My mechanics, critique the heck out of em, please!

These are my thoughts on what I saw, I expect I missed certain things or interpreted things incorrectly. My delivery feels really smooth and my control is great, but I feel like I’m leaving a lot of velocity on the table.

Edit: I thought it was worth noting I was a touch under the velocity I have been at. Probably a product of my legs and body not feeling to great, and not recovering well from lifting.

  • I am unsure if poor external rotation is an indicator of a mechanical fault or a direct issue. Either way, my amount of external rotation was very limited.
  • My hip/shoulder separation wasn’t great and could be improved without a doubt.
  • My arm path is still INSANELY long, I really thought I had improved it. I think this is a weak link, and really killing velocity. I feel like I’m leaving my arm out to dry because it is practically locked out when my body has already landed.
  • I am also striding slightly closed and reducing my hip rotation. (I saw this because the warn spot on the mound is a few inches to the right of where my foot is on the rubber.

Also my stride is pretty long, I am considering whether or not it is too long almost. The mound I am on is less sloped than a game mound (try as I might, the ground settles underneath it) and it isn’t perfectly level due to the surface its on.

The video is 3 different pitches, windup, stretch, from behind homeplate (offcenter to the left).
I also uploaded it to rapidshare if anyone is wanting to be able to look at it frame by frame.
http://rapidshare.com/files/73669025/Pitching_12-01-07.wmv.html

You look pretty good

Hard to start and stop the video but I do see something you don’t look like you are throwing explosivly {sp} are you thing at MAX MPH and what would it be?

I say speed up the body and move faster then what you are you seem to be lagging off the rubber and not moving like you could.

But all in all we would need to know if that was a game speed video to keep going on with things you can do

Anyone got anything else?

Maybe some tips/drills to fix things I noted such as my arm path?

I know RIstar will inevitably say more explosive and move faster, but I think there’s more to it than that. I’m a long and lanky dude. There’s something to be said for long levers (arm length) verses short levers IMO. All the really violent looking pitchers seem to be of the smaller variety.

That being said, I do think my motion doesn’t look violent enough, as if I’ve got more force to create, but then again I’ve always felt that way when I watch film, yet always feel like I’m generating what I can on the mound.

On the slide step, I’d rather see you use more of a load than just making the first move straight to the plate. All you have to do is lift your leg at the same angle as you normally would, but make it a shorter lift. That will also help you lead with the hip a little more. Think “knee to knee.”

Great point, thanks palo!

I always thought knee to knee since I read Steve’s first book a few years ago. I think I have subconsciously gotten away from it. To be honest I didn’t even think about that, I was looking at everything towards the end, yet missing obvious early things.

Also, I think your arm action could use some work. There is a point in the motion where your arm is almost horizontally pointed toward 2nd base. This really should never happen. You may be able to fix this by making your intent a little better. As soon as you break your hands, try to get rid of the ball. I don’t mind the somewhat long arm swing in the back, but at some point the arm has to speed up and throw the heck out of the ball.

Also, your throwing arm breaks back toward first base, but it looks like you were taught to point your glove at the catcher. I’d rather see a little better symmetry or opposite and equal out of your throwing and glove arm. If your throwing arm goes toward 1st, your glove arm should start out closer to 3rd. This will give your arm time to catch up and help you keep your shoulders closed a bit longer. Rivera and Clemens use a similar glove action.

Thanks again for the reply palo.

I completely agree on the arm action. It makes my motion look so long and slow. And well I think it may be what’s preventing me from getting a high degree of external rotation.
I have just struggled to break the old habit. I have always been searching for some sort of cue or drill to help break it. I guess lots of throwing focusing on short arm action.

I really like the pointing of the glove idea. I think that may help me to keep the shoulders closed for that extra split second that I’m looking for.

Thanks for your thought/ideas!

All I got is, “WOW!”

The fixed arm path, shortened was that big fix, I couldn’t tape it due to time, but wow there’s no doubt I was throwing significantly harder. My brother/catcher was in shock at how much harder the ball was coming in.

I did my usual over/under throwing workout and I was throwing the 4oz and 6oz way harder than usual.

This change could be the one that really puts my offseason where I want it to be.

I figure once it is ingrained into my mind and I can loosen my arm up throw the arm path I will add a touch more pop potentially.

Thanks again palo.

I didn’t play with the glove pointed towards 3rd so much, but when I did it seemed to help.

I cannot even fully put into words how good I’m feeling after my bullpen today, it’s as if all of the work I have been putting in has finally materialized on the mound.

Great to hear CF, keep up the good work!

Stop the vid at footstrike. Check your posture, are you in the power position? It looks to me as you are clearing your head to the left. Bring your head back to center and look at your front arm. This is the reason you move toward the first baseline. At footstrike you should have your front arm in front and horizontally rotate (You kind of barrel roll your chest), bringing chest to glove. Now CF you know I’m not a guru and change isn’t something I really want you doing based on just this but consider what I’ve said and if you think it makes sense work it into a pen and see if you get some control, velo and stamina improvement, why because you’ll be throwing for a much more solid and balanced base… If not disregard like an ugly girls phone number :shock:

I have never, ever heard a college level coach advocate for violence within a delivery, conversely I have heard at least 3 say directly that they use violence within mechanics as a disqualifier.

[quote=“jdfromfla”]Stop the vid at footstrike. Check your posture, are you in the power position? It looks to me as you are clearing your head to the left. Bring your head back to center and look at your front arm. This is the reason you move toward the first baseline. At footstrike you should have your front arm in front and horizontally rotate (You kind of barrel roll your chest), bringing chest to glove. Now CF you know I’m not a guru and change isn’t something I really want you doing based on just this but consider what I’ve said and if you think it makes sense work it into a pen and see if you get some control, velo and stamina improvement, why because you’ll be throwing for a much more solid and balanced base… If not disregard like an ugly girls phone number :shock:

I have never, ever heard a college level coach advocate for violence within a delivery, conversely I have heard at least 3 say directly that they use violence within mechanics as a disqualifier.[/quote]

“Disregard like an ugly girls phone number” LOL I may have to add this one into my speech.

I think violent was the wrong term to describe what I was thinking. On tape my delivery just looks slow to me, as if I’m leaving a lot of force back. When I think of violent movement I think of forcefulness, thus my use of the word. However, its only my connotation, so it probably wasn’t good use. I guess I should have said moving with more authority or at a more rapid pace.

Thanks for the point about my hip rotation. Again, that’s probably a habit I need to break. I guess your meaning how much I lean towards first and tilt my shoulders, rather than pure rotation?

The only pro I see from my current motion that I get lots of shoulder tilt, resulting in a pretty high release point. I think great velocity and consistency would be more worthwhile so I will definitely be giving your suggestions a try.

That’s another thing I’ll definitely put some focus into.

I need to write this stuff down and look at it every time I pick up a ball. What happens is I will make a fix, everything will be great, but because the old motion is habit, I will progressively revert to it unless I am constantly thinking of the change.

Thanks JD!

I find these mechanical changes all incredibly encouraging, because I will be able to fully harness all that I have prepared my body to be capable of, and really mechanics is all about hard work and focus. I don’t see any excuse for poor mechanics. (I say that and mine aren’t that great haha)

"I need to write this stuff down and look at it every time I pick up a ball. What happens is I will make a fix, everything will be great, but because the old motion is habit, I will progressively revert to it unless I am constantly thinking of the change. "

One of the tricks Rick has used on Andy is to stand just in front and to the left side of his shoulder from the stretch, this keeps his posture much cleaner and he doesn’t clear his head left, what it generally causes (When his head clears left) is his arm to cast instead of rotate through to release properly. Which to my inferior eye is what I see you doing…this costs mph and accuracy and adds arm strain. It also makes you fight for your balance instead of flowing through to delivery…which in turn eats at stamina.
I caution you though, work through one issue at a time…you are not all f’d up so don’t treat yourself as such. Work a component, adjust make a commitment and see how it plays out, then assess again. In the old days this is how we fine tuned radios, one small tweak can get you to full potential and trying to work all at once will just muddle the situation and you’ll have difficulty assessing whether you are going where you want.
As to the appearance of your delivery, adding force imo will come when you reach the most efficient delivery you can get out of your body. I look at a guy like Carlos Zambrano, he throws a very strong and consistent 96-98 mph and where’s all that explosion that is supposed to be so wonderful? He just throws in a very highly efficient manner and smokes the horsehide as hard as anyone in the game…now admittedly the guy is a moose, but I see him a proof in the pudding that to get to peak efficiency is the desired model, Maddux is another complete model of efficiency and he shows this because he can control velocity at will in an approximate 10 mph area, from say 81-91 (As I mentioned in another post, this year is the first year I actually saw him clock at 91 and I’ve watched him since he was a rookie).
I say it all the time on this site and it never gets much comment but you build power from the ground up, this is why if I preach at all on mechs it’s posture (Not balance point…a stupid term that connotates a cessation of movement within delivery imo) and it’s timing. Your doing a great job, remember you don’t rush anything this process will continue until I’m hitting you up for box seat tickets :smiley: and beyond.

[quote=“jdfromfla”]"I need to write this stuff down and look at it every time I pick up a ball. What happens is I will make a fix, everything will be great, but because the old motion is habit, I will progressively revert to it unless I am constantly thinking of the change. "

One of the tricks Rick has used on Andy is to stand just in front and to the left side of his shoulder from the stretch, this keeps his posture much cleaner and he doesn’t clear his head left, what it generally causes (When his head clears left) is his arm to cast instead of rotate through to release properly. Which to my inferior eye is what I see you doing…this costs mph and accuracy and adds arm strain. It also makes you fight for your balance instead of flowing through to delivery…which in turn eats at stamina.
[/quote]
Would you say this mechanical flaw is visible in my lack of external rotation? I believe I see where your coming from, it definitely makes sense. This whole thing was probably most visible when I was ending up totally to the left of the mound during the showcase. Just my natural momentum pulled me over their every time. To the point it wasn’t good and probably should have been a red light something needs a change.

It has been pointed out to me that I leaned out, although it was some time ago, but no one has ever provided me with a solution. I’m thinking visualize a wall or something to my left. I think this is something I could work out by just being focused on it when I’m “playing catch.” It would at least make it so that the change on the mound would be easier, IMO.

Good point, I often want to do all to much at one time, and end up not doing anything well. I’m thinking I will be doing a lot, a lot of filming to make sure all my changes are coming out as desired.

[quote]
Your doing a great job, remember you don’t rush anything this process will continue until I’m hitting you up for box seat tickets :smiley: and beyond.[/quote]
If I every reach that point, actually scratch that… when I reach that point, haha, I shall not forget.

Thanks again JD, I can’t really begin to verbalize how much help you have been to me.

If by leaning out, you mean your head and upper torso is tilted to the glove side before and after release point, you could try falling to the PAS on purpose. Force yourself to fall to the PAS but keep in mind that you are really trying to stay straight up and down.

i don’t see any major problems with your delivery. it is smooth and you’re using the big muscles. your head does move to your left, but if the shoulders stay lined up and work together, it’s not that bad a thing.

i would concentrate on getting my core (shoulders, hips, abs and back as strong and durable as possible.

that will elp you more than minor mechanical adjustments in my opinion.

[quote=“dusty delso”]i don’t see any major problems with your delivery. it is smooth and you’re using the big muscles. your head does move to your left, but if the shoulders stay lined up and work together, it’s not that bad a thing.

i would concentrate on getting my core (shoulders, hips, abs and back as strong and durable as possible.

that will elp you more than minor mechanical adjustments in my opinion.[/quote]

I have been working on strength and stamina for several months now.

I can hold a plank for well into the 2 minute range.
Have deadlifted 385lbs ( > 2x my bodyweight)
My squat 1RM is calculated to be around 300lbs
And have done 12 pullups
I continue to lift hard several days a week. In fact, it’s sort of an addiction to me haha.

I have been busting my butt to increase strength and power. The thing is as I feel I’m getting closer to the season, I am looking for more and more carry over. When my carry over wasn’t quite what I had expected, I decided to look at my mechanics.

I definitely think I have some weak links. Shortening my arm motion and not practically straightening it out added mph practically instantly.
I see some more velocity added as I continue to better my mechanics.

And now I have to agree that all the power I have gained isn’t being directly translated to the ball as my rotation isn’t very clean. I’m leaving something on the table.

I’m pulling out every tool in the box this offseason. If there is something I can do to improve, I will be doing it. (provide it is legal and safe haha)

Do you do core work?

Do you do 5lb weight and tubing shoulder exercises?

Definitely.

All kinds of medicine ball stuff, floor wipers, hanging leg raises, reverse crunches, and there’s plenty of other movements.

Although for “stability” I think the greatest “core” exercise is simply lifting really heavy stuff. It’s unbelievable how burned out your abdominals get on a front squat.

I due the tubing stuff as well, the jobes stuff.
Also, a much neglected band movement is the band pull apart, focusing on scapular depression. Promotes good posture and scapular stability (scap instability is involved in nearly all rotator cuff injuries)

I see three small things you can work on. Nothing major but I don’t have time at the moment to get into detail so I’ll just let you know that there are a few things. Your momentum however isn’t one. Your front hip is right around where it should be when you are about to drop your leg into stride. I’ll be back on around 4 or 5 CST, and I’ll fill you in then.

Alright, I’m home a little earlier than I expected so here goes. I’m going to lessen it to two things because one of things I saw is very hard to tell with the camera angles. You need to zoom the camera a lot more when you have it behind the catcher.

Note: I didn’t anybody else’s post, so if you’ve already been told all this then I’m just reaffirming everything.

(1) You’re head pulls off to the left which is the same reason that you don’t have much of a drag line. I want you to think about throwing sidearm next time you throw. Just think about throwing sidearm. Don’t mess with your arm slot, just think sidearm.

(2) Your glove was awfully low at release point. It wasn’t all that bad, but having both arms extended as far as you do, you should be releasing the ball a lot closer to home plate. By pulling the glove to your chest instead of taking your chest to your glove, you are cutting your release point almost an entire foot, yes an entire foot, of distance from home plate. You may read 80 mph on a gun, but a hitter, with that extra foot of distance, may see 82 mph. That’s a pretty big difference once you start gaining more velocity. You’re glove needs to stabilize somewhere in front of your torso, from shoulders to belly button. Yours was somewhere around your front knee. The combination of the head moving to the glove side and the glove finishing low will result in a lot of high and inside (to a righty) throwing once fatigued.