Pitching Analysis, 17yrs LHP

Hello folks, I recently found this forum, and I’ve read a few things and I find it all very interesting.

You may wish to skip all this and go straight to the video links. I’m a pitcher out of the southwest and I play on my 2A high school’s varsity team as a senior. Even though I dream about going to college to pitch, it seems that it is a long shot. I started getting serious about my pitching a little late in my career, basically my junior year. But now I’ve been working hard at it, lifting weights, throwing the weighted balls, and my Coach has gotten serious for me as well. We’ve even started fall ball for the first time in many many years, but it’s just my coach and I out there throwing and working. He can’t throw anymore because he blew his arm out. I’ve got decent movement on my pitches, life on the fourseamer and a pretty good curveball. I also throw a changeup and a slider.

All of my pitches I can throw for strikes, up to a point. Sometimes it seems when I try to throw really hard, especially on the mound, or going through my pitching motion, I lose all semblance of any “mechanics” and the ball seems to go slower than even when I’m throwing at say 50 or 60%. I think this may stem off my poor coordination.

My dad worked with me on my pitching, but he was hesitant to let me pitch too much because of my natural wrist supination. I didn’t throw a true fastball when I wanted to until I was 14 or 15 years old. So I made it on my high school team because anyone can, and racked up some innings for the first time my Junior year. It was a great experience to pitch in a game and I wish to contiune into college. The biggest thing I think I lack as far as college would be velocity, I don’t seem to throw that hard. I’m 6’ 2" tall and weigh 200 lbs. And I don’t know if I’ve ever thrown faster than 76mph. So here is a video of my mechanics, and I’m basically asking if it would be possible for me to have a chance in college to pitch, with all of the above said. My current plan, because I’m set for an academic scholarship, will be to ask the coach for a walk-on tryout type thing once I’m attending the school.




Besides being generally choppy, and a few other things, what in paticular is bad, and what drills can I do to fix it? I’ve been doing YouGoPro’s bucket drills and throwing the wieghted ball, also Jaeger bands my coach bought. Also some medicine ball drills.

Thank you very much,
Willard

**You might want to listen to me. As a pro lefty of yesteryear, I threw 95 mph. Nowadays, as a semi-retired physics professor, I’m bringing new ideas and innovations to the throwing of sportsball and swinging of a racket or bat based on physics. Some of my work can be found in this NY Times article from 2018: http://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/11/sports/tennis/don-mueller-rackets.html

Looks like you are using your legs well, and driving down the mound. However, your front side looks dead. Your glove hand and, or lead elbow should act like the front sight on a rifle. Hold that sight on your target as long as you can. This will help keep your front side closed. The longer the front side stays closed the more torque you will have after front foot strike and into delivery. If you have your glove as sight, try to keep it on the target. Then after foot strike and during delivery, try to drive your chest to the glove and not bring your glove to your chest. That should help you with a little more snap from your body to your throwing arm, help with your balance through your delivery.

That’s very interesting stuff, I’ve been told I need to extend my glove hand out further but to bring my chest to the glove is something I haven’t though of in that particular way before. Thanks very much for you input.

Willard, there is only one drill I want you to do right now and if you listen to me it will correct many of your pitching flaws. I will post the drill below. But, first, when your front foot lands make certain it aligns with the foot’s heel on the pitching rubber. After doing this drill come back and I will give you something more to add to your daily assignment to help get you to the next level.

This drill shows some random kid against the wall. I have no idea who he is and have never worked with him, but this drill is one of the best drills for a pitcher to do. What it will do is get your momentum moving in the right direction and correct many of your pitching flaws. When you are against the wall and begin throwing just prevent your hand /arm from hitting the wall as you take your arm back and then bringing it forward. But you must keep your foot against the wall when beginning the drill. Do this for a couple of weeks then video yourself again and post it so we can see what you have improved on in regards to you mechanics. You don’t have to throw hard when doing this drill. Remember to video yourself and report back in two weeks with new video

Good luck,
Topgun821: Former college pitcher and current pitching coach.

Here is the most simple drill to correct your pitching flaws and to help with a little increased velocity.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Q_bDSFAFdg

Topgun, thanks for this drill, this is the kind of drill I’m looking for. I’ll do it and I will post a video in a few weeks after doing the drill. I’ll check back in and let you know how it’s going with the drill. I notice that you agree I have several flaws, but I also noticed you didn’t describe any of them very specifically, which is probably for the best, considering that I already tend to overthink my mechanics. I believe I see part of how this drill will help: it might bring my arm further back and create better shoulder action? Thanks for the drill and input I’ll keep all of you guys posted.

Willie, I could point out your flaws but, I am more concerned about correcting them. I would prefer showing you how to do things the correct way instead of filling your head with things that may only confuse you. If I was there with you it would be a totally different story. Right now we take it one step at a time and focus on getting you ready to pitch your senior season.

Two very important points you must abide by when pitching:

  1. keep your elbow at or above your shoulder when throwing.
  2. Make certain your arm is in the cocked position on front foot strike.

Alright, I worked on the wall drill today after my regular stuff, and I had my coach take a video so I could make sure I’m doing everything right. I appreciate the feedback.

There they are.

Willie, that is a great start but, move your foot a little closer to the fence. When you begin your motion it should feel as though you are falling forward. Once we get your lower body moving in the right direction it will fix many of your flaws. Here is another drill I want you to work on as well. This is the Hershiser Drill that will show you what it feels like to lead with your hip and how to sit down in your motion. Work both drills in your training over the next few weeks and your lower mechanics should be spot on. By doing these two drills most of your flaws will correct themselves. Remember to continue to update us on your progression in a couple of weeks.

Good luck and happy training,
Topgun

Alright sounds good, you’ll see an update in a few days.

Willie, continue doing both drills to work on early weight shift prior to hand break and within a few weeks your lower half will have transformed your entire pitching delivery. You must have a good foundation before working on your upper half. Once you get your lower half working correctly we will move onto a major source of velocity for your next assignment.

Keep working hard and your goals will become reality.

Baseball is fun
TopGun

You’re right, baseball is a ton of fun, I’ve had countless memories made on the mound already. Thanks again for the help everyone.

So I’ve been doing both wall drills, the reverse one and the Hershiser drill quite a bit. I’m not sure if there is any improvment in mechanics, but I have noticed some slight sorness in my lower shoulder that hasn’t been there before. I’m on a program and it’s got me throwing the wieghted ball out to 90 feet, and long toss I’ve reached 150 feet. When we started it I’d been throwing quite a bit, but my coach started me on week one of the program, 9 oz ball out to 90 ft., then 10 oz, and now 11. Long toss in week one was 105 ft, now I’m at 150. And I work on command at 45-60ft throwing about 60%. It’s decent. I’ve noticed that after throwing the weighted balls it takes less effort to throw further, though I don’t always have the best accuracy out at 115-150ft. I only throw 4 days with the weighted balls, a 5th day casual throwing. There are a couple of other guys supposed to show up to practce today so that will be nice. There will be another video probably next week.

Willie, you need to rest your arm- why are you throwing so much? Also, the wall drills will not change everything over a couple of days. Continue wall drills without throwing then post video in three weeks. Stop throwing and rest until your shoulder stops hurting. You must let your arm and shoulder recover. Rest is just as important as training when it comes to throwing. Read the article below from Driveline Baseball regarding weighted baseball training.

https://www.drivelinebaseball.com/2010/10/weighted-baseball-training-a-get-started-guide/

1 Like

I’ll rest my arm, my shoulder feels pretty fine now. It was sore after the first time I did wall drills. I’ll take some rest. Three weeks from now I’ll post a video.

Hey Willie,

I am also a fan of the wall drill. But, before any of my pitchers perform the wall drill, I make sure they have a great understanding on how the bottom half works. Incorporating bottom half drills such as keeping your drive foot planted flat on the ground using it for ground force and momentum is key. Also learning how to load or corkscrew your hips on leg lift will help your core stay over the center of your body without leading with your hips.

In your video and the video showing you how to do the wall drill, you and the pitcher are leading with your hips. I am a big fan of Randy Sullivan from the video above but he is missing one HUGE component from his own teachings - this pitcher is collapsing his back leg driving his knee down and in causing the pitcher to lead with the hips and other issues as well.

I posted a picture with Billy Wagner, a pitcher who also has a high handbreak like yourself. You can see from the picture how well Wagner uses his lower half to get himself down the mound at handbreak.

I would suggest learning more about how to properly use ground force, loading the hip, sitting into your delivery, and back leg drive so you can incorporate those drills into the wall drill.

Steve C

Billy%20Wagner%20at%20Handbreak Improper%20Wall%20Drill

So in my wall drill I need to focus on getting my right leg further down before seperation? Where Wagner is seperating his hands his lead leg is already a good ways down the mound, but mine is still pretty closed off.

No, do not focus on your front leg. All of the focus should be off of the back drive leg. That is how Wagner gets down the mound prior to or at hand break. What you need to focus on is proper weight shift. The wall drill is a good drill when you have a better understanding of what the drive leg should do.

A pitcher should start to shift his front hip away from the rubber prior to hand break using his back hip while his support knee stays over his support foot while his back hip moves out ahead of his support knee. That’s what Wagner does. Although it looks as if you have shifted your front hip away from the rubber, your drive leg hasn’t done a thing. All you have done up to that point is just push your hip out.

After peak leg lift, a pitcher needs to focus on using ground force by driving his foot into the ground and using that force to drive the rubber back towards second base and push his entire body down the mound. Keep in mind, when using ground force to drive down the mound, your support knee stays over your support foot. Your shin should be vertical and not diagonal like in the second picture fro the wall drill example.

In other words - The pitcher will push down onto the mound with the entire back foot, stabilize his back knee over his back ankle, and drive his body as a single unit down the mound. The timing trigger for this is hand break. You do get into better weight shift but well after hand break.

zz

LTP%20Willard%202 zzzz

So the key here is during leg lift, use your drive foot to push into the ground, keep your knee over your plant foot, and while you are pushing your drive foot into the ground, start moving down the mound.

Carson%20Fulmer

Steve C

Okay, I’ll work on that, I’ll try to imagine shoving the rubber into the mound with my drive leg sooner. Do you think doing the wall drills as I have been have already improved my drive leg, or they won’t until I actually focus on that aspect of the drill? I suppose it doesn’t matter at this point because I’ll start driving with my back leg sooner, I’ll focus on it.

Willie, as in my previous post, put your shoulder against the fence. By doing so, it will put you in the proper position that explosive pitching is talking about. It will make your body do what is in the following video. Just watch the video below, do your wall drills, and most flaws will be corrected.