Question about arm action?


#1

This week my son was told that because his arm is behind his head its hurting his velocity. He was even told to change it. Its been hard to nail down his velocity, but he seems to throw pretty hard.(he’s 16years old 5’9“ 180lbs) Recently at a showcase at the University of Virginia the gun behind the plate read his fast ball warm ups( 75 and right after 55, then it was 70, then 78, 45) We would have thought the gun decided to get screwy, but it was fine with all other pitchers. Everyone says its hard to pick up the ball out of his hand and that the ball seems to get on you quick. Again we thought because of his arm action. My son also happens to have a lot of movement on his pitches(which we thought was a good thing). So I guess what I’m wonder is, could the movement be coming from his arm coming out the back of his head? And is this going to effect velocity? I’m posting a break down of his mechanics from the VA game. You’ll see in frame 6 (second pic in second row) of the ball behind his head. Thanks.


#2

From where I sit, your son looks pretty darn good. I mean, solid, good setup and stride, excellent release and follow through.

As far as velocity is concerned, that’s a hard nut to crack using this media. Actual hands on, on site is the only true way to judge, evaluate, then make a critique.

To address your question directly:
… could the movement be coming from his arm coming out the back of his head? And is this going to effect velocity? …

Not usually, and I say that because I’ve never experienced that condition that you mentioned as a cause-n-effect that warrants a sporadic reading in gunning a pitcher, regardless where the ball is picked up.

Usually, when speeds change with a pitcher, it’s because of many factors - other than deliberate grips and so forth. In a youngster of your son’ age, who knows. Again, actual on site look-see by a professional pitching coach will solve any and all questions that you have.

In addition, what I see are the results of some sort of formal coaching. Now regardless of at what point this coaching experience has taken place, he has retained some memory of how and why.

Just our of curiosity, was there any physical oddities that your son was dealing with during his attendance? Did he sleep in a motel with a mattress that gave him a so-so sleep? Was there butterflies of anticipation prior to the event? Is this the first event of its type that he’s attended? Did he skip any meal(s) prior to attending this event? Was there some mental baggage that he brought with him, you know, stuff from home, pressure from some other source, girlfriend problems, and so on? Attending this event - was this his idea or yours? Does your son try harder than he should to win your admiration?

Like I mentioned earlier, your son looks very, very solid to me. He looks very good.


#3

Here’s a explanation of excellent “how to” in live time. Your son would do well to listen, over and over again.

Best wishes to you and your boy with his baseball experience.


#4

[quote=“Coach Baker”]From where I sit, your son looks pretty darn good. I mean, solid, good setup and stride, excellent release and follow through.

As far as velocity is concerned, that’s a hard nut to crack using this media. Actual hands on, on site is the only true way to judge, evaluate, then make a critique.

To address your question directly:
… could the movement be coming from his arm coming out the back of his head? And is this going to effect velocity? …

Not usually, and I say that because I’ve never experienced that condition that you mentioned as a cause-n-effect that warrants a sporadic reading in gunning a pitcher, regardless where the ball is picked up.

Usually, when speeds change with a pitcher, it’s because of many factors - other than deliberate grips and so forth. In a youngster of your son’ age, who knows. Again, actual on site look-see by a professional pitching coach will solve any and all questions that you have.

In addition, what I see are the results of some sort of formal coaching. Now regardless of at what point this coaching experience has taken place, he has retained some memory of how and why.

Just our of curiosity, was there any physical oddities that your son was dealing with during his attendance? Did he sleep in a motel with a mattress that gave him a so-so sleep? Was there butterflies of anticipation prior to the event? Is this the first event of its type that he’s attended? Did he skip any meal(s) prior to attending this event? Was there some mental baggage that he brought with him, you know, stuff from home, pressure from some other source, girlfriend problems, and so on? Attending this event - was this his idea or yours? Does your son try harder than he should to win your admiration?

Like I mentioned earlier, your son looks very, very solid to me. He looks very good.[/quote]

First, thank you for your reply.

Yes my son has had formal training.

I don’t think I explained myself very well and I’m sorry for that. I made it sound like he has had a loss in velocity and in fact where just trying to find a gain. We where told by pitching guy that if he got his hand out from behind his head he would gain velocity. I’m wondering if that was true. He also said it could be why he has so much movement.

I’ve always thought he just needs to get stronger to throw harder and that his movement came from how he grips the ball and uses figure pressure. The kids a stickler for finger pressure, lol.

I’m posting a video of an inning from this tournament just so you can see him live.


#5

Those videos are a better contribution to your question(s) here.

I see a very strong youngster in the upper core, but, he’s not taking advantage of any power from his lower body, the legs in particular. His upper body stays upright and his stride lacks any leg power passed up to his pitching form. The video that you provided is virtually like night and day from the segment-shots provided earlier. In the segment-shots, he strides and has excellent finishing posture, in the video he’ trying to “throw”, not pitch, the ball. Hence, he’s variation in velocity, not to mention variations in locating the ball for strikes. Whether or not your son has any variation in locating the ball for strikes is just assuming, not actually indicating by reasons given here based on my limited observations.

Your son’s pitching form in the video takes the form of an infielder, like a shortstop, trying to throw to first. I suspected as much from the brief explanations you provided in your first posting - which were excellent by the way.

I would suggest viewing the video that I posted. In particular, take note of the pitcher on the left - that’s your son’s posture.

With respect to the ball behind the head, that’s only because of your son’s anticipation of not using his legs to drive down the mound - he’s not taking advantage of the mound as a surface to gain momentum and thus contribute to a pitcher’s velocity. Now, does the ball at the back of his head equate to the main issue here - no.

Did the formal coaching mention anything about your son’s lack of stride, the lack of his legs and follow-through? It should have. Why? Because your son’s shoulder platform - the rotor cuff and all associated muscles therein, are bearing the brunt of your son’s pitch. Also, with a form that your son has right now, he’s going to experience stiffness and soreness in his lower lumbar and at the base of his neck.


#6

In your son’s video 13u 3/31/2011, that form and stride is what I’m talking about. Very clean and crisp.

Somehow, between 3/31/2011 and now, he’s lost that body posture. If he can regain that form - which is pretty impressive I might add for his age, he’d be doing very well.

I’m not going to refer to his pitching arm’s discipline in that video of 3/31/2011, because that’s an entirely different issue here.

My finial suggestion would be to go back to his 3/31/2011 video and study it frame by frame. Forget the velocity stuff for now and regain his body’s control of how to properly manage his body to start and complete a full delivery - again, managing his body to pitch. Concentrate on this, and concentrate hard. Controlling the body’s posture while pitching is key - then the pitch will take care of itself.

Don’t fall for the ring on the merry go round of this game called velocity. It’s a fading goal that can only be just out of reach every single time your son pitches. So, let your son’s body get use to the controlled aspect of pitching, the velocity, like you mentioned earlier, will come around as he gets stronger.

Your son looks like prospect material. If I were still grazing for talent, I would have carded him in a heart beat, introduced him to professionals that would groom that young man, and make a paycheck out of it to boot. He shows very good promise. Focus on keeping him healthy with good posture training and coaching.


#7

Mr. Baker thank you for your time and your kind words. My son is all ready working on getting those legs more involved. We hope some one soon feels the same way here and gives him a look as a prospect. He’s a good kid with very good grades. Unfortunately he’s a 2015 so where kind of feeling the heat right now. So will see fingers crossed.


#8

Coachbhh,
Remember well those UVA showcases, my son fortunate enough to pitch against the Wahoos years later.

First let me say if your serious about doing video evaluation you will need to get at least 2 views (2B, 3B), and preferably 4 including 1B, H, of your son throwing at maximum intensity.

Some may not be aware that in his younger years Bartolo Colon was one of the hardest throwing pitchers in baseball. While this may not be my favorite arm action type, Colon’s ability to generate 100 mph velocities as a young man indicate that bringing the ball close to the ear is not necessarily detrimental. Provided, of course, you are doing many other things well to support that type of arm action.

http://s267.photobucket.com/user/TG2_2008/media/colon500x.gif.html][img]http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/ii299/TG2_2008/colon500x.gif[/img

Is it coincidental that many catchers have successfully converted to high velocity relief pitchers using a similar technique? Motte for instance.

Several important things to note regarding Colon… First, the intent to throw the crap out of the baseball is obvious.

http://s267.photobucket.com/user/TG2_2008/media/Colon2002100mph2B.gif.html][img]http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/ii299/TG2_2008/Colon2002100mph2B.gif[/img

Second, he is an excellent example of “pelvic loading” among other things…timber!

http://s267.photobucket.com/user/TG2_2008/media/colonside101alr.gif.html][img]http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/ii299/TG2_2008/colonside101alr.gif[/img

“Pelvis Loading” is a term coined by Paul Nyman (coach XJ on this site) of SETPRO. Colon was one of his first case studies leading him to further develop concepts such as “pinching the hips”, the “step over”, and “leading with the sole”, (to mention only a few). I don’t want to speak for him so hopefully he will jump in here.

http://s267.photobucket.com/user/TG2_2008/media/colonstep.gif.html][img]http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/ii299/TG2_2008/colonstep.gif[/img

Incidentally I have only watched the first few minutes of the instructional video posted by Coach Baker because at about 2 minutes in, the video instructor said of Chapman.

IMO and with all due respect….the above observation was enough to indicate to me that the video instructor doesn’t really understand what Chapman was doing to load his pelvic region. What he thought of as the “weird” and “contorted” use of the lead leg is in fact excellent technique…a preliminary stride leg pinching action essential to optimizing the pelvic load/unloading sequence.

At the risk of oversimplifying, one final word to those whose hope it is to play at the collegiate level and beyond…SPEED. The following is far from exhaustive but should help to formulate your goals and stay on track.

There are 4 quantifiable things that are going to end your baseball career other than injury, and 3 of them have to do with speed. The 4th poor eyesight is correctable to some extent. Needless to say your sport specific skills need to continually improve to keep advancing but with each new level greater speed will be required.

Lack of bat speed:
You don’t hit the ball hard enough, and your slow bat makes it impossible to wait on the breaking ball, a sure career end-er.

Lack of running speed:
Simply said you’re not fast or quick enough, obviously position dependent.

Lack of throwing speed:
Again position dependent…but surely most important for pitchers, catchers and left side infielders. At every advancing level you will be expected to throw harder from LL, BR, HS, college, until you’re eventually signed at the professional level. Once your an established professional it’s a different story, but good luck getting signed to a scholarship or professional contract without it.

I recall Derrick Jeter as a young man quickly ascending the ranks being asked what it was like. He said at each new level every aspect of the game just keeps getting faster….running, hitting, fielding, throwing. You either keep pace, or it’s over.

Of course even the great ones eventually can’t get around on the “high hard one”, lose range in the field, and can’t make the throw from hole the way they once did.

http://s267.photobucket.com/user/TG2_2008/media/Jeter.jpg.html][img]http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/ii299/TG2_2008/Jeter.jpg[/img

The cycle of a baseball career complete. The first part trying to achieve elite level speeds, the second part trying to hold on to what you’ve got, some doing it far more graciously than others.

There is no avoiding the “greed for speed”, in the form of hitting, running, fielding and throwing. When the stop watches and radar guns come out what is your time? If you’re sincere about advancing you have to make it impossible to be overlooked.

Harder said than done, which brings us to the least quantifiable but most essential ingredient of all…desire! :wink:


:


#9

In the video of Chapman’s technique, the narrator explains, in detail, language that is easy to understand, the necessary elements that support the hip’s contribution to the pitch. In sections 6:50 onward, he explains hip separation … not in the terms of Hired Guns, but in other words. Now Hired Guns did a decent job here helping you to understand the subject, no doubt. I have no issues with that.

In your son’s video dated 3/31/2011 he seems very flexible and youthful. In latter video, your son has added a few pounds and has a better upper body build - size wise. I have seen youngsters of your son’s build with midsection (girth) issues when trying to incorporate there their stride as a total body function. And stride is the main focus of my prior postings, leaving the rest of your son’s techniques for additional questions from you. If you want to review or ask questions relative to hip motion, arm slots, etc., we can cover those also, step by step instead of pounding your attention span all at once.

By the way, did any of your son’s formal coaching cover anything that I’m stating now, or have in prior posts?

If so, that would be a great starting point to review a subject or subjects, without the me or someone else trying to pick out things at random.


#10

Wow! Just listened to the 3X instructional in its entirety.

Quite surprising really…when one claims to have discovered the “missing link” of pitching mechanics who with an interest in the topic wouldn’t be intrigued?

From what I gathered we’ve been trapped in a spinning universe of rotation oblivious to the contribution of the linear. TRIPLE EXTENSION… the missing link, is the deliberate straightening of the posting leg (ankle-knee-hip) and the primary source of hip rotation…with a little help from ankle kicks….OH MY!

Need I add… jumping is not rotating

http://s267.photobucket.com/user/TG2_2008/media/wizard3.gif.html][img]http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/ii299/TG2_2008/wizard3.gif[/img

To the point, is the CAUSE of hip rotation the extension of the back leg? If one were to study a clip at length might I suggest downloading the below item and watch it carefully frame by frame. Are Ryan’s hips rotating as a consequence of him pushing his back leg straight?

http://s267.photobucket.com/user/TG2_2008/media/RyanAngles3B250.gif.html][img]http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/ii299/TG2_2008/RyanAngles3B250.gif[/img

And now from the master of twist, let’s watch Chubby demonstrate how the hips are really rotated. Triple extension?

Chubby teams up with Dee Dee slowing things down a bit in an instructional for the rotationally challenged.

There is of course a linear component in the pitching delivery…Tom House estimated it contributed about 20% to ones total velocity. IMO the 3X emphasis is in the wrong place, then again the book on rotation has already been written.


#11

Hired…

You’re missing the point of the example showing Chapman. there is no real comparison between the example narrated, and this youngster who is still maturing and finding a reasonable subject to study. Whether or not this youngster, or any for that matter, does exactly what’s narrated and to the detail, is anyone’s guess.

The narration is one of many on the market – yours included, that says this or that, then hammers on of why not with someone else says different with either belief or support in someone else’s narration.

As far as Ryan’s video that’s presented - it’s good but, there isn’t a youngster on the planet still in his teens with the physique that this youngster has in the posted video with started this discussion, is going to take at face value and perform. Neither is the video of Chapman, Koufax or anyone else.

The right way to pitch in it’s entirety is based on working in small details… yes, like you described, but not to the holy grail that you lay down as absolute. Kids aren’t built like these mature men and nor will they emulate them that discretely.

Do you understand what I’m saying here, or shall I go into more detail?


#12

Coach B.
If you recall in my original post I included a Colon clip because there were some similarities in “arm action”. The original topic was “Question about arm action” and his example appeared quite relevant.

[quote]You’re missing the point of the example showing Chapman. there is no real comparison between the example narrated, and this youngster who is still maturing and finding a reasonable subject to study.
[/quote]

Next you turned the topic to hip rotation and the Chapman instructional was posted. Had you said the narration was unimportant I wouldn’t have responded. But that is not what you recommended, (my bold)

[quote]Here’s a explanation of excellent “how to” in live time. Your son would do well to listen, over and over again.
[/quote]

I disagreed with much of the narration and hopefully provided some evidence for the reader’s consideration. Asking pitchers to consciously straighten their back leg is misguided at best and when emphasized will prohibit rotation.

IMO the last thing I would recommend to a youngster is to listen to this narration, “over and over again”. Perhaps we can agree that the sound should be turned off? :reallyconfused:

PS
If extending the rear leg to a straightened position was essential to hip rotation wouldn’t hitters be doing the same?

http://s267.photobucket.com/user/TG2_2008/media/Pujolssidefoot-1.gif.html][img]http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/ii299/TG2_2008/Pujolssidefoot-1.gif[/img


#13

My suggestions were very basic and in tune with the level of competition for the youngster that I saw. The comparisons of this or that as to “this is the way … the only way,” was never expressed or implied by me, only a suggestion, and take away what the youngster and his dad wanted - including watching several times… take-it-or-leave it. I didn’t go into the subject(s) any deeper because it was stated that the boy had formal training.

As to my addressing the “hips”, your remarks tended to suggest that you only looked at a certain duration of the video, very early on, not all. Then you came back with chapter and verse of a much larger comment post … including …a scarecrow and Cubby Checker… cute … but then I find people with more imagination that reason tend to drift that way.

Tell you what … take your opinions and reasons and make a separate topic, all alone with your reasoning on these issues that you have here… then settle back, ready for all kinds of responses with adverse opinions with your approach(s)… with all the animation and jumping scarecrows that accompany that mindset.

I’m ending this exchange because it’s taking an avenue that does nothing for the dad and his son who asked for help.


#14

[size=24] R E M O V E D[/size]

Posts that contain personal belligerency will be removed.

Coach B.



#15

Coach B said:

[quote]Then you came back with chapter and verse of a much larger comment post … including …a scarecrow and Cubby Checker… cute … but then I find people with more imagination that reason tend to drift that way.

Tell you what … take your opinions and reasons and make a separate topic, all alone with your reasoning on these issues that you have here… then settle back, ready for all kinds of responses with adverse opinions with your approach(s)… with all the animation and jumping scarecrows that accompany that mindset. [/quote]

The below post was censored by Coach B with the following statement.

[quote]R E M O V E D

Posts that contain personal belligerency will be removed. [/quote]

Why not let the readers be the judge coach B?

[quote]The jumping scarecrow is a very good example of triple extension without rotation, and Chubby Checker illustrates quite well how the body can rotate in place without having to triple extend anything. Sorry you didn’t get that but the literal minded probably wouldn’t.

Rather than returning in kind your personal insults I will ask if the point of these forums is not for constructive criticism then what IS the purpose. I took issue with this instructional and have presented plenty of evidence that its explanation of hip rotation is incorrect and that teaching the back leg to extend straight is counterproductive.

You have yet to address the topic of triple extension or hip rotation illustrated in the video that you so highly recommended.

Yes I agree its time to bring this to an end… as has been said many times before… no instruction is better than bad instruction.[/quote]


#16

I was going to thank you guys for replying but it looks like things have gotten out of hand. I didn’t sensor anything just for the record. I’m not sure what the “Coach B said:” with quotes stuff is all about, wasn’t me. Maybe someone from the site…

On a side note I think you guys answered my question which was, would his arm angle(ball being behind his head),cause a loss in velocity. The colon video has a lot of similarities. Right now we do have a pretty knowledgeable pitching guy we go to in Randy Leek. He seems to think he looks pretty good. I guess I asked the question because it was brought up by another pitching coach and I was looking for what others in the know might have thought.

I do appreciate the info guys and I’m sorry if it turned into something more. I’ll keep ya posted on some progress when I can, thanks again fella’s.


#17

[quote]I didn’t sensor anything just for the record. I’m not sure what the “Coach B said:” with quotes stuff is all about, wasn’t me. Maybe someone from the site…
[/quote]
Coach Bhhh. (Gotta love all those H’s)
My apologies for the confusion. When I was referring to Coach B in regards to the deletion of my post it was Coach Baker, not you. Glad you found the Colon clip informative, although there are many other examples… Carlos Zambrano and Keith Foulke had their own unique versions of a “short armed” throw. Not HOF caliber pitchers but both have experienced a great deal of success at the highest level.

Foulke

Zambrano

Again it’s not MY favorite arm action type but does illustrate the power of rotation. Get the ball up and rotate like hell, some good things might happen.

I think both coach Baker and I agree your arm action can be worked with, but again, you need to have the ability to rotate like hell. My reason for the Colon clips.

For the record… there is no deliberate attempt on my part to discredit coach Baker and his sincere attempt to help you guys.

Nonetheless I’ll stick to my guns and say I felt the 3X video to be more marketing gimmickry than substance and expressed my opinion in my own way…usually preferring the use of humor to a punch in the face. I could be entirely mistaken of course, both in fact and methodology, but censorship is not the answer.

Can’t can’t get enough of the Chubby man!!! :band: Were is the sax?

Please note that Chubby begins his routine by doing mostly (triple extension) vertical jumping before transitioning to mostly (rotational) twisting as the camera pans back emphasizing what is the essence of the dance…“the twist”.

You’all gittin this? :wink:

Incidentally Tim Lincecum said many are surprised to hear that his vertical jump is fairly average. So… is the essence of Timmy… a long stride as some would have you believe…or something else?

Smokin baby!!


#18

Hired…

When you or anyone else crosses the line using sarcasm or anything close to it, your REMOVED… period.

I’m not going over ground already covered. Stick to opinions and conclusions - that’s a good thing. Confrontational banter is not a good thing.

Now end this.

Coach B.


#19

Thanks coach, I’ll try…

http://s267.photobucket.com/user/TG2_2008/media/ef602f5ecde865ad1f52f97b6d424470.jpg.html][img]http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/ii299/TG2_2008/ef602f5ecde865ad1f52f97b6d424470.jpg[/img


#20

Ahhhh… Robin Williams, now you’ve hit a cord! I’m a student of his philosophy and the man was an absolute genius, fun to listen to and above all a master of wit.

The man was great with youngsters. He was as genuine as a human being could be. A club I was with brought some youngsters from the inner city to meet him with other performers. A lot of those youngsters were from single parent homes, no much going for them at the time. After about twenty minutes of listening him talk to those kids at their level, it made a big difference to them - I saw it in their eyes.

Our club got a nice thank you letter from the school- but it was Williams that should have gotten the thanks - not me or anyone else.

When I was told of his death, I couldn’t believe it. For such a gifted man who brought so much happiness to so many, to have so little himself to leave this precious gift of life, he must’ve struggled with demons beyond my comprehend - and I had my share.

Love the poster … Thank you.