stride where all pitchers can achieve there optimum release point with regards to height and closeness to the plate. I think House would want to expand that stride just a bit in order to get the ball closer to the plate. It obviously has its advantages, but it has its drawbacks as well.

Perhaps firm front side would be a better use of words. I’ve seen this point debated on here too, but there is a point that the cog stops moving forward and the hips continue rotating. Basically just don’t think that the back hip is able to accelerate as fast with a stride that is too long.

The other thing about House’s stuff is that the knee bend he recommends can be questionable for some. I’m not sure squatting down a little bit is effective for everyone

In the coach’s certification, House taught us that the knee should not bend to less than a 90-degree angle. He did say that you should stride onto a bent front knee but he never mentioned that it must be bent any certain amount.


D.M., Aint it something? Why do people not understand or realize what they are watching when they see a clip of a pitcher that you mentioned. Why cant people understand that IF executed properly a longer stride CANT help but deliver more energy potential? If they have a problem believing go find a physics book and read the chapter about mass/acceleration/distance over which its applied. NOPE not good enough than we will hear EXACTLY what we are hearing now. Which is NOTHING more than another sad tired useless theory that amounts to NOTHING! These guys are exactly like the public school system. Dumb it down for all for the sake of a few.

In the coach’s certification, House taught us that the knee should not bend to less than a 90-degree angle. He did say that you should stride onto a bent front knee but he never mentioned that it must be bent any certain amount.[/quote]

I’m talking at the beginning of the windup where he has guys squat down a bit so that there is no upward or downward movement of the head. IF you did have someone squat all the way to 90, and pitch from there, I think it’s too tiring on the legs.

Ok, I misunderstood what you were referring to. You are correct that the knee bend that House sometimes recommends doesn’t apply to everyone. But he doesn’t recommend it for everybody - only those with an excessive dip or those who have balance problems. And no way does the knee bend even approach a 90-degree bend.

Wow, I didn’t get to check back in for a while - my question seemed to have stirred some good discussion…

Thanks all for your input!