This step has me confused, i am having trouble seeing it in pictures of pro pitchers that Chris has on his website. Is there anything i can do to practice this, or know that i am doing it right? And should this happen after of before your GS foot is planted? I have read some of Dick Mills tips and this one caught my attention. It says that when you use the torqe of your lower body your arm will deliver like a whip and give you pin-point control and an almost injury free arm. The problem is i dont know how to get this extra torqe out of my lower body. I know i have very strong legs and if i can get this step down it will help me to be a better pitcher and increase my velocity a ton. So if i can get anyones feed back on this post i would very much appreciate it. 8)
Chris’ site shows still images (unless you’ve updated it recently, Chris) which cannot show the entire story. Stills can show things like hip/shoulder separation at one point in time but that’s it. You need video to show the timing, tempo and smoothness of the full motion in context. Send me a PM with an email address and I’ll send some video to you.
Dick used to say that the front foot should land before hip rotation occurs but he’s well aware that it doesn’t really happen that way. He typically is trying to communicate to people in a way that he believes will get them to do what is required, whether the terminology is absolutely correct or not. My opinion of Dick’s intent only.
The hips must rotate INTO landing. The pros all do it. The shoulders must NOT rotate until the front foot lands. All of this sets up a stretch across the torso which, if timed right, allows maximum contractile force for shoulder rotation. Since the shoulders rotate immediately upon landing, the hips MUST rotate before. The key is that the hips do not rotate too early. They must do it very late.
Also, no herky jerky movements here with 2 phases. You don’t want to rotate the hips, pause then rotate the shoulders. The energy transfer is lost then.
Just lunge sideways and, at the last moment, start the rotation phase by with the hips. Use the back leg to assist in this by spinning that back foot over. You might want to think of it as a “rotational push” very late.
What Mills is describing isn’t anatomically possible (unless you landed with your foot pointing toward 3B). He probably means that you want to delay (ala Steve Carlton) when the foot and thus the hips open.
The idea is to move to the plate sideways with the glove-side toe pointing toward 3B. At the last second open up the hips by pointing the toe toward Home Plate. The more your shoulders are still closed at this point (pointing at Home Plate), the more this will stretch the muscles of the torso and allow them to powerfully pull the shoulders around.
It’s easy to talk about in theory but hard to do in practice.
Look at the pictures of Steve Carlton. Notice how long his GS foot points at 1B (since he’s a lefty) while he’s striding toward the plate. Others accomplish this by pointing their foot toward Home Plate but keeping their knee bent (and pointed toward 3B).
In the pictures of Nolan Ryan, he does the same thing but via a different manner. Look at how his GS knee is bent and his GS foot is pointing to the 3B side of Home Plate as he strides forward (that means his hips are still somewhat closed). Only just before landing does he point his to toward Home Plate (which opens his hips).
This has to happen just before your GS foot is planted (otherwise you’d land with you toe pointing toward 3B if you are a RHP). The closer the hips open compared to the planting of the GS foot, the better.
[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]What Mills is describing isn’t anatomically possible (unless you landed with your foot pointing toward 3B). He probably means that you want to delay (ala Steve Carlton) when the foot and thus the hips open.[/quote]He’s aware of that. Like I said, he attempts to get pitchers to do what he wants them to (in this case, to not rotate the hips early) by using cues that he believes will work. No, it’s not possible but his cue is intended to delay rotation as long as possible. Whether or not this works, the jury’s out. This is what I believe he does though and it makes the purists out there cringe.
[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]It’s easy to talk about in theory but hard to do in practice.[/quote]Amen.
It’s not just the strength of your legs that matters here. What is as important, if not more so, is the strength of the muscles in your hips and abdomen.
People refer to this as core strength.
One way to improve this is via exercise programs like Pilates.