Pausing during pitch

I have a kid that pauses for a split second during his delivery. . Can someone suggest any drill that would help him have a smooth delivery.


I have a cautionary tale for you.
Many years ago there was a pitcher named Fred Sanford who toiled for the old St. Louis Browns. He wasn’t a bad pitcher, and the Yankees saw something in him, so they acquired him in a trade in 1949. But then the trouble began: Sanford had a pitching delivery best described as “herky-jerky”, and never mind that he was getting the batters out. Pitching coach Jim Turner didn’t like it, because it offended his esthetic sensibilities. Third-base coach Frank Crosetti didn’t like it either. They wanted him to have a smooth, Spalding-Guide-pitcher-perfect delivery, and so they started futzing around with him. And they ended up destroying him. Poor Mr. Sanford got so confused and discombooberated that he lost his effectiveness, and when they got through with him he wasn’t a good pitcher any more. So at the end of the 1950 season he was traded.
What the kid is doing is something that the great Satchel Paige did years ago. Paige called it his “hesitation” pitch, and it was one of his most effective deliveries—it really threw the batters’ timing off. A lot of today’s pitchers are doing the same thing, with good results. So if the kid is getting the batters out, if his mechanics are good, and if he’s obviously comfortable with it, I say leave it alone. My old pitching coach of way back when—you may remember him; his name was Ed Lopat and he was one of the Yankees’ Big Three rotation—firmly believed that you don’t ever mess with a pitcher’s natural delivery. You work with it and show the pitcher how to make the most of it; but you don’t try to change it, because down that road lies disaster.
Incidentally, a note about the aforementioned Jim Turner: in 1959 he went to the Cincinnati Reds as their pitching coach, and he had a reliever on his staff, a guy named Howie Nunn whose delivery was even more extreme than Sanford’s. Nunn wiggled and wabbled and jerked around like a rooster with St. Vitus’ dance and threw his arms and his legs and his neck and just about every other part of his anatomy into his delivery, and it looked terribly funny—except to the batters who had to face him, because he got good stuff on his pitches and was getting the batters out. And Turner never said “boo” to him.

Good Post. So I will not change a thing. I will just have to find other way to try to increase his velocity.

Boomshak, you start with the windup.
Many moons ago I learned from watching the Yankee pitchers that to really get that velocity going I had to get the whole body into the action. I saw that they were driving off the lower half of the body, using the legs, the hips and the torso in one continuous (and seamless) motion, and that was how they were getting more power behind their pitches, not to mention that doing this took a lot of pressure off the arm and the shoulder. I made a note of this and started working on it on my own, and as a result I found that I was throwing harder and faster than I had been doing. If the kid isn’t doing this, he needs to start, and you can help him with it. Then at the top of the windup, just before he delivers the pitch, he does his little hesitation thing—it’s like shifting into another gear on an automobile. :slight_smile: