My Pitching Mechanics (Lots of videos included!)

Hi everybody, I was finally able to videotape myself and I want to share the videos with you and get some feedback about my (bad) mechanics.

But before I post the videos, I’m having some trouble with them…
I was able to get them on a .AVI extension, which I learned Quicktime can read.
But the files are soooo big (20+ MB) that I cannot put them here… The quality is not even great…
I was able to convert them to a .WMV extension and now they are much smaller
Now I just need a place to host them. I’m thinking about putting them all in a .rar file, so that you can download all of them just clicking on it 1 time, but the .rar file would be way too big for non-broadband users… I think I’m gonna upload each one.
So, I will be posting them here as soon as I get somewhere to host them.
The videos included are the following:

  1. A side view from the closed side, with a super slow motion video on the end. (7.2 MB)
  2. A side view from the opened side, with a super slow motion video on the end. (5.7 MB)
  3. A video from the back, with a super slow motion video on the end. (6.2 MB)
  4. A video from the back with me throwing a curveball, with a slow motion video in the end. (2.7 MB)

I have some other videos here, of me playing catchball… but I might just post them later.

I think we are able to go frame-by-frame because of the slow motion videos that I put. But if you prefer a quicktime video type, tell me and I will do my best to get them into a .MOV file.

Please, give me all the help you can hehe because I sure need some (a lot!)
I’m open to everyone’s advice so feel free to give me any :smiley:

Thanks a lot in advance.

I will be updating this thread with the videos.
I’m using YouSenIt, but I didn’t get it very well…
I think it can be up for just 7 days or 100 downloads…

BTW, here they are:

    [url=http://www.yousendit.com/transfer.php?action=download&ufid=AA98C8454169DF11]1. A side view from the closed side, with a super slow motion video on the end. (7.2 MB) [/url] 2. A side view from the opened side, with a super slow motion video on the end. (5.7 MB) http://www.yousendit.com/transfer.php?action=download&ufid=E3AFF50207E68DFA
  1. A video from the back, with a super slow motion video on the end. (6.2 MB)
    http://www.yousendit.com/transfer.php?action=download&ufid=79196D560F72C25F

  2. A video from the back with me throwing a curveball, with a slow motion video in the end. (2.7 MB)
    http://www.yousendit.com/transfer.php?action=download&ufid=FC68A1753A014D8A

Ok, they are all up… :smiley:

EDIT: I’m providing some other “mirror links” because YouSendIt was having some problems with their servers…

Alternative Link for the 1st video
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=GHPUNA95

Alternative Link for the 2nd video
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=OAEL1JCL

Alternative Link for the 3rd video
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=PYX14IMQ

Alternative Link for the 4th video
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=2BT4BFLE

Seems like your head drifts to your glove side.

Dan

[quote=“pgp_dan”]Seems like your head drifts to your glove side.

Dan[/quote]

Yeah, sometimes when I try to “reach back” to get a little more velocity I will end up falling to the side (you can see my right leg crossing in front of my left leg occasionally).
But I have seen that this is not that bad, because it will end up raising you release point.

I have seen some things that bother me:

  1. The elbow angle in that picture. It is way lower than a 90º. It is at about 45º or so. I get to the 90º moments before my forearm keep going forward to lower the angle, and it seems like, no matter how hard I try to keep that 90º angle, I just can’t hold the forearm.


2. I don’t know if this is a bad thing at all, but I break my hands way too high. And my glove-side hand does not come down with my pitching hand. In fact it goes directly forward, while my pitching arm goes down.
Maybe some of the pitching gurus here can help me out.
Should I break my hands later? Or lower?


[b] 3. It seems that I don’t rotate late at all. I was comparing my mechanics to some of the pros, and I noticed that when my pitching hand starts to come up, it is just at the same vertical line as my back foot, and every pro I checked had their hand much in front of their back foot. Is this a symptom of not rotating late?
Also, the middle of my head is not exactly over my belly button. If you draw a line from the middle of the head to the ground you will see that my head is a little behind my belly button.

But I’m liking to see that I’m striding sideways until the last time:

Also, it seems that I land on a ‘close to 90º’ leg:

Please, give me your report on my mechanics :smiley:

Some info about me:

Age: 18
Height: 5’9" (1.74m)
Weight: 148lbs (67kg)
Time pitching: Less then a year
Pitching velocity: Might top the low 70s, but should be mid to high 60s. (I was clocked at 62 but I was not warmed up correctly nor loosen up, and that was a while ago. I feel I’m throwing harder than I did)
Pitching “arsenal”: 4-seam Fastball, Curveball (and trying to develop a changeup)
Most frequent problems: Lack of control (ball missing either high or away). Lack of velocity (maybe because I started to pitch only about a year ago, and really got into it, for about 8 months).
Injuries: I’ve never had a major injury to my arm. Some soreness and some pain but I was never sidelined for more than a week or so.
Practice time: I pitch 3 times a week, bullpen sessions. (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays)
Workouts: I used to have a workout plan which I read on The Pitching Edge book, and on The Complete Book Of Pitching, but I’m not following it strictly anymore… I might get back into it.
Most noticeable problems in the mechanics: (Those are the problem I think I have)
Elbow bent more than 90 degress when in high-cocked position. Shoulders rotating with the hips, thus not getting good separation. My momentum carries me to the left side of my body after I follow through.

[quote=“KreGg”]…sometimes when I try to “reach back” to get a little more velocity[/quote]There’s one problem right there. Did someone tell you that reaching back is how velocity is generated? If you find reaching back helps with your rhythm and timing, then fine but do not be fooled into thinking that’s where power comes from. Do a search for “arm action”, “horizontal W”, “inverted W” or “M arm action”. There have been many threads discussing the issue of arm action.

In the early part of your stride, you are staying very tall, which isn’t a bad thing unless you’re ramrod straight and stiff. This continues until the front foot is about to land and then you DROP dramatically. Your mental focus in your stride seems to be in the wrong place. What I’m seeing is a focus on reaching out with your front foot. My suggestion is to get your mental imagery such that you are driving your centre of gravity sideways aggressively. There’s a fundamental difference in the two approaches. Reaching out for the sake of a long stride is not productive. Now, I’m a fan of an “appropriately long” stride but I will say that you are overstriding.

Get your intent switched around to getting the c.o.g. moving sideways for a longer period of time for the purpose of generating momentum toward the plate that can then be transferred into rotation up the chain.

Now, back to that arm action. Sometimes, not always, but sometimes, a pitcher will swing the arm down, back and up in a plane that is aligned with 2nd and home, only to continue along that plane as the arm bends. The hand and ball follow this path and the momentum of it carries it in toward the ear. THEN they throw. 2 steps. You may be doing this. It seems like you might be taking the ball actually behind your back (flailing). I’d suggest you start to bend the elbow a little earlier and think about the back of your hand LIFTING upward on somewhat of a plane that is aligned between 3rd and 1st. Not really but somewhat. This might help combat the tendency for your hand to tuck in toward the ear. I don’t know but you might want to try this and see how it feels.

Lastly, your back foot and leg. That back foot rolls over much, much too late. When your front foot lands, that foot should be almost over completely onto the laces. This happens as the front foot also turns over to land, rotating from the core down, and spinning the back leg on it’s axis. All of this happens INTO LANDING while the arm is going from the point where the forearm is horizontal at shoulder height up and back through the high cocked position. Arm up and back, core to feet rotate. Simultaneously. Shoulders closed.

Thanks dm59.

No, actually, I have heard that some pros try to reach back and get a little more velocity into the pitch. Maybe a gain of 2-3 mph on the fastball. But one thing I noticed, is that it really disrupt the timing of my mechanics.
I’m definitely going to search for arm action, actually, you explained a little bit it to me in another thread, I’m gonna check it again.

I’ve always been taught that you should try to reach as far as you can with your stride (until you feel comfortable), and that’s just what I’m trying to do there, but yes, you are right, I’m trying to have a long stride but doing it mistakenly.

This is a great advice! You are dead on. I think this is something that most coaches or books don’t tell you. They say that you have to stride long, but they don’t tell you exactly how you should do it.
But should I keep the same distance in my stride but now striding more like moving my c.o.g. or should I cut the distance a little bit?

I did some research about “flailing” (here and on other sites) and it does sound that I’m doing this.
I tried something that a guy said on another forum, he said to practice a dry throw in front of a mirror, to try to keep the arm on a line.
The thing is, I can keep it there (and actually keep the 90º), but it’s a dry throw, I’m not actually throwing the ball nor going through the mechanics at all.

I will be trying that, and post the results here.
But, is it 1st and 3rd, indeed? Or is it 3rd and 2nd?
One thing I noticed that might be causing this, is that in an effort to rotate the elbow to get to that ‘full external rotation of the humerus thing’ my forearm keeps on bending forward. I don’t know if that’s really it, but it just felt like it was.

So that could explain why I don’t have a lot of hip rotation earlier? By doing this, and if I can keep the shoulders closed, I should be able to get a good separation between the shoulders and the hips, right?
So the bottom line on this one, is to rotate both feet together?

Thanks a lot dm59.

[quote=“KreGg”]But should I keep the same distance in my stride but now striding more like moving my c.o.g. or should I cut the distance a little bit?[/quote]The length of the stride is debated and disagreed upon by most of the “gurus” out there. ASMI say “At foot contact, the stride length should be between 78% and 88% of the pitcher’s height. Here, stride length is measured as the distance from the front of the rubber to the ankle of the front foot.” Right now, I’d work on the sideways c.o.g. momentum, arm action and the timing of the lower body rotation vs. upper body. That’s a lot to work on. I wouldn’t be too stuck on getting the longest stride you can.

[quote=“KreGg”]But, is it 1st and 3rd, indeed? Or is it 3rd and 2nd?
One thing I noticed that might be causing this, is that in an effort to rotate the elbow to get to that ‘full external rotation of the humerus thing’ my forearm keeps on bending forward. I don’t know if that’s really it, but it just felt like it was.[/quote]The full external rotation thing happens as a result. Your focus on arm action right now should be such that you get away from the bend in to the head. I recommend bending the elbow earlier and getting the hand/ball going up in an arc that is more from 3rd to 1st. This isn’t an exact angle though. Just an approximation. The idea being that, with the hand going on an arc in that general direction, and the elbow coming with the shoulders at footplant, and the torso flexing forward, the full external rotation thing SHOULD happen. I know I sent you a video of Kevin Brown. It’s the best I’ve seen to show the fluid nature of the kinetic chain up the body and how the arm action combines with body motion to cause full external rotation. Study it well and pay particular attention to the timing of the parts.

[quote=“KreGg”]So that could explain why I don’t have a lot of hip rotation earlier? By doing this, and if I can keep the shoulders closed, I should be able to get a good separation between the shoulders and the hips, right?
So the bottom line on this one, is to rotate both feet together?[/quote]I’d say you have it.

Thanks dm59. I think that’s good to get started. I will practice all you told me to. I might get another video by Thursday to see if I’m really implementing all the new things into my mechanics.

All those who haven’t said anything, feel free to give me any advice as well :smiley:

Here are a few thoughts…

  1. Leg lift looks good.

  2. Timing seems good. No obvious signs of rushing.

  3. Good job striding sideways.

  4. Stride feels a little long.

  5. Not enough hip/shoulder separation. Could be related to number 4.

  6. I like the long arm swing.

I saw this too.

Notice how you land on the ball of your foot and then plant your heel.

It feels tentative to me (not powerful).

Here are a few thoughts…

  1. Leg lift looks good.

  2. Timing seems good. No obvious signs of rushing.

  3. Good job striding sideways.

  4. Stride feels a little long.

  5. Not enough hip/shoulder separation. Could be related to number 4.

  6. I like the long arm swing.

I saw this too.

Notice how you land on the ball of your foot and then plant your heel.

It feels tentative to me (not powerful).
[/quote]

Thanks Chris.
About the stride, this is something I’m really working on. Like dm59 said, it seems like I’m trying to have a long stride but doing it so mistakenly. I’m definitely trying to reach out with my foot, and by doing this, my body drifts backward.

When you said that I’m landing on the ball of my foot and then planting my heel, is this a bad thing? Should I try to land with mt whole foot or this is not a major thing at all?

BTW this is what I’m working on to get fixed:

Keeping a close to 90º bent in my elbow on the high cock position (instead of a 45º like I was doing).
Stop trying to reach out with my foot, instead, having a long stride but moving the center of gravity.
Delay the shoulder rotation as much as I can.

[quote=“KreGg”]BTW this is what I’m working on to get fixed:

Keeping a close to 90º bent in my elbow on the high cock position (instead of a 45º like I was doing).
Stop trying to reach out with my foot, instead, having a long stride but moving the center of gravity.
Delay the shoulder rotation as much as I can.[/quote]
Long strides are had by getting the hips going sooner and faster without compromising the knee lift. But you also need the flexibility and functional strength to do this. This will keep the CoG moving.

So this means that I need to open up the hips earlier? As soon as the front leg comes down, after the lift, should I open the hips?

No, you do NOT want to open the hips earlier. You want to push your front hip towards the target sideways - staying closed until about foot strike. Getting a long stride doesn’t really have anything to do with hip rotation except that trying to stride too long can inhibit an explosive rotation of the hips. So there is such a thing as a stride that is too long.

[quote=“Roger”]No, you do NOT want to open the hips earlier. You want to push your front hip towards the target sideways - staying closed until about foot strike. Getting a long stride doesn’t really have anything to do with hip rotation except that trying to stride too long can inhibit an explosive rotation of the hips. So there is such a thing as a stride that is too long.[/quote]Well put!!

[quote=“KreGg”]About the stride, this is something I’m really working on. Like dm59 said, it seems like I’m trying to have a long stride but doing it so mistakenly. I’m definitely trying to reach out with my foot, and by doing this, my body drifts backward.

When you said that I’m landing on the ball of my foot and then planting my heel, is this a bad thing? Should I try to land with mt whole foot or this is not a major thing at all?[/quote]

I would prefer if you landed with more of a flat foot. This would be easier to do if you didn’t stride so far.

Also, your stride is going to be a little weird in these videos since you’re pitching on flat ground.

Hmm ok, so when you say that I need to get the hips going sooner and faster, what exactly do you mean?
To move it forward faster?

Ok, thanks. I will be looking to do that.
We don’t have a field with a mound here, just when we play… so most of the videos will be on flat ground. Is it a lot different when you’re throwing off a mound?

[quote=“KreGg”]Hmm ok, so when you say that I need to get the hips going sooner and faster, what exactly do you mean?
To move it forward faster?[/quote]

I meant two things: start your hips moving a tiny bit sooner and get them moving a tiny bit faster.

Thank you all that replied to this thread.

After practicing some, I will update this topic:

  • I tried to do what dm59 said, to lift my back arm more in an angle between 3rd and 1st bases. I think this is helping me in some degree. Also, I’m trying not to let my pitching arm elbow go beyond a straight line from Home to shoulders to 2B, if that makes sense at all…
    I’m trying to keep everything in line now (sholders, elbows, body) and I think this has helped me to get more control.

  • I just tried something today. I’m trying to get more “snap” with my fingers. It’s not like I’m forcing it a lot, but sometimes I could feel the ball coming off my index finger, and that created a lot of control problems… I checked my grip, to see if I was gripping it off-center, but no…
    Now, by forcing just a little bit on the snap I can get more spin on the ball making it go further and faster. It seems like I can keep my fingers on top of the baseball better, when releasing the ball.

  • Also another thing that I noticed is that my “elbow angle” problem when in the high cock position, has something to do with my stride being too long/too slow.
    This is why I think these two are related:
    I would get to the high cock position before my front foot hits the ground. So in an attempt to not lose the momentum thus losing the energy created in the back swing, my forearm continued to go forward so when it started to rotate it wouldn’t have paused for a second, it would be all continuous… Does this make any sense?
    If I tried to stop my forearm in the 90º degree angle, I would need to keep the arm still for some time, to let my front foot hit the ground and then start to rotate.

So what I’m trying to do?
I’m trying to have a quicker stride. I’m trying to hit the ground with my front foot a little bit sooner, but without rushing it.
Is this ok?

Sorry if this seems confusing… I might get some more videos in a short time to try to illustrate all this.

Thanks.