Pitching Mechanics Euphemisms

A lot of people say ‘keep your head on a line’ going straight and so on and so forth but my coach today told me to pretend like my ears were on a track and for some reason that helped me a lot more.

What do you think?

Perhaps what he was trying to do was to keep your head from moving too much during your setup and delivery. A problem not uncommon to younger pitchers -13U. I’m assuming “keeping your ears on track” means
visualize a set of railroad tracks – or something similar, that both ears will be directed on – FORWARD. In turn, your head should be directed on target through all if not most of your setup and delivery. (I assume that’s what he was getting at).

When your head is facing directly at your target, it reinforces from the neck on down certain body tension and related muscle formations that are essential for a lot of control issues. In addition, once you get your optimum “muscle memory” routine(s) down for the pitch selection that works best for you - this kind of reinforcement that I mentioned above is even more important.

Also, this “keep your ears on a track” sort of speak, will give you a greater opportunity to visualize longer and gage your depth perception, concentration on your “next” move(s), and maintain some degree of comfort and security while progressing forward on the surface that your pitching off of.

Coach B.

[quote=“Coach Baker”]Perhaps what he was trying to do was to keep your head from moving too much during your setup and delivery. A problem not uncommon to younger pitchers -13U. I’m assuming “keeping your ears on track” means
visualize a set of railroad tracks – or something similar, that both ears will be directed on – FORWARD. In turn, your head should be directed on target through all if not most of your setup and delivery. (I assume that’s what he was getting at).

When your head is facing directly at your target, it reinforces from the neck on down certain body tension and related muscle formations that are essential for a lot of control issues. In addition, once you get your optimum “muscle memory” routine(s) down for the pitch selection that works best for you - this kind of reinforcement that I mentioned above is even more important.

Also, this “keep your ears on a track” sort of speak, will give you a greater opportunity to visualize longer and gage your depth perception, concentration on your “next” move(s), and maintain some degree of comfort and security while progressing forward on the surface that your pitching off of.

Coach B.[/quote]

Yes, thank you, I know WHY I was just wondering because when someone says on a line I think of a pole through my head but on a track I think of 2 poles like railroads.

It helps to focus on the ears because that is where the organs that maintain balance are located.

Xv84 made a very good observation here. A detail that’s sometimes overlook as part of support elements of sound mechanics.

The human body is uniquely designed with compliments to its upright posture. In that, the balance sensors are in the head – more specifically in the inner ear. Inside the inner ear is the cochlea – a curled snail like encasement that contains tiny hairs or receptors. Also in the cochlea is liquid mucus like substance. As the head is disturbed left or right, up or down, this mucus liquid stimulates these tiny hairs – which in turn send messages impulses to the brain… which responds with the appropriate action. This ability to BALANCE yourself is one of the many unsolicited responses that your body does constantly. Your heart beat, blinking of the eyes, breathing, and even bringing your hand up to your face to block something coming right at you suddenly are other examples of unsolicited responses.

With respect to pitching, if you were to excessively move your head while setting up and going through your motion, your balancing mechanisms are going to work even before you stride. Sometimes – inadvertently, your overall performance can be restricted. By the way, this restriction is not that noticeable and has varying effects. Sometimes not so bad – other times is a rhythm buster.

To show you just how sensitive this portion of your body’s system works, here’s a great exercise:
******** DON’T TRY THIS BY YOURSELF. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE SOMEONE WITH YOUIN CASE YOU FALL***********************

stand with your feet shoulder’s width apart.
raise one leg, and stand like a stork – balancing yourself on the one standing leg.
now tuck your chin into you chest.
MAKING SURE THERE’S SOMEONE BY YOU TO CATCH YOU IF YOU FALL,
Start moving your chin and head up and down by rapidly lifting your chin, snapping your head back, placing your chin back on your chest… and repeat rapidly.

If your like most people you’ll find that maintaining any balance is very difficult, if not impossible. Does this mean don’t snap your head back and forth on the mound? Of course not. But, this simple exercise will show you just how sensitive your balance system is to your overall concentration and performance. Think of it for a minute – your balance sensors are in your ear, in the head, and the impulses to react and act to this standing variations made your one standing leg – especially the foot, move quickly from side to side taking instructions from the nervous system’s network.

Excellent observation vx84.

Coach B.

Interesting. Explain Hideki Okajima?

CB: I’m sorry if I seemed a little blunt I’m just having trouble getting my point across. You’ve been helpful

Spencer says…” Interesting. Explain Hideki Okajima?”

Ya know…you’re right— I’d like to hear that one myself!!! :confused:

It seems that the man has been doing what he’s been doing for some time, so I can only assume that everything from the head on down … goes with the flow. In fact, when I first saw Okajima, I had to look twice. My only remark was” what heck was that?” My son, who’s never a lost for words said …” that’s called a strike.” Hey, whatever…whatever. The Majors seem to have a “leave well enough alone” attitude.

However, the next time you’re watching him, pay attention to the size and dimensions of his glove and watch how it is incorporated with his power. In particular, watch howHe opens then folds the glove flat – dish like, just before and during his glove arm compliments his follow through. There’s real mechanical advantage here – big time. This could be one of the reasons for the massive momentum during and after release for his stride knee being in position that it is and his shoulders and head whipping down on his glove side.

If I had a pitcher come to my rotation with that style – he wouldn’t for long. I honestly don’t believe there’s anything instructional to be gained from copying that. However, somewhere along the line somebody thought it worked for him, and well, so be it.

Coach B.

Hideki Okajima is a lefty too and all lefties are weird. It’s the only generalization that is true.