Mechanics Help (Video included)


#1

Hello everyone…

For the last 2 weeks or so I’ve been studying my mechanics and trying to improve. I’ve already noticed several things with my own eyes but thought I could use the help of some of you.

I never have shoulder or elbow pain but usually get a very numbing type pain on the top part of my forearm. After studying some of Chris O’s pdf’s I’ve noticed that all major league pitchers break the ball out of their glove and then bring it down their leg and move it away from their body then bring it up to throw. After studying myself I’ve noticed that I bring the ball down to an “upside down L” and never take it away from my body, I just bring it back up when I throw. I’m guessing this could be where my forearm pain comes from. I looks like my arm is taking tremendous force coming back up that quickly.

I havn’t been clocked anytime recently but I’m guessing I’m throwing 83~. Thats just a guess… It seems like its going pretty fast but I don’t want to get my hopes up so I’ll say 83. I know I can improve my velocity though.

I have a video clip of me pitching from a side view. I’ve also slowed it down to 50% speed to help analyze it.

I’m 6’3 if thats of any use.

Click here for video.
http://metaltactics.com/movies/Pitching2.wmv

Save target as… if clicking doesn’t work.

Thanks for taking the time to look.


#2

One thing that I noticed is that on your leg kick it looks like you are swinging your leg up instead of a simple lift up. Try that and see if it helps.

I need to make one of me pitching and analyze me.


#3

The problem seems to be timing. When you break your hands from the glove, your foot is already on the way down. Basically everything above your waist is a tick behind your lower body. The “upside down L” is happening because you are rushing to get the ball up to a point that you can throw from. The more I look at that part of your motion, it reminds me of Keith Foulke.


#4

Your front foot opens up virtually immediately as you begin into the stride. Keep it sideways as long as you can, until you are just about to turn it over to land. This early opening has a tendency to bring the hip and even the shoulders with it. The result in your delivery is that, when your front foot lands (on it’s heel) your shoulders have already opened, a lot. The hips and entire lower body rotates very late but before landing. During this, the shoulders do NOT begin to open. The throwing arm is getting into position here. As soon as the front foot lands, the shoulders rotate. You’ve got the timing of these parts out of sync. So, lead with the front hip, sideways, keeping that front foot from opening. Just before landing, rotate the lower body, focussing on getting the belly button going forward. As the foot lands, the shoulders rotate, the chest gets thrust toward the target (arching the back in the process). The upper body then flexes forward to release and beyond. It all has to be smooth and not segmented. It’s not 1 then 2 then 3. It’s 123.

By the way, is there any way to get this video in mpg format? It’s tough to step frame by frame with Real Player, or does anyone out there have any suggestions as to how to step through wmv files frame by frame?


#5

Things I noticed:

(1) Height of knee lift is good. Front knee taken to back shoulder is fine.

(2) You appear to look down and take your eyes off your target momentarily during the delivery. Learn not to do that - it just takes reps to break the habit.

(3) Your stride leg is fairly straight at foot strike. I’d prefer to see the front knee bent more and your center of gravity a bit lower.

(4) Arms are not in an opposite and equal position at foot strike. Instead, you’ve already got your glove pulled to your side at foot strike.

(5) Early rotation of the shoulders as evidenced by your glove being at your side at foot strike.

(6) Not much separation between hips and shoulders. Early rotation of the shoulders pretty much defeats this.

(7) Back foot lifts off the ground before the ball is released instead of dragging and staying on the ground until after release.

(8) You finish facing 1B with your glove back towards 2B.

In general, I think you need to get to foot strike quicker. So the adjustments I’d recommend are:

(1) Start with the knees bent a bit more to lower your center of gravity.

(2) Get the hips started toward the target a bit sooner but do not sacrifice the height of your knee lift.

These two adjustments will get you a longer stride, cause you to land with the front knee bent a bit more and get you to foot strike quicker. Assuming you can keep an upright torso up to release, your back foot will drag and stay down until release. Note that achieving his may require you to work on strength and flexibility in your lower back.

(3) Make sure your arms are in an opposite and equal position at foot strike. This means that the angles between the upper arm and forearm is the same for each arm. The arms can be both up, both down, one up and one down, etc. but the angles need to be the same. This afftects your balance and timing. When you make this adjustment, make the adjustment in the glove arm - not the throwing arm.

(4) Try to swivel your glove so the palm faces you and stabilize it out over the front foot. Bring your body to the glove.


#6

I think you’re right.

Looking at your video, this part of your arm action reminds me of Anthony Reyes and Paul Byrd, both of whom have had a series of injury problems. The problem with this type of arm action is that it will increase the degree and force with which your pitching arm will externally rotate.

I would prefer that you swung your arm more out toward 2B rather than dropping your hand to your side and then picking it straight up.

Just curious, but where did you learn to do this? Were you taught it or did you just come up with it on your own?

Also, here are a couple other things I noticed…

  1. You really reverse-rotate your shoulders and maintain this attitude as you start to move to the plate. That, combined with the arm action I describe above, could be related to the things you are feeling in your arm. It sounds like something may be going on with a nerve in your arm.

  2. You seem to land on the heel of your glove-side foot. This might affect your control.

  3. Based on the angle of your elbow at the release point, I think you might be overestimating your velocity. I say this because your shoulders seem to rotate pretty much with your hips, which will rob you of power. This may also force you throw throw more with your arm and may also be related to what’s going on in your arm. I woud suggest that you try to keep your shoulders closed while your hips open up underneath them. This photo of Cassey Fossum is an extreme example of what I (and Roger and DM59) am talking about…

Nolan Ryan and Cliff Politte are also great examples of guys who generate tons of power with their bodies by rotating their hips ahead of their shoulders (which then enables the muscles of the torso to powerfully pull the shoulders around).


#7

Nope.

I end up clicking and then clicking again on the Play/Pause button to get some semblance of a frame by frame view (it’s really more like every 5 frames).


#8

Thanks for the help guys…

Its just a habit I suppose.

I slowed down the video even more for you guys. Hopefully this can help you out some.

Slower Video
http://metaltactics.com/movies/pitchslow.wmv

I’ll work on this stuff and make a new video in a few days when the weather gets better. Hopefully I can work out my issues before Legion ball starts in a few weeks.


#9

Awesome.

  1. You definitely start turning your shoulders to soon. Not only will this rob you of power, but I have a theory that it might increase the likelihood that you will injure your shoulder.

  2. I think part of the reason that your hips don’t rotate much ahead of your shoulders is that your stride might be a little long. It might be easier to keep your hips rotating, and hold your shoulders back, if you took a slightly shorter stride.

  3. I also agree that you pick up the target pretty late in your delivery.

  4. I think your footwork needs work. Your feet seem kind awkward during your wind-up. Your pitching arm side foot seems to stop and start at least once.


#10

Thanks for the quality advice.

Any idea where I might find some good videos of Major League pitchers during their delivery from angles other than TV (behind the pitcher)?


#11

Darrell,
You can step frame by frame in Windows media player if you have version 10. You can download it for free here:

http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/mp10/default.aspx

Then there is a button on the upper left that looks like three dashes “-” on top of a “v” select the button and a menu comes up. Select the menu item Enhancements->Play Speed settings
This brings up a set of controls on the bottom where there are two buttons for stepping frame by frame forward and backward.
Hope this helps.

Joe


#12

I think you’re right.

Looking at your video, this part of your arm action reminds me of Anthony Reyes and Paul Byrd, both of whom have had a series of injury problems. The problem with this type of arm action is that it will increase the degree and force with which your pitching arm will externally rotate.

I would prefer that you swung your arm more out toward 2B rather than dropping your hand to your side and then picking it straight up.

Just curious, but where did you learn to do this? Were you taught it or did you just come up with it on your own?

Also, here are a couple other things I noticed…

  1. You really reverse-rotate your shoulders and maintain this attitude as you start to move to the plate. That, combined with the arm action I describe above, could be related to the things you are feeling in your arm. It sounds like something may be going on with a nerve in your arm.

  2. You seem to land on the heel of your glove-side foot. This might affect your control.

  3. Based on the angle of your elbow at the release point, I think you might be overestimating your velocity. I say this because your shoulders seem to rotate pretty much with your hips, which will rob you of power. This may also force you throw throw more with your arm and may also be related to what’s going on in your arm. I woud suggest that you try to keep your shoulders closed while your hips open up underneath them. This photo of Cassey Fossum is an extreme example of what I (and Roger and DM59) am talking about…

Nolan Ryan and Cliff Politte are also great examples of guys who generate tons of power with their bodies by rotating their hips ahead of their shoulders (which then enables the muscles of the torso to powerfully pull the shoulders around).[/quote]

You have any stretches or workouts that you can do enable to do this? I am not very flexible right now and could use some quality stretches.


#13

That image of Fossum is pretty extreme. I’m not even sure it’s our goal. As far as getting to this position, I think it would be difficult even for Fossum without the momentum of the body to fuel this. Right now, I wouldn’t attempt to emulate this. I would focus on a smooth timing of the parts such that the hips lead into landing with the shoulders not rotating until that front foot lands.


#14

Agreed.

He probably has to get this degree of separation to be effective because he is such a string bean.

Agreed.


#15

I’m starting to think that mechanical analysis is a bunch of hot air … one guy says his lead foot opens up immediately as he goes into his stride… another guy says his shoulders rotate too soon … I don’t see any of that happening … I just don’t see it.


#16

[quote=“andrew.ra.”]I’m starting to think that mechanical analysis is a bunch of hot air … one guy says his lead foot opens up immediately as he goes into his stride… another guy says his shoulders rotate too soon … I don’t see any of that happening … I just don’t see it.[/quote]I think you should look again or are you saying that opening the front foot up that early is a good thing? His shoulders are approximately 45 deg. open when his front foot lands. Both of these things are as clear as can be in the video. Step through it frame by frame and it’s quite obvious. You just might find the “hot air” dissipate.


#17

all right all right … he does have his shoulders rotated by foot plant, yes …


#18

If he (or anyone) wants to maximize his velocity, his shoulders shouldn’t start to turn until after his foot plants. That stretches the muscles of the torso which then enables them to powerfully pull the shoulders around.