I need help

What do I need to do to fix my mechanics? My legs aren’t being utilized efficiently and I would like to know how to fix it.

Some background, I’m 16 and in my junior year of high school. I’m only 5’11 but I have a stocky build. Last time I was clocked I was at 81-83 consistently and i ran it up there one time to to 85, that was this past summer. I have a 2 seam, 4 seam, slider, and change up arsenal. Problem is, is that I have the worst accuracy on the team. My coaches expect me to be a big part of the rotation this year if I can throw strikes. I’m working hard in the gym currently on increasing my flexibility and core strength. Everyone says I’m using all arm and none of my lower body. I get that, but what I don’t get is how do I fix it. No one has given me a drill to fix my mechanics at home. I just want to throw strikes and if possible add some mph. Any help or advice is appreciated. Sorry for the long post guys.

What do I need to do to fix my mechanics? My legs aren’t being utilized efficiently and I would like to know how to fix it.

Some background, I’m 16 and in my junior year of high school. I’m only 5’11 but I have a stocky build. Last time I was clocked I was at 81-83 consistently and i ran it up there one time to to 85, that was this past summer. I have a 2 seam, 4 seam, slider, and change up arsenal. Problem is, is that I have the worst accuracy on the team. My coaches expect me to be a big part of the rotation this year if I can throw strikes. I’m working hard in the gym currently on increasing my flexibility and core strength. Everyone says I’m using all arm and none of my lower body. I get that, but what I don’t get is how do I fix it. No one has given me a drill to fix my mechanics at home. I just want to throw strikes and if possible add some mph. Any help or advice is appreciated. Sorry for the long post guys.

I’ve seen this all too often—pitchers who throw with all arm and don’t use the lower half of the body nearly enough, if at all. Let me tell you about what I used to do in my playing days, something that goes way back.
What I found out, early on, was that pitchers need to get the whole body into the action. I used to go to Yankee Stadium every chance I got, and I would watch the Yankees’ Big Three in action—Allie Reynolds, Vic Raschi and Eddie Lopat. I watched them during pregame practice and in games, and I noticed that they were all doing the same thing; they were driving off the lower half of the body, using the legs, the hips and the torso in one continuous motion, and that was how they were generating the power behind their pitches. They were all using that seamless motion to create a nonstop flow of energy from the bottom all the way up through the shoulder and the arm to the fingertips, so they could throw harder with less effort—even Lopat, who was by no means a fireballer. What this did was take a lot of pressure off said arm and shoulder. How not to get a sore arm.
I made a note of this, saw exactly how they were doing it, and started working on it on my own; as I practiced this essential element of good mechanics I found that I was doing the same thing they were. I can tell you about one thing that should get you started: it’s called the “Hershiser” drill, and it aims to get the hips fully involved—the hips are actually the connecting point between the lower and the upper half of the body, and when you can get everything working together you just might find yourself with more power to spare. And the “Hershiser” drill requires no special equipment, just a fence or a wall. You can find it on this website, with instructions on how to do it.
As for throwing strikes—here’s something else I used to do in my playing days. I would get a catcher, we would go to an unused playing field, I would take the mound while he set up behind the plate with his mitt, and we would play a little game we called “ball and strike”. He would position his mitt in different places: high, low, inside, outside, on the corners, everywhere except standing on his head, and I would work on getting my pitches smack-dab into the pocket of said mitt. I don’t know what your arm angle is, but I was a honest-to-gosh sidearmer and I used the crossfire a lot. It was a terrific workout and a lot of fun, and i can’t think of a better way to sharpen up one’s control! 8) :slight_smile:

Thank you for the reply! I’m very intrigued by this herschiser drill and would like to know more but I’m not getting the link you posted. Also I throw from a higher 3/4 arm slot, I think… I am a converted pitcher, originally I was a right fielder/third baseman, the coaches switched me last year. They have never told me my arm slot but if I had to guess based off what I have read, that would be my guess. I’ll see if I can find more videos of me pitching in a game.

Well your stride is about a foot long, you don’t really use your body that well. Find a pitcher you think is good and study how he uses his body.

Work on using you legs more stride, strength and control. I think this might start changing your arm action to a more natural arm slot. Once you have done that for a few weeks post some more video, maybe from more than one angle and then you can move forward.

Thank you for the replies! I have a couple of questions though. Seanbaseball14, I take it my stride is not very good at 1 ft. About how long should I be striding? Buwhite, when you say more strength what exactly do you mean? By strength do you mean in my legs and core? Sorry for the questions I’m just not very knowledgeable in pitching.

Stride length roughly, it depends on the person, should be around your height. Now some people have shorter than normal strides, some have longer than normal. But unless your chunking 90+ I’d look into increasing your stride.

Ah I see and this summer when I was gunned, I sat around 81-83 topping out at 85. I really want to get my accuracy to pinpoint this fall but it would be nice to gain some added velocity. I feel like I need more velocity to be looked at as a junior. Also do you think that bending my knee more when I throw would help me with using my lower body more? My coach says I have a really bad stiff knee but he said he wanted to work on other things mechanically first.

Bending your knee as in a squat position wouldn’t be very beneficial, since your exerting your force in to the ground with intent to go up, not towards your target. Think about it sort of like a lateral jump, how does your back leg look then?

I’m sorry sean, I meant to say that I have a stiff front knee. My coach is saying that by not bending my front knee I’m not getting through pitches.

If you bend your front knee you will kill your velocity, if you bend your front knee when landing the energy up to that point will be leaked, killing your power. Working into that stiff front leg, which will land bent then work into stiffening out, will help translate that force into your throw.

See how Aroldis Chapman’s front leg works.

Hate to say it but that was some pretty bad advice by your coach. Not sure where he came up with that.

Most coaches will tell you that your landing leg should be in an “athletic” position (when striking). Whatever that means…

They will also say that too stiff of a landing leg will cause unnecessary wildness.

Most successful pitchers have a pretty significant amount of absorption with their lead leg upon footstrike, I am not really sure if they intend to, but when I am throwing it seems really counterintuitive to artificially stiffen my left leg. Maybe that is just me?

I’m gonna work on what Sean said and post a video in a few days. Also Kyle what you said about what most coaches think about stiff front legs is right on with what my coach feels. What you said about stiffening the leg artificially being counterintuitive makes some sense but to me I think they stiffen the front leg after to recover their balance.

Get in the weight room and develop more “explosive” legs, you look strong but you need more explosive strength. Hit the squats both in power, strength and speed!