Rotational pitching mechanics


#1

What are these rotational pitching mechanics? Like the book that paul nyman sells with setpro it says rotational pitching for numbies? what is rotational pitching is that like when you turn your back to the hitter? help me out guys and is it a legit way to increase velocity? moreso than forward tilt?


#2

It basically just means “efficently using the body to throw the ball”.


#3

the e-book rotational throwing for numbies is a must have for your library if you are a serious player and student of the game. paul nyman explains exactly what it is and illustrates it very clearly using video clips and video animations. if i could only have 3 books on pitching, it would be one of the three and i read thousands of pages per year on throwing and pitching.

you will not be sorry you bought it.


#4

I agree with what Nyman says in that E-Book except that you have to push off the rubber


#5

vertigo,

“…except that you have to push off the rubber”.

It was a little ambiguous to me which one of you thinks that pitchers must push off of the rubber. Whatever, the one of you who apparently believes that pitchers push off the rubber may wish to re-think his understanding of mechanics and physical reality.

This topic has been debated almost endlessly, but there is really no debate at all–unless you want to spend lots of time redefining the meanings of perfectly useful words.

“Push” is a useful word in the context of what happens mechanically during a “push-up”, correct? At the beginning of a push-up, the athlete must expend just exactly enough force to counterbalance the gravitational force–i.e., there is zero net force, no movement, until the athlete exerts a greater-than-gravitational force to accelerate his body upward. When the isometric “push” upward exactly counterbalances the gravitational “push” downward there is no net force on the body, no acceleration. When most people use the word “push” they are really talking about application of a force needed to overcome our equilibrium with gravity, leading to acceleration. If you buy that definition for the moment, then think about the following:

When an athlete does a push-up, what happens to his arms? The forearm-elbow-upper arm angle of his arms change. At any time this angle is not changing, there is no “push” other than that required to exactly counterbalance the gravitational force.

Thus, no net force, no net “push”, is being applied during a push-up unless the body is accelerating. The way we are built, our elbow angles must change to accomodate the “push” during a push-up.

Same is true for a pitcher’s post leg and its shin-knee-femur angle. If there is an accelerating force applied accross this biological hinge then its angle will have to change to accomodate the acceleration. If the hinge angle doesn’t change–there was no net force, no acceleration, no “push” in the sense that people normally use the word.

Study good video of pitchers’ motions. You may need to study video from several perspectives and you may need to look at it in slo-mo to assure yourself of this: Pitchers do not generally “push” off of the rubber. I suppose they could do that if they wanted to, but it would necessarily lead a straightening of the post leg and that doesn’t happen. When a pitcher starts very tall, the angle in his post leg will generally decrease during the stride forward–the exact opposite of “push”–and his post-leg will pivot underneath his pelvis as gravity pushes him forward with his stride leg off of the ground.

Pitchers who start lower, with a smaller angle in their post leg, maintain this angle through footstrike and follow-through. If they “pushed” off of the post leg–that is, if they actually applied a net positive force with their post leg–then that leg would have to straighten and they would be seen to pop-up or jump. That is not what pitchers do, at least not the good ones.

Nevertheless, some otherwise outstanding pitchers and coaches have misconstrued the concept of “push” and thereby given it a wrongful place in the coaching lexicon in their attempts to describe what they thought was important about good pitching mechanics.

It is okay to respect and even revere the accomplishments of outstanding pitchers and coaches without passing along the flawed parts of their wisdom.


#6

This is wrong.

Pretty much every ML pitcher pushes off the rubber through the top of his leg lift to get their hips moving toward the rubber and to begin their stride. In other words, they don’t simply get tall and then fall toward the plate.

It’s more like Drive And Drop.

However, they do not push off the rubber after their Glove Side foot has landed.


#7

“Push off the rubber” is just a general term… but the better cue would be just “push forward with the back leg”

You do have to push with the back leg in order to obey Newton’s Third Law of Motion (‘For every action force, there is an equal and opposite directed reaction force’). Dr. Mike Marshall and Dr. Yeager explains this concept perfectly. Dr. Yeager brings out ‘the ground reaction force’, which means if you push hard against the ground, it will push back. Pushing of the back leg also can separate the lower segments to the upper segments… it’s like a whip; a whip doesn’t apply force simultaneously, but it applys force from the heaviest segment to the lightest segment.

Bob Feller is a big believer in push-off, by the way.

Exactly


#8

vertigo,

If you derive your opinions about physics, or almost any other subject, from Mike Marshall’s foolish rants then I feel sorry for you.

Among Mike Marshall’s many bombastic (and completely foolish) claims over the years: “Traditional pitching mechanics violate Sir Isaac Newton’s Laws of Motion”…as if physical laws can be “broken” in the same sense that criminal or civil law can be broken. The man was actually hoping to get away with the extraordinary claim that Isaac Newton’s Laws of Motion uniquely favor Marshall Mechanics…only Marshall’s idiot cult followers are gullible enough to believe stuff like this.

Mike Marshall’s claims to expertise are nearly boundless, and also nearly groundless, in my opinion.

My thumbnail sketch of Mike Marshall: A very good MLB pitcher in his day, who completely disavows the mechanics that made him good and who now occupies his time leading a sorry little band of true-believers down the rosy path. MM appears to spend a great deal of time cooking up endless conspiracy theories to explain away his many, many years of frustrating failure as a pitching coach. MM started coaching with some interesting, and I think honest, ideas about injury and injury prevention in pitching. But, as his theories have pretty much failed to produce anything in the way of even one successful pitcher who uses “Marshall-approved” mechanics, he has gradually sunk into a pattern of deceit and obfuscation. Well, not that gradually, actually–his bizarre Q&A records show that he lost his rationality and integrity pretty quickly.

Naturally I’d expect Chris O’Leary to follow the Marshall party-line on any matter that he doesn’t understand, especially elementary physics. No matter how many times Marshall calls him derogoratory names in print, O’Leary is all too willing to agree with “The Doc” on matters which neither of them understand. IMO.

It also doesn’t matter what words Bob Feller, Tom Seaver, or any other great pitcher, may have misused in an effort to describe the pitching motion they were good at. There is no “push” in the sense of using the post leg to drive the stride forward. If you push off of a surface with your post leg, and thereby cause acceleration forward, upward, or any direction, your post leg will have to straighten out.

Pitchers’ post legs do not straighten out during the stride forward–they stay bent. There is no push.

I’d like to see you do a push-up without straightening your arms. I’d also like to see you jump into the air from a crouched standing position without straightening your legs. On the other hand, try jumping straight up in the air from the tallest posture that you can achieve–i.e., with your legs completely straight at the starting point.

Can you do any of those things? If so, I’m sure I’ll be reading about you in the newspaper someday soon because you’re completely unique.


#9

Wow, thanks for your info on Doc. Never really knew that.

So… do you agree on ‘Ground Reaction Force’ that Dr. Yeager states, or no?


#10

[quote=“laflippin”]vertigo,

If you derive your opinions about physics, or almost any other subject, from Mike Marshall’s foolish rants then I feel sorry for you.

Among Mike Marshall’s many bombastic (and completely foolish) claims over the years: “Traditional pitching mechanics violate Sir Isaac Newton’s Laws of Motion”…as if physical laws can be “broken” in the same sense that criminal or civil law can be broken. The man was actually hoping to get away with the extraordinary claim that Isaac Newton’s Laws of Motion uniquely favor Marshall Mechanics…only Marshall’s idiot cult followers are gullible enough to believe stuff like this.

Mike Marshall’s claims to expertise are nearly boundless, and also nearly groundless, in my opinion.

My thumbnail sketch of Mike Marshall: A very good MLB pitcher in his day, who completely disavows the mechanics that made him good and who now occupies his time leading a sorry little band of true-believers down the rosy path. MM appears to spend a great deal of time cooking up endless conspiracy theories to explain away his many, many years of frustrating failure as a pitching coach. MM started coaching with some interesting, and I think honest, ideas about injury and injury prevention in pitching. But, as his theories have pretty much failed to produce anything in the way of even one successful pitcher who uses “Marshall-approved” mechanics, he has gradually sunk into a pattern of deceit and obfuscation. Well, not that gradually, actually–his bizarre Q&A records show that he lost his rationality and integrity pretty quickly.

Naturally I’d expect Chris O’Leary to follow the Marshall party-line on any matter that he doesn’t understand, especially elementary physics. No matter how many times Marshall calls him derogoratory names in print, O’Leary is all too willing to agree with “The Doc” on matters which neither of them understand. IMO.

It also doesn’t matter what words Bob Feller, Tom Seaver, or any other great pitcher, may have misused in an effort to describe the pitching motion they were good at. There is no “push” in the sense of using the post leg to drive the stride forward. If you push off of a surface with your post leg, and thereby cause acceleration forward, upward, or any direction, your post leg will have to straighten out.

Pitchers’ post legs do not straighten out during the stride forward–they stay bent. There is no push.

I’d like to see you do a push-up without straightening your arms. I’d also like to see you jump into the air from a crouched standing position without straightening your legs. On the other hand, try jumping straight up in the air from the tallest posture that you can achieve–i.e., with your legs completely straight at the starting point.

Can you do any of those things? If so, I’m sure I’ll be reading about you in the newspaper someday soon because you’re completely unique.[/quote]

Marshall insluted chris???

THat’s a personal attack on o’leary.


#11

I’ve never read anything by Yeager so I’m afraid I only have your characterization of his ideas to go on.

Try to understand this: When we are standing still, on Earth, we are in equilibrium with the Earth’s gravitational force. Are we “pushing” while we stand still? Yes, we are–just exactly enough to counteract the gravitational push that make us fall down if we suddenly died on our feet.

But, the question for pitchers is this: Is there an extra “push” that makes them go forward? The answer is no, not in a typical pitching motion. Mike Marshall may want pitchers to jump forward, which is what will happen if you “push off” the rubber and straighten your leg.

So, what does happen? Your feet and pelvis make a kind of triangle, right? A triangle with nearly all of its mass resting on the apex. What happens if you remove one of the legs of this triangle (i.e., your stride leg lifts off the ground)? You are now no longer a triangle, but a simple lever with your post foot as the axis and a seriously eccentric load of mass on the top end. Gravitational force provides the torque on this lever and so your mass is levered forward until you stop your progress by landing on your stride foot.


#12

ya watch the video attached to this article and tell me if you’ll ever listen to a thing marshall says again. it looks absolutely ridiculous!


#13

"Marshall insluted chris??? "

LOL. Several more times than once, if you think the invective word “idiot” is an inslut [sic]. Why don’t you ask Chris what The Doc writes of Chris? Or, better yet, why don’t read Marshall’s gibberish for yourself?

You guys are too funny!


#14

Do those who despise Marshall understand how is motion works? Most don’t. It utilizes a simultaneous push from the back leg and front leg to rotate the hips. This is because he wants rotation to occur around the FRONT leg as opposed to the back leg in the “traditional” motion. Now you ask how can this happen? With a short stride. Marshall’s motion uses different muscles and is totally different from the traditional motion. Why do people fail to understand this?

Marshall wants the pitcher to use linear forces to rotate the hips instead of rotational forces.

laflippin, I do agree with your explanation of the “push” that happens in the traditional motion, though.


#15

Because people (like me :mrgreen:) hear just enough to write him off before investing the time and effort to learn all of the little details. But you just taught me some more about his mechanics - thanks!


#16

xv84,

I think Marshall’s mechanics theories are very difficult to penetrate for several reasons:

  1. On his lengthy dvd MM repeatedly suggests that even the pitchers he has personally trained for a long time all have failed to get one or another facets of his mechanics correct. Sometimes that might be a reasonable explanation… but with Marshall it is a constant pattern that appears to be a built-in excuse for the profound failure all of his pitchers seem to endure.

  2. MM has no legitimate background in physics (or medicine, or biochemistry, for that matter) but he uses his PhD in kinesiology as a sort of “Wizard of Oz” trick–he often tries to imply profound expertise in all these areas with bombast, bluster, and blarney.

  3. His self-invented jargon reads like jabberwocky from Alice in Wonderland–“pseudo-traditional, wrong-foot, crow-hop, sling-shot, pendulum swing, maximum drive line pronated curveball” just about sums it up. It’s one thing to know what each of those individual words means, but strung together in constantly shifting sequences of advice to pitchers who are already advised by MM that they won’t be able to do this stuff even if they work at it for years…well, it takes away a lot of motivation for even trying to understand it.

  4. The results from MM’s “best” pitching students do not augur well for anyone who might want to spend the time to learn MM’s mechanics, even after all of the other warning signs have been considered. Jeff Sparks, who is currently among the greatest pitchers in the history of baseball, according to MM’s rants, did not use MM’s mechanics back in the day when he enjoyed his cup of coffee with the Devil Rays. Since focusing more recently on the complete adoption of MM mechanics, Sparks has slid completely out of sight and out of professional baseball, as far as I am aware. Last I heard, Sparks was making his living honorably… but as a fireman, not a pitcher.

These days, I’m much more interested in studying Marshall and his followers as a social anthropology phenomonen than I am in the details of the pitching mechanics he espouses.


#17

“These days, I’m much more interested in studying Marshall and his followers as a social anthropology phenomonen than I am in the details of the pitching mechanics he espouses.”

I can never get the song “Cult of Presonality” out of my mind when MM gets brought up. I just keep waiting for that one breakthrough that is just going to prove us all the “child abusers” we really are for teaching that terrible antiquated method of throwing the ball.


#18

jd,

It would be fine with me if MM actually were eventually able to produce something of value from his approach. I would hope to be among the first people to appreciate the emergence of a successful “Mike Marshall Pitcher”, if it were to happen.

But, I’m not holding my breath for that event…or a perpetual motion machine, or a full-sized SUV that runs on a double-A battery.

The western scientific method requires clear hypotheses, adequate tests of those hypotheses, and an evaluation process that allows ideas to be temporarily accepted or discarded, as appropriate. This scientific method is very popular because it works–it has a track record of success both in identifying ideas that are sound and discarding ideas that are unsound. The problem with some of the cultish approaches to pitching ‘research’ is: Cultists too often use a smooth scientific-sounding veneer to cover agendas that have much more to do with personal aggrandizement than any responsible search for knowledge or honest tests of their own hypotheses.

Real scientists try their very best to fairly examine their ideas against real experimental evidence and modify or discard ideas that are found wanting. Otherwise, they also may become cultists involved in the disguise of their opinions as scientific ‘fact’.


#19

This is so ridiculous it’s breathtaking.


#20

This is true.

Unfortunately, Marshall and his possum have a bad habit of attacking people like me and Brent Strom who are actually somewhat on their side.

It’s one reason I’ve moved beyond Marshall.