Old Dog New Tricks; Many questions


#1

I am trying to use the dm59 method of backwards progression (I think that’s what he calls it) to evaluate my mechanics.
Today I recorded myself and noticed that my ball release is way too high. I am releasing the ball at about my head instead of the NPA way, which says to release past the front foot. Is the ball supposed to be released so far out? It just feels weird. If so, is this what the towel drill (without the stride) tries to teach?

   I also noticed that in the stretch delivery my hands are moving up past my chin as my stride knee comes up.  Is this extra motion wasteful and or have consequences on my delivery?

The rmain eason why I am working on the backwards progression is because I have 2 issues I am trying to fix. 1. I am having a really tough time stopping my lead shoulder from flying out. It’s flying out before foot plant. I know… I know it’s bad but I have tried everything and I can’t stop doing it. 2. I also noticed that at foot plant, my posting foot is still on the rubber and not rotated to laces down. Can anyone give me some pointers on these issues. I am out of ideas and trying to figure out how to fix all this stuff from the end to the start (instead of the other way around)

Thanks


#2

As far as release point there is essentially two schools of thought on that topic.

One would say that high release is important the other would say that you want to release the ball as close to the plate as possible.

I prefer a medium of the two.

When I was going to physical therapy for leg related stuff, my PT had me do towel drills and some other Tom House stuff. Personally, it jacked with my delivery and I was losing power.

I say this but I know that there are guys on the forum that would swear by the towel drill. I’m a guy that prefers to work on the mechanics as a whole on a mound, but that’s me.


#3

[quote=“JKDJose”]I am trying to use the dm59 method of backwards progression (I think that’s what he calls it) to evaluate my mechanics.[/quote] Very good system to work off of, i used it, it worked well, and know my mechanics are much better than they were before i talked to dm59
[quote=“JKDJose”]Today I recorded myself and noticed that my ball release is way too high. I am releasing the ball at about my head instead of the NPA way, which says to release past the front foot. Is the ball supposed to be released so far out? It just feels weird. If so, is this what the towel drill (without the stride) tries to teach?[/quote] I’m not real sure, but some people say the towel drill is a useless drill, some say it’s very useful, i have never done it i guess, but i think i will be trying it this offseason

  [quote="JKDJose"]I also noticed that in the stretch delivery my hands are moving up past my chin as my stride knee comes up.  Is this extra motion wasteful and or have consequences on my delivery?[/quote]i dont think so

[quote=“JKDJose”]The rmain eason why I am working on the backwards progression is because I have 2 issues I am trying to fix. 1. I am having a really tough time stopping my lead shoulder from flying out. It’s flying out before foot plant. I know… I know it’s bad but I have tried everything and I can’t stop doing it. 2. I also noticed that at foot plant, my posting foot is still on the rubber and not rotated to laces down. Can anyone give me some pointers on these issues. I am out of ideas and trying to figure out how to fix all this stuff from the end to the start (instead of the other way around)

Thanks[/quote]sounds a lot like me…work hard go after it and you’ll be fine[/quote]


#4

[quote=“JKDJose”]I am trying to use the dm59 method of backwards progression (I think that’s what he calls it) to evaluate my mechanics.
Today I recorded myself and noticed that my ball release is way too high. I am releasing the ball at about my head instead of the NPA way, which says to release past the front foot. Is the ball supposed to be released so far out? It just feels weird. If so, is this what the towel drill (without the stride) tries to teach?[/quote]
If you release the ball out front, you will give the batter less time to see and react to the ball. You will also get better movement on your breaking pitches - a higher release point makes it harder get over the top of the ball to create a lot of spin.

It is important to note that your release point is a result of your mechanics leading up to it. You don’t just arbitrarily change your release point - you change your mechanics to allow your release point to happen where it should.

That said, the purpose of the towel drill is to practice your total mechanics. If you put it together without cheating (e.g. lunging), then you should be able to hit the target (at a distance of stride plus 5 heal-to-toe steps). Hitting the target is feedback - not the goal. The goal of the drill is to have perfect mechanics.

A high break of the hands sometimes leads to a long, time-consuming arm motion and that could have implications on your timing.

Early shoulder rotation will often move the release point back and up so it sounds like if you fix this problem then your release point should move out front more. Without seeing you, it’s hard to give you advice on how to correct the problem. But some general advice I can offer is to make sure you’re not pulling or dropping the glove.


#5

Thanks for responding I really appreciate it. I finally have some vide of me throwing in the basement. Please mind the mess.

I really want to improve. So please Roger and Tanner… evaluate my mechanics. Thanks.


#6

I disagree with what the NPA teaches about this.

I think it’s better if you release the ball as high as possible, because that maximizes the downward movement of the ball, rather than as close to the plate as possible.

The logic is that a high release point must be a good thing or else MLB wouldn’t make things harder on pitchers by lowering the mound.


#7

it’s very hard to evaluate using youtube or anything like that, but, it looks pretty good, try get one of you throwing off of a mound, flat ground isin’t a great way to evaluate, but…its looks good, you dont get much external rotation, maybe cause your not loose, i dont know…ill take a much closer look later, i was just going out to fix my mechanics a little bit


#8

[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]I think it’s better if you release the ball as high as possible, because that maximizes the downward movement of the ball, rather than as close to the plate as possible.

The logic is that a high release point must be a good thing or else MLB wouldn’t make things harder on pitchers by lowering the mound.[/quote]

The flaw in that logic is that raising one’s release point requires a change - in fact, a deterioration - of one’s mechanics. This is no different than the change in release point caused by opening the shoulders too early. A few pitchers are able to remain successful doing this but most are not and it’s certainly not something I would teach a young pitcher.

Personally, I believe that each pitcher has an appropriate release point that they achieve when their mechanics and timing are optimum. This will generally be out front which moves it closer to home plate. But just as importantly - if not more importantly - it allows the pitcher to achieve maximum velocity and maximum movement. So, instead of focusing on getting your release point as close to home plate as possible, focus on having good mechanics and let the release point happen where it should.


#9

[quote=“JKDJose”]Thanks for responding I really appreciate it. I finally have some vide of me throwing in the basement. Please mind the mess.

I really want to improve. So please Roger and Tanner… evaluate my mechanics. Thanks.[/quote]

Tough to tell much from the coarse video so take this with a grain of salt.

The main thing I think I notice is that your glove arm doesn’t get very extended - you quickly tuck it and you pull your arm. This affects your timing. Specifically, I think it forces you to shorten your stride and open up the hips and shoulders a bit quicker than necessary. Now, I’m not saying you have to “point the glove” at the target. But I’d like to see you get the glove out over the front foot and then to leave it there and bring your chest to the glove.


#10

Thanks Roger. I know what you mean about the glove tuck, I will work on it. I have one more question. When landing on your front leg, should it be bent at the knee already at foot plant or does it land slightly bent and then bend some more? I don’t know if I am asking this correctl, I just know that you don’t land on a straight leg, but how bent should your leg be? Should it continue to bend? I see pictures of Tom Seaver and he’s almost doing a split on the mound with the posting knee almost touching the floor. I seem too tall when I land.


#11

Funny you should mention being too tall because I started to comment on that as well. But when I paused the video at various spots (as best as youtube allows), it didn’t look so bad.

Any way, to answer your question about the front leg and how bent it should be, that is something that differs between pitchers. I think it is natural for it to be bent a certain amount at foot strike and then bend more as you track forward. Eventually, though, it has to firm up to stop the forward motion of the hips. How much it bends before it firms up will depend a lot on your strength in your legs and possibly your lower back. It also probably depends on your flexibility.


#12

[quote=“Roger”][quote=“Chris O’Leary”]I think it’s better if you release the ball as high as possible, because that maximizes the downward movement of the ball, rather than as close to the plate as possible.

The logic is that a high release point must be a good thing or else MLB wouldn’t make things harder on pitchers by lowering the mound.[/quote]

The flaw in that logic is that raising one’s release point requires a change - in fact, a deterioration - of one’s mechanics. This is no different than the change in release point caused by opening the shoulders too early. A few pitchers are able to remain successful doing this but most are not and it’s certainly not something I would teach a young pitcher.

Personally, I believe that each pitcher has an appropriate release point that they achieve when their mechanics and timing are optimum. This will generally be out front which moves it closer to home plate. But just as importantly - if not more importantly - it allows the pitcher to achieve maximum velocity and maximum movement. So, instead of focusing on getting your release point as close to home plate as possible, focus on having good mechanics and let the release point happen where it should.[/quote]

I agree with Roger on both points.

Chris, I think the mounds were lowered to take away the pitcher’s advantage of leverage — similar to the momentum optained running down a steep hill as opposed to a gently rolling hill. I’d also think that a high release point might result in pitches flying over the home-plate umpire’s head.