Nolan pre-season form

Hey guys. Here’s a vid sorry if you can’t see it all, just a quick look-see and tell me what you think. Nolan has a tournament next weekend, and the forecast is for 40 degrees and possible rain…of course, this is the Northwest! It’s expected…

I don’t have any real problems with his mechanics, although not being able to see his feet is a problem for anyone trying to give advice. We can’t see his position at front foot plant or his stride length. A side view showing the entire body is necessary.

I will say that this kid’s tempo is super-sloooooowwwww. The side step, moving slowly into the dreaded “balance position” and then slowly onto the stride and throw. All slow and very, very controlled, to the point of being contrived. This kid needs to seriously speed up his tempo and throw the darned ball, hard. Somebody has gotten him too concerned about “looking like a pitcher” as opposed to having him chuck the thing. Forget the balance point. Get the hips moving sideways just before the knee lift reaches its apex and get the centre of gravity going much faster, sideways toward the target. I’m willing to bet that with the lack of momentum generated in his stride, that his stride length is quite short.

Get him moving sideways:

  • earlier
  • faster
  • for a longer time frame (longer stride as a result)
  • rotate hard and throw the ball hard

I have a couple of things…first he spends a whole lot of time looking down. As one of my son’s coaches says…“there is no money or girls phone numbers on the ground” So what happens is he sees the target, looks away moves and then has to pick it back up.
He flexes at the waist at knee lift…a timing effector imo…he has to get the torso back to center at footstrike…could be just me but not much help in doing it…perhaps percieved momentum but the direction is wrong…if he had that mo moving towards the plate as DM recommends. He does look like he’s…well worried about location??..maybe a little too deliberate?? Maybe careful and arm protecting? I don’t know the why but to me he’s leaving velo on the table in a large fashion. Which is real good news…as he gets into the season he’ll have much in the tank and likely startle some people with some real gas.
I can’t tell you how glad I am to see your boy back on the beam there dad…I know it’s all a huge load off of the shoulders for you.

Thanks DM. My comments below.


I will say that this kid’s tempo is super-sloooooowwwww. [/quote]

I agree. His coach has him working on his timing and rhythm, but I think he’s going overboard, here.

Nope, his stride is still about the same, which is to say about the same length as his height.

[quote=“dm59”]Get him moving sideways:

  • earlier
  • faster
  • for a longer time frame (longer stride as a result)
  • rotate hard and throw the ball hard[/quote]

Good advice, thanks!

The Hose

Thanks JD. I can tell you that I’ve told any and everyone who’ll listen about Nolan’s shoulder impingement of last year, and have gotten assurances that he will be taken care of. A large part of the issues DM mentioned (slowness, not rotating) are a response to this. Nolan has only thrown for velo once so far this off-season, and he was cruising in the mid 80’s. He threw a BP to teammates (eight batters) and no one touched him. Of course its early season. Can’t wait for the tournament next weekend. I’ll have game video for us to chew on next week.My comments below

This is new, and not as pronounced when he is throwing for velo.

This is the biggest change in his mechanics this year. Last year he would raise his body with his knee lift. Coach is trying to get him to stay steady with no up and down movement. He’s getting better and working on this.

Could you elaborate on what you see here? What I see as he comes out of knee lift is a more direct path to the plate than last year. Help me see what you’re seeing

[quote=“jdfromfla”]He does look like he’s…well worried about location??[/quote] Yep, absolutely. In this clip as with all the work they’ve been doing this year, it’s all about location (maybe his pitching coach is a real estate agent on the side?) but as you say maybe a little too deliberate.

JD, this is a very astute observation (in my opinion). It goes back to my original comments at the top. The coaches are being careful with him.

Thanks so much for the input and the concern!

The Hose

What I mean is he has to flex(move to knee…) and then back up so he can get to the power position unbent over…so he’s moving, expending energy as part of his motion that does not translate to momentum/ velocity to the plate…energy sapping with no positive purpose and effecting his timing. Nope don’t like it. An analogy I would use would be…start delivery, then do a standing ab crunch, then complete delivery while maintaining timing.


My first thoughts were exactly the same as DM’s - serious lack of tempo. DM gave good advice on this.

Also, as JD pointed out, your son looks down quite a bit. There are two concerns I have with this. First, once he increases his tempo, he will need to be locked onto the target sooner. Second, although I don’t see it happening in the video, it is very possible that turning the head to look at the target can cause the front shoulder to open up early. But that’s just something for you to keep an eye on right now.

I think JD’s also right about the side-to-side and/or up-down movement early in the delivery. One thin you might have your son try is to bend the knees a tiny bit to get into a more athletic stance right from the get-go instead of adjusting into it after he has started.

Finally, although I can see your son’s feet, it appears he strides closed and then throws across his body. I’m wondering if this might be a bad thing given the impingement. Seems like it could be bad if the impingement is on the front side of the shoulder.

I hadn’t noticed till you mentioned it, so I went back and looked at some of the other vids. This seems to be habitual, whereas it never was before. I’ll speak with his coach about this. I’m trying to keep my distance at this point until I get a thorough understanding of the coach and his methods.

Thanks Roger!

The Hose

crusing in the mid 80s? seems like alittle stretch to me

You may be right. I wasn’t there during that workout. Just what the coaches told me. But they typically know what they’re talking about, so I tend to believe them.

Incidentally, last year I did clock him throwing 80-82 mph and cruising in the upper 70’s. He’s added 2 inches and 12 pounds, and improved his mechanics. My feeling is that he will throw at least that hard this year.

The Hose

“crusing in the mid 80s? seems like alittle stretch to me”

And what possible benifit is your skepticism on this thread? Have you self appointed yourself to the radar gun police? He stated that they weren’t throwing for velo on the vid. are you so good that you can figure speed based on a non-velocity oriented video?
Oh well Hose was nice to you in response…I’m just not getting why it’s important to throw that unhelpful comment…but your being skeptical effects exactly what? I don’t disagree that some bump up velocity…it’ll catch up when folks start to really look in the 18 under range so be comfortable, only little folks get away with it and then not for long…and if someone who knows sees, then the jig is up and they’ve lost credability.

woah just wondering sorry if i offended anyone, just seeing if that was true to compare myself with him.

ill add that he should tuck his glove under alittle more and stabilize it there.

i’m about convinced that tempo doesn’t matter till you break the throwing hand from the glove. when you break, usually you need to have your head and shoulders behind your hips, your body closed and coiled with some torque ready to explode but not till the end.

then when you break from the glove, the hand never slows down. the pause or gather at the top is not a bad thing if the ball does not stop or slow down after coming out of the glove. i faced clemens when he was in college and his motion was very deliberate until he broke from the glove. then he got busy and the ball just exploded out of his hand.

if he’s up over 80 and staying healthy, he looks fine to me. train, train, train and strength, strength, strength.

dusty, im alittle confused when you say head and shoulders behind hips?

look at the vdeo clips of koufax and nolan ryan on this site. you will notice from the side view that their hips get way in front of their shouders which caused the delay in rotation and keeps the wave of energy that starts in the rear foot and travels through the body coordinated and timed properly. the body makes a < or > (depending on whether you’re right or left handed) as you travel down the mound to foot plant. i really like guys to be a little behind verticle with their shoulders and head ( no more than verticle at foot strike) when they are throwing. this allows for late rotation and a big weight shift before you release the ball in front of your head. i think this is the key to velocity and longevity. along with proper strength/conditioning and mama’s genetics.

@ dusty

I"m having a real tough time getting how the body looks like < or >

what exactly does that mean? Are you somehow talking about the bend in the legs?

Also, my son is rather horizontal with respect to shoulder at knee apex, I believe you advocate a little tilt in the shoulder and head backwards…I think this helps keep the weight back right? Do your students ever have a tough time keeping the ball down because of this? Is the real key to it, the weight transfer because of the ability to keep the weight back a little?