How to improve foot plant for a 14 yr. old RH pitcher

My 14 year old RH son lands toe first rather than heel or ball of the foot first in his delivery off the mound. This foot plant leads to mechanics problems and loss of velocity. He and his pitching coach have done video analyses of this, and have tried many exercises to improve the plant. My son still tends to land toe first. Does any one have any suggestions on exercises to correct this problem. [/wmp]

Many people on this site (including me) don’t think landing toe first matters at all.

Hi BenF,

Thank you for your comment. Would you think that a more stable foot plant will post the leg with more strength and allow him to stay back in the delivery?

David

My suggestion would be to focus on stabilizing posture and balance while creating momentum. Get him into an athletic starting stance (knees and waist slightly bent) and get his butt moving down the hill. Let the foot plant happen.

Many times a player’s physique – tall slender, stocky compact, etc., has as a lot to do with how a pitcher will perform. Couple this with a player’s physical maturity and you’ll get a refinement in the decision making process of why or why not certain things happen.

If your son is tall and slender for his age, much of his concentration can be focused at or near the center of his chest – thus passing down the body all sorts of leg and foot postures while progressing through his pitching cycle and his landing with his stride foot.

On the other hand, he could be just timid to the stride forward, for many reasons that will pass with experience and confidence as he gets older.

I’ve worked with pitchers that have this motion and as long as they are athletic and in good shape, there’s not much to complain about. On the other hand, be mindful of your son complaining about soreness in the lower back – where the spine meets the hips, along with the base of the neck behind his head and the groin area. In this instance, his physical mature and muscle development needs work – all other things be equal with respect to HOW he’s going through his moves during his pitching cycle.

Coach B.

I agree, you can find guys that land heal, land toe and middle, I think all have one thing in common and that is not coming down hard onto the plant foot but to come down with posture and balance.