Mechanical Analysis Log

I am hoping to keep this log updated with mechanical changes and velocities until i hit that magic number 90(which is a long ways away).

I would like for it to be based on the ideas and concepts of SETPRO and Ron Wolforth. My model will be Nolan Ryan based on the fact that he threw very hard for a very long time. Here are some clips i have of him right now:

And here are the clips of me that i took today. Here I am trying to “be” Tim Lincecum. They were at the end of a BWBK session, so my arm was getting tired, but this is still where i am at right now.

I would also like to say that i know i am capable of throwing at least 81mph, because that is what i hit at a Bootcamp. However now back home, I am only in the low 70 range.

Looking at your third video in particular, you seem to have a really short stride.

i wouldn’t try to stride out further. I would focus on driving more off your back leg.

Looked good otherwise.

I agree that i could get my weight moving forward earlier.

There was something else that i saw as well though. If you look at the front view and watch my posting foot, there is definitely a push into landing. But its a vertical push. Nolan really seems to ride his back leg out and then rotate into landing, maybe even slightly after?

I think the biggest gains will come from working on arm action, and most important my load and unload of the scaps. In the front view, nolan has his scaps fully loaded at high cock/footplant and then unloads them into release(arch to bow). Whereas I’m unloading about 2-3 frames too early before release.

I see an arch and scap load at footplant, but then i fail to continue rotating and instead go linear and push the ball.

So what should i do to correct this? Maybe some reps with the catchers drill to help with load/unload?

[quote]
Nolan really seems to ride his back leg out and then rotate into landing, maybe even slightly after? [/quote]

When working on the lower half (and especially when trying to get it to sync up with the upper half and the throwing arm) I really like doing this drill:

Especially after some BC work. Just start out at high leg lift and ride out the back leg into footplant. All the while you are breaking the hands and moving like you’re going to throw the ball. But don’t throw it. Once you get to footplant then just push yourself back up with your stride leg back into high leg lift…then repeat

After repeating this process about 3 times - throw the ball at the end.

What you’re trying to achieve here is the feel of riding the back leg, then turning the back knee over and down to rotate the hips as you land in to footplant. The sensation of using the back leg & back hip to load up and power the throw.

Once your transfer that energy up the chain into your throwing arm the hope is that (with good arm action) it will allow you to really “crack the whip” at the end and put a lot of force behind the ball without having to put in MORE effort

Here is another clip of Lincecum. Notice here the back leg action of how it’s opening his hips as he moves out and down the mound:

This is what hip/shoulder separation starts with and what some call the “step over” move.

I agree. You will definitely need to work on that first. But alternate your arm action drill work with full throws and incorporate some of that lower half drill work (Wolforth calls this blending I believe) and maybe you will be able to bump up the velo a few ticks with out any extra effort once you start feeling it.

Take a good long look at Ryan’s delivery in the first clip - where he goes completely with the delivery using his mid section. Notice how his entire upper body goes with the release/pitch. Your too up with your deliver posture.

This is because your mid section needs more develpment and strength.

Another point, if you continue to keep up and release with that kind of “stop” motion to you, you’ll be keeping a lot of energy - BACK - instead of giving that energy up to the ball going down range. You also have the risk of developing shoulder and lumbar problems later on.

Use the drill that 101mph suggested and bend more at the mid section. Get use to it. Also, notice after a very short period that you’ll be getting sore and may be even a little cramping in the mid section. That should tell you just how undeveloped you are there (mid section).

Coach B.

101: Thanks for that lower body drill. It will hopefully help with learning how to ride that back leg, which is something i am very poor at right now(my opinion). I will incorporate it into my drill work. I also have a good view/animation that Paul posted on SETPRO of the rotational slide step that i would like to give a try when working with the lower body. I will start with yours though because it seems simpler.

I agree Coach Baker and thanks for the input. I believe what you are referring to is called the bow-flex-bow sequence by some. The first bow is the “gathering” for the throw where the body is “sandwiched”. Then the flex is the arching of the back and loading of the scaps into footplant, and then the final bow is created by unloading the scaps into release and decelerating the arm.

Beaver,
Some very good advice already offered here. I’ll throw in some additional clips to support.

I find that your arm action resembles Alex White far more than Nolan Ryan, despite how you pull the hands down into a lower beginning position. White was a 2009 1st rounder throwing 95 out of NC. I don’t find your arm action that bad although I’ve no doubt some will disagree.

As best I can judge from a 30 fps video and limited camera angles your external rotation is around 20 to 30 degrees at touchdown. Perhaps you’re a little tardy due to your Lincecum dangle? If that’s what your trying here, ditch it, and keep the arm moving constantly from a higher set up… more like White’s. Perhaps you could work to load your scaps/arms in a plane more perpendicular to the spine…. that is, a little less downward action initially out of hand break… more of an active outward push than a passive drop.

How you unload your spine and other proximal areas is not so good as Coach Baker pointed out. As many are aware there are several studies out there, which found higher velocity throwers usually have greater forward trunk tilt along with more stride leg flexion through release. I’ve observed this to be true regardless of stride length, from long striders like Lincecum, and Chapman to more average strides like Verlander, Hernandez and Hochevar.

Here is another example.

Hard tell as your stride foot is sliding on the wood surface but it appears like your front leg is not bracing up and is continuing forward a bit after foot plant.

Of course these are consequences not causes so you’re going to have to back up and find out why you’re in a poor posture at release. Is it a strength deficit or a movement deficit… probably a little of both. I see some med balls lying around that basement torture chamber of yours so I’m sure you’re familiar with some of these.

I like the full body twisting slams the best. Doing these alone however, isn’t going to get you entirely there. All the side work is going to have to carry over into the delivery. Outside the costly expense of motion analysis, video and velocity checks of your delivery will let you know how much progress you’re making.

Finally, comparing models has many benefits and I do it often for various reasons. However, in the final analysis, the purpose of guided trial and error, deliberate practice, or meaningful play, is to discover your own uniqueness. No two great ones have ever looked identical. Good luck

Great post, but no way is he getting just 110-120 deg of MER. You can see from the other video it’s at least 150-160.

[quote]Great post, but no way is he getting just 110-120 deg of MER. You can see from the other video it’s at least 150-160.[/quote]Kyle,

At the risk of opening a huge can of worms here…my apologies to Beaver in advance for the detour.

I’m not talking about Max ER from a side view when referring to “20 to 30 deg at touch down”, but rather ER at touchdown looking from a view behind the pitcher. It’s a measurement you’ll find in the ASMI’s biomechanical analysis reports, along with a number of other measurements taken at this juncture. I’m not really at liberty to discuss their reports in greater detail.

As I’m certain you’re aware, you can’t really determine this measurement very precisely at 30fps off a piece of video. Obviously, the behind pitcher view makes it difficult to judge touch down so you have to go to the simultaneous side view to determine it. It’s admittedly an approximation based on hundreds of hours of looking at this stuff.

Beaver looks close enough to the ASMI elite level ranges that I’m not terribly concerned, but then I really don’t get too hung up on this because I know of some pretty good pitchers who appear to be well under elite level ranges.

I’ll conjecture there are several reasons why Tim can get away with this, while likely putting less additional stress on his joints than might normally be the expected…. but now we are really going off track. Suffice it to say that Beaver’s external rotation at his juncture, or his “arm up timing” is not something I’d worry about… although we all know there are those who would. :boingboing:

Ahh, gotcha. Sounds about right. My mistake.

I guess I’m the only one that can’t get past the first part in the chain that affects everything. If you don’t push and activate your glute by locking out your leg the first step in evaluating this is over. Also deadlifts would help with the roundness in your back.

When i said that i needed to work on arm action, I should have more specifically said that i believe I need to work on the timing of the scap loading and unloading. It may be hard to see, but it looks to me like my scaps are unloading too soon. On the side view of me and Nolan you can see that he continues to “throw” his chest forward while mine stops. I think this is also contributing to my lack of a good unload.

I plan on it.

Good examples with the pictures, it gives a good image of what i need to do. I think i will be able to keep the torso in a better posture if i get rid of the vertical push that i was talking about in an earlier post. The push seems to “extend” my body upwards and is a real loss of power(horrible description). The front leg also appears to be slightly drifting forward as you pointed out.

Yes, I purchased the med ball from Wolforth and am familiar with a couple of those exercises. There were some others that i would like to add to my workout with that i haven’t seen before. And only a madman pitcher would have a basement like this, I know :twisted:

Lots to work on. I think my plan of attack will be:

1-work and loading/unloading scaps
2-work on riding the back leg(haven’t forgot about your drill 101) which i believe will lead to:
3-posture at release, more forward trunk flexion and straighter front leg to stabilize

Thanks for all the help. Some of it is still getting processed.

A number of good observations. But I believe all of the observations are symptoms versus real problem.

As far as drills go, most drills have little or no transfer to the actual throwing process (throwing movement pattern). They are essentially general physical conditioning.

Most of the benefit of the drills if any have to do with intent, that’s what Wolforth’s programs are about i.e. “The Athletic Pitcher”. But as you’ve already discovered i.e. drawing 80 mph at Wolforth’s and then returning home and struggling to hit high 70s, your velocity gains were probably due to increased “intent” due to the environment (other players, different surroundings, really trying to throw hard).

Again your fighting ingrained movement patterns and I don’t believe any of the suggestions really give the greatest return for time invested. Again my opinion.

Beaver,
Unknown to authorities, baseball dungeons such as these have been multiplying all over the country for years and are now producing a new generation of throwing beasts! Forget “man cave”… give me a baseball dungeon! If you don’t have one…you’re not competing! :viking:

Below is another implement of torture that every developing pitcher should have, if you haven’t a trap bar already. Like everything, learn proper technique, and don’t get so carried away with it that you forget why your doing it. You don’t need to set the state deadlift record to become a great pitcher so keep things in perspective. I’ve seen more than one young hormone driven HS pitcher get side tracked with strength development while neglecting throwing technique development.

All of these things go hand in hand, but time put in developing throwing “technique” for the younger athlete is primarily where the focus should be.

Titans,
I’m with you on the value of dead lifts. Below is a video of perhaps the foremost authority on “training” pitchers alive today, Eric Cressy.

Got to love those high top chucks…almost as good as barefoot.

However when it comes training pitchers and baseball athletes Cressy has weighed the “injury risk to reward ratio”, and is now recommending a hex bar or trap bar. Although it wouldn’t surprise me if some of his pro baseball clients, who are comfortable with straight bar deadlifts., still use it.

Of course you’re not suggesting that pitchers lock out their rear leg when throwing are you? :?:

Coach XJ,
Hi Paul. missed your post…I’m sure Beaver (and the rest of us) will want to hear more when he gets home from class. Please expand on what you feel would be a more productive course of action as time permits. :ole:

The trap bar for dead lifts is the way to go. As far as the back leg goes I would say 95 percent locked out for full glute engagement. Not all pitchers do this , many do. I will say this , I can push more weight when my leg is locked out and my glute is engaged 100 percent. MJ on the video is a good ex of what I like to see with max push.mj 2 10 12 side - YouTube

Titans,
Thanks for the reponse…out of respect for this being Beavers log, I suggest starting a new thread on MJ if you want some feedback.

Paul,as hired guns stated, I am looking forward to more input if you’ve got the time.

I have looked and studied your side view at least 10 times. I see the same thing every time I look at it. Your using your quads instead of your gluts and hamstrings. You need to push and lockout your back leg . This seems to be a problem with lots not all of these clips on this site. There was a bio mechanical breakdown of this (percent breakdown of muscles used in a delivery). If someone has this please post it. I lost the book. Kyleb’s guys appear to do an excellent job glut and hamstring engagement.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to ignore all of the other posts before. I was short on time.

Titans: I can see what you mean (I think). My weight needs to be distributed back more into a sit. Using the quads instead of glutes/hammy appears to be making me push too early, and i lose energy since the push is untimed. Also think i need to be less aggressive with the lower body. Let it relax and just ride the back leg, continue to sit into footplant.

I currently perform deadlifts, although i don’t have a trap bar. It would be a good investment, but there are some other things i think that could give me more benefit since deadlifts can be done without a trap bar.