Lifting back foot on changeup

I wasn’t sure whether to put this here or somewhere else. But anyway, I have heard before that you should lift your back foot and should not drag it when you throw your changeup. I recently watched Mike Mussina pitch and I noticed he doesn’t drag his back foot at all on any pitches, it just kind of pops up off the dirt. Any feedback?

If you look at most “power” pitchers, their foot almost always drags.

My foot comes up before release and I consider that a mechanical flaw and I’m trying to fix it. Either way, your mechanics for a change up should be the same as your fastball. Having separate mechanics for different pitches could lead to problems.

Anyone else?

Dragging your foot shows the pitch, I am against it.

For me, the only real mechanical change between my FB and CH is my stride. I tended to stride just a little shorter (2-3 inches) on my changeup so I could really pronate my hand and pull down on the ball with FB arm speed. As a result of my CH stride, my back leg follow through wasn’t as pronounced as with the FB … but it never dragged for any pitch. In a perfect world, pitchers wouldn’t have to wear pitching toes on their spikes, because there’s no advantage at all to dragging the foot on any pitch.

But we don’t live in a perfect world :slight_smile:

Most pitchers do have a characteristic drag line associated with their delivery. Don’t confuse having a consistent, repeatable drag line with “dragging your foot on some pitches, but not on others”.

Mussina has a very short drag line, so did Curt Schilling (in his recent years). Those guys can control their balance, momentum to the plate, and release point extremely well in their deliveries so that proves…what? It proves that some individuals can do what these two guys do and be successful at it. Most pitchers, are successful with a dragline on every pitch that averages something like two of their own shoe lengths…it’s why there is a successful cottage industry out there that makes $$ for reinforcing the toe of the posting foot cleat for thousands of pitchers.

re: "…because there’s no advantage at all to dragging the foot on any pitch. "

–How do you know that to be true, Steven?

[quote=“laflippin”]re: "…because there’s no advantage at all to dragging the foot on any pitch. "

–How do you know that to be true, Steven?[/quote]

I stayed at a Holiday Inn over the weekend :wink:

Of course, I’m being sarcastic. I actually don’t know why you would or wouldn’t drag your foot. I just wouldn’t do it. You?

Well, now that you ask…yes, I would, if a pitcher might be helped by doing something to his posture and dynamic balance that simultaneously creates a dragline and at the same time gives him a repeatable release point.

House suggests that a pitcher’s dragline can be used as a valuable diagnostic tool for certain mechanical issues and I agree with that idea. I wouldn’t ever tell a pitcher he must drag his posting foot in any special way (that would mean putting the cart before the horse, so to speak). But I would use his current dragline (or lack of one), plus other information, to help him find a posture he can maintain from start-to-release with good dynamic balance, and momentum completely directed toward the target.

In most cases, the tweaks that help a pitcher improve those things do lead to a very reproducible dragline.

The NPA has conducted motion analysis studies on ~500 elite pitchers by this point. Part of NPA’s philisophical approach is to empirically identify fundamental mechanical commonalities among this group of pitchers, and use the data in an attempt to separate observable evidence from speculation. Another mission for them is: To identify highly conserved mechanical efficiencies as something separate from individual ‘signature’ issues.

For example, “opposite and equal” arms from start of motion through to footstrike is a very highly conserved mechanical feature among elite pitchers. On the other hand, exactly how each pitcher configures his arms to arrive at “opposite and equal” is individual signature.

By the same token, a dragline equal in length to about two of the individual’s shoes is a highly conserved feature among NPA’s 500+ motion analysis database of elite pitchers. (That doesn’t mean “everyone”, of course…it only means “most”). Another highly conserved feature of elite pitchers’ draglines is that, regardless of their individual (‘signature’) shape, their draglines are almost always directed right at the target at the end.

Sorry for the (very) long-winded discussion of this seemingly miniscule point, but it’s of interest to me and I’ve seen some good mechanical improvements come from a judicious use of dragline information.

Great explanation, Lee! :applaud:

In a nutshell, the back foot drags as a result of doing other things right (e.g. good posture, staying closed, etc.). One should not really try to drag the back foot - it should just happen much like pronating after release.

The original question is actually opposite of the old, bogus teach in which the pitcher tries to drag the back foot to “take something off” the pitch. :puke1:

Good explanation la

[quote=“Roger”]In a nutshell, the back foot drags as a result of doing other things right[/quote]Yep. That’s it, in a nutshell.

[quote=“Roger”]… the old, bogus teach in which the pitcher tries to drag the back foot to “take something off” the pitch. :puke1:[/quote]I get ill when I hear that one too, Roger.

The other side of this is that, if you drag on fastballs and not on changeups, (or vice-versa) an astute player or coach will pick up on that and you’ll be telegraphing your pitch.

i beleive it is because of how long your stride is
lincecum, joba and tom seaver have/had very long strides
but brandon webb does it a little too