Lower Body Mechanics/Sequence

I would like some opinions on working the lower body mechanics in pitching.
One drill I like to use is to isolate the lower body and go thru the motion while keeping the arms crossed in front of the chest.
What I am not sure about is which sequence to teach regarding the lower body mechanics.
From the balance position - stride foot goes down towards the ground/rubber, then glides towards the plate - landing closed or at 45° on ball of foot with most of the weight still on back leg = what one could call the power position.
Now - from this power position - should the pitcher first transfer most of his weight onto his front foot, then rotate (late) or should it be a combination of weight transfer and rotation?
Thanks for any advice on this.

Instead of crossing the arms, have you tried putting a bat behind his back and having his elbows hold it in place?

When he does that, have the end of the bat face home as long as possible to encourage proper balance.

I’d use proper weight transfer and hip rotation as w/any delivery.

When he finished that drill, he’ll be facing home obviously and the bat will be pointed towards both dugouts.

Hope that helps.

when stride foot lands we teach weight is balanced. we then fire backside towards plate and weight transfers after release.

Hi folks
Every, and I mean every, mlb pitcher I’ve had occasion to view video clips of (I have many) rotates the hips into landing. This sets up hip/shoulder separation which enhances the stretch shortening cycle (elastic energy, torque, etc) across the torso. None land and then fire the hips. The closest I’ve seen to that is Mark Prior. Nolan Ryan, Clemens, Pedro, Rivera, etc., etc. rotate into landing.

Does the stride leg go straight down then towards the plate or, down towards third then sweep towards home?

Very few I’ve seen go down and straight out. The vast majority bring the foot out and around to landing. That’s not a value judgement at all. It’s just an observation. No more than that.


That has the hips opening into plant. To what degree? What happens to the glide portion of the delivery?

Yes, the hips do open into footplant. To what degree isn’t a prescriptive thing. There are variable at work here such as flexibility, timing, stride length, etc. There are those out there who advocate maximizing the hip/shoulder separation at footplant in order to maximize the energy built up in the muscles and connective tissues across the torso, thus facilitating the transfer of energy from the lower body. On the other hand, there are some who believe it’ll happen of it’s own accord if you attempt to wait as long as you can during the stride before opening the hips. Who’s right, I don’t know. There aren’t enough studies to say conclusively. All I can say with 100% certainty is that high level MLB pitchers who throw very hard have the hips open and shoulders north-south at footplant. They all do it to varying degrees. I once made a spreadsheet documenting my incredibly unscientific observations of how much hip opening 9 MLB pitchers had at footplant. I included guys like Clemens, Nolan Ryan, Rivera, etc. The average was 60 degrees open. Remember, I’m no scientist. Just estimates based on observation of video clips I have.

The “glide portion of the delivery”? I’m not exactly sure what you mean by this but I’m assuming it’s the first portion, moving the centre of gravity away from the rubber. Correct? Basically, you want to drive the front hip sideways toward the target as long as you can and begin rotating at the core JUST prior to the front foot turning over to land. This is aided by the back leg and foot extending and rotating (NOT pulling the back knee forward and inward as is recommended in some places).

I’ve always found that telling a kid to push hard off the rubber has various potential negative effects. If I tell him to drive the front hip forward, sideways and rotate the hips hard into landing, I have much more success with them. Of course, you have to deal with timing of the upper body and arm but that’s another discussion.