I am a pitching coach at a local HS in AZ and we have a LHP freshman throwing low 80’s with good stuff on varsity. He is a little scrappy pitcher than can fool the RH Batters, but there is just one problem… Everytime he gets in his motion, then tucks his front half (which is extremely aggressive), and released the ball his head looks down and eyes are looking down at the ground as he releases the pitch. He tends to be a little crazy, but when he hits his spots it’s amazing what he can do. How can I fix the head issue? His front half tuck is so aggressive that it’s pulling his head down.
Here is a picture of what is happening when he is mid release. Any and all help is appreciated! I’m at a loss! Never seen anything like this in my days of coaching.
One thing I can think of is to have him practice bringing his chest to the glove instead of tucking.
when the head moves dramatically, it’s usually a balance issue. Find the last frame in the delivery that looks “right” then look at it frame by frame from there. You will find it. Viking is right about chest to glove because it helps with balance and flow down the target line instead of away from it–like his head is currently doing.
I also suggest focusing on the glove because (1) cleaning up the glove side may clean up the head snap and (2) it just plain needs some work based on what I see in the picture.
What I see in the picture is that the pitcher has pulled his glove back and outside his torso and this has led to early shoulder rotation. The pitcher definitely looks over-rotated given that he hasn’t released the ball yet. This is both a performance and a health issue.
You can find plenty of pictures of pro pitchers who, at release point, have their glove in front of their torso (left to right) as well as out in front with space between glove and chest. Getting to this position would be one goal and this could help clean up the head snap.
But I’d start by making sure he gets to a good equal & opposite position at foot plant because a short front side is a quick front side and that leads to early rotation too.
If you’re in the Phoenix area, I’d be happy to meet to talk in person. Send me a private message if interested.
Roger, Are there any drills that help with this?
I’m not a mechanic’s coach, but from my vantage point I see a youngster who is trying to howitzer the ball too much… Perhaps a little less “umph” on the ball and a little more concentration on pitching form and purpose.
Now I know this isn’t gonna sit well with those that want a rocket sled for a pitch, but it just might take the head stuff down a peg or two.
I mentioned the “equal & opposite” position which is about getting the glove side to mirror the throwing arm at front foot plant. The" glove in front of the torso" position is the position after the glove swivels over and moves to that position where it stabiizes somewhere in front of the torso. This happens a bit later in the delivery.
So, I can’t think of any drills specifically targeted for these elements of the delivery. However, I have used the NPA’s knee drill (on 2 knees - not 1) and rocker drill as these allow focus to be placed on the upper half while taking the lower half out of the equation.
Coach B. I believe it is a result of a pitcher who is front side dominant. Like Roger says early rotation of the shoulder causes over rotation. The arm is dragging and the pitcher is basically dragging his back hip through? I may not have a good understanding of this issue but this is how I interpret.