Sandy Koufax


I recently read a biography on Koufax: Lefty’s Legacy. In it Koufax describes how he places his posting foot or his left foot not beside the rubber but on top of it?
If you watch in this film off Chris O’Leary’s site you can see it: watch his left foot and its placement on the rubber.

Koufax claims that this is a big part of his velocity since it forces his hips to go forward when he lifts his leg.
Can anybody tell me if they do this? Or if anybody thinks this could add more velocity to a pitcher? I have trouble not getting enough momentum so could this change from side of the rubber to top of rubber help me?


Nice vid…IDK if it really does that much, but could possibly add a few mph’s.

If you can get a good grip on the rubber with your cleat it could probably help.


Hopefully Dusty will chime in. He teaches this.


Cue Dusty… I’ve seen this out of many of my high school kids. The only problem I have with this, is how do you deal with some of the massive holes at the high school level? Seems like your foot would be at an extremely awkward angle.


As a high school coach I would never teach this. Young pitchers can’t afford to rush to the plate and this would cause a pitcher to lean to the plate, not getting any kind of balance on their post leg. Besides, why wouldn’t you want to be 2 inches closer to the plate. Baseball is a game of inches, and when you are dealing with split seconds, those 2 inches can mean alot.


the way it is explained when he was working with hershiser is he wedges the ball of his foot against the front edge of the rubber. if you throw with your foot on top of the rubber your foot will slide backwards when you push. you hook the ball of your foot cleat so that when your hips go forward and you roll your post leg knee in, the sole of your post leg foot automatically shifts the ball of the foot into a very strong position against the front edge of the rubber. this allows great leverage and generation or preservation of great force.

if you keep reading he talks about pushing a 50 lb rock out of the way using your foot. you wouldn’t push with the side of your foot. you would place the ball of your foot on the rock to push it with more leverage.

if you really want to flip out, get to the part where he tries to mentally get completely under the ball to make it go up as it reaches the plate. willie mays and jim palmer swear to this day he could make the ball rise. they are interviewed on the mlb flamethrowers and perfect games, no-hitters and near misses dvd’s.

this will get some lively cussin and discussion going. i’m just glad the season is here.


I’m guessing that the extra velocity you could possibly gain will get the ball to the plate faster than if you were to start 2 inches closer and throw softer.

I’ve never tried this or even heard of it until now but it makes sense if you believe in pushing off the rubber.


I’ve read how some folks teach getting the back knee inside the back foot as a technique for initiating weight transfer into stride. Placing the back foot on the front edge of the rubber would seem to be consistent with that technique.

However, I have to admit that this sounds like a hold-over from before pitchers wore cleats (if there was such a time). I mean, metal cleats should give you the traction to push off as hard as you would need to (if that’s what you believe). So placing the foot on the front edge of the rubber almosts seems to be more of a foot/leg position thing than a traction for pushing off thing.


the cleat on the inside ball of the foot is hooked over the front of the rubber. when the weight begins to move forward with the hips leading the sole of the foot will move down and line up the bones in the ankle with the bones of the shin and you do not lose energy or leverage when you brace against the rubber (which is more stable than the dirt) and then allows you to time the little extra push you get by pushing with the ball of your foot very late. like you do when you raise up on your toes.

it doesn’t matter if there is a crater in front of the rubber, you pitch using the front edge of the rubber which is stable. a good way to practice is a street curb. if you do it right you can go through your motion using a cement street curb as the front of the rubber. i even have my guys throw off the back side of a portable mound turned around backwards to get the feel of this. it really works. i like the results.


Dusty intruduced this to us and it works great at the 13u age the mounds (suck) and working off the top of the rubber it keeps him from having to step up or down to rotate. We get ask every time he pitches about it. And it also helps with velocity Dusty will testify to that.


[quote=“ICEMAN”]Nice vid…IDK if it really does that much, but could possibly add a few mph’s.

If you can get a good grip on the rubber with your cleat it could probably help.[/quote]

yeah i noticed that too.