Sideways momentum


#1

Can someone explain to me how to increase sideways momentum during the stride? I always thought that the stride is a controlled movement to the plate. (Bring up knee, lower knee while half circling to foot plant during the stride). If this is incorrect. Can someone please explain it to me? Thanks


#2

I mostly agree with you.

I think the stride is over-rated as a source of power, based in part on the fact that trying to get too much power from the stride more often than not leads to rushing.

The better place to look for power is getting the hips rotating well ahead of the shoulders.


#3

By the way Chris, I really appreciate your site showing different pitching motions. I do have one question though, how do you practice or get that hip / shoulder seperation? Are there any drills? I have been trying to do it but it is freaking hard. I was taught the “old hips land closed, shoulder rotation and hip rotation happens at the same time” scheme and I am having a tough time trying to make that seperation thing work. Any input will be greatly appreciated. [/quote]


#4

It is hard to get good separation, which is why not everyone can throw hard.

Some of it is genetic (e.g. inherent flexibility) and some of it is due to training and conditioning.

A good place to start is to work on pointing the glove toward the target and keeping it pointing at the target as long as possible while the hips open up. You have to actively resist the urge to let the shoulders come around.


#5

[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]A good place to start is to work on pointing the glove toward the target and keeping it pointing at the target as long as possible while the hips open up.[/quote]Chris. Who does this? I haven’t been able to find even one!!


#6

I see the term “sideways momentum” and I"m not sure whay you mean, but it reminds me of Octavio Dotel, now with the Yankees …

check him out when you can, it looks as if he strides towards third a bit, hence his lead foot lands to the right of where his back foot started …

I think that this helps him get that hip and shoulder seperation … I’ve been trying to stride like that a little in practice and I think it’s helping me stay closed longer


#7

[quote=“andrew.ra.”]I see the term “sideways momentum” and I"m not sure whay you mean, but it reminds me of Octavio Dotel, now with the Yankees …

check him out when you can, it looks as if he strides towards third a bit, hence his lead foot lands to the right of where his back foot started …

I think that this helps him get that hip and shoulder seperation … I’ve been trying to stride like that a little in practice and I think it’s helping me stay closed longer[/quote]

Hmmm but by doing this you might start throwing across your body, won’t you?


#8

yeah, it is throwing across your body … so what I’m trying to figure out is wether or not throwing across your body helps one stay closed, get that good shoulder & hip seperation …

My guess is that for some pitchers of particular builds and proportions it does … it feels to me like it does for me … unfortunately I have no video, yet…

But you have to see Octavio Dotel … it’s very odd to me… it’s like he shifts his body toward third but still manages to square up towards home in his move forward … it does’t appear that he’s really throwing across his body like the way Jimmy Key used to from the left side …

Of course, Dotel is coming back from Tommy John surgery, so his mechanics are a bit suspect.


#9

if you go here

You can see an interstin pic of dotel, and notice how his hips/thighs look to be aiming, not towards homeplate, but towards the third base line … actually, it doesn’t appear he squares them as much as I thought…

This is probably off the origianl topic on this thread, but it’s interesting, no?


#10

You need to get the hips going sooner and faster. Push them towards the target sooner - possibly even before the knee has peaked.


#11

I think a better “cue” is to point the upper arm or the elbow at the target instead of the glove. The glove is really irrelevent. Of course, this would be the point that I bring up the “equal and opposite arms” argument. By taking the time to get the arms into an equal and opposite position (upper arms aligned, upper arm-to-forearm angles equal for both arms), you keep yourself from opening up the shoulders too early.

But you need to do it in a way that doesn’t slow down the shoulders.


#12

[quote=“andrew.ra.”]I see the term “sideways momentum” and I"m not sure whay you mean, but it reminds me of Octavio Dotel, now with the Yankees …

check him out when you can, it looks as if he strides towards third a bit, hence his lead foot lands to the right of where his back foot started …

I think that this helps him get that hip and shoulder seperation … I’ve been trying to stride like that a little in practice and I think it’s helping me stay closed longer[/quote]
I would not suggest striding to the closed side as a means to get more separation as this will lead to other issues. Instead, you might try taking your knee further back (reverse rotation) before striding. This might make your hip rotation a bit more explosive resulting in increased separation.


#13

You need to get the hips going sooner and faster. Push them towards the target sooner - possibly even before the knee has peaked.[/quote]

I have tried the pushing the hips to the plate but it almost feels like a karate side kick which then in turn makes my body lean back towards second base. Is this the correct feeling? I ask this because I have always pitched with a fall and I don’t feel any significant sideways momentum. I will try to post some video tonight.


#14

It sounds like you are experiencing the feeling you’re going to fall down and you’re reacting by leaning back while reaching out with the front foot. It will take some adjustment but you need to overcome this. There is a drill you can do whereby you stand sideways next to a chain link fence (between poles) and simply practice getting the hips going early while lifting the knee and falling into the fence. You can experiment to find a good distance to stand away from the fence but you will probably want to put about 10"-12" between the fence and your back foot.

As you transition to the mound, you will need to speed up the stride leg to get it from the knee lift position to foot strike more quickly before you fall down. This may require an increase in functional strength and/or flexibility. But, if you can get good at this, you may be able to eliminate the use of a slide step with runners on because you’ll be quicker to the plate. Then you’ll only need one set of mechanics and timing regardless of whether runners are on or not. 8)


#15

this may just be my latest un-proven half-baked idea … but I’m suspecting that I get better seperation when, after I first break my hands and begin bending my back knee more pronounced so I’m lower to the ground as I go forward …

Not really a “drop & drive” thing … but more of a “drop as you drive” … I think that in this position I can longer delay my front shoulder from rotating.


#16

One of the instructional clips from the recent LLWS was done by Orel Hersheiser. He emphasized not stalling over the post leg. In other words, once you rock back it is all forward from there with no stopping at the “balance point”. This doesn’t mean you have to rush forward as fast as you can, just that you don’t want to stop and lose momentum.

You have to work at it to keep from getting ahead of your arm but it should give you a little bit more forward momentum and get your arm moving a little bit faster to keep up with your body. This should be a bit easier on your arm at a given velocity.


#17

[quote=“andrew.ra.”]this may just be my latest un-proven half-baked idea … but I’m suspecting that I get better seperation when, after I first break my hands and begin bending my back knee more pronounced so I’m lower to the ground as I go forward …

Not really a “drop & drive” thing … but more of a “drop as you drive” … I think that in this position I can longer delay my front shoulder from rotating.[/quote]
If you think that getting into a lowered position helps you rotate the hips, then that is a good discovery you have made about yourself. Experimenting if often the best way to learn. But I would suggest that you start with your knees bent more so that you’re in a lowered position right from the start. This keeps your head - and eyes - more level the whole way. And it helps you direct all of your energy towards the target instead of down, towards the ground.


#18

I completely agree with this. There is no balance point. Or, at least there shouldn’t be.

It will also get you into foot strike a bit quicker which makes you quicker to the plate and, more importantly, leaves you with less time to make mistakes.


#19

[quote=“andrew.ra.”]if you go here

You can see an interstin pic of dotel, and notice how his hips/thighs look to be aiming, not towards homeplate, but towards the third base line … actually, it doesn’t appear he squares them as much as I thought…

This is probably off the origianl topic on this thread, but it’s interesting, no?[/quote]A still, like this one, really shows nothing about this topic. We can’t tell where home plate is. How can we conclude anything about his timing or positioning?


#20

I completely agree with this. There is no balance point. Or, at least there shouldn’t be.

It will also get you into foot strike a bit quicker which makes you quicker to the plate and, more importantly, leaves you with less time to make mistakes.[/quote]

Roger, “Its long gone way outta the park” Excellent points! A classic example of one useless drill that so many pitching coach wannabes use is the balancing on one leg drill, like a crane. You summed it up as in, “there is no stopping at the balance point” Is there really a balance point to begin with? DYNAMIC balance is the key for pitchers NOT static balance. In other words maintaining good posture/body awareness AS you are moving. good post roger!