Smoothing out the mechanics

OK, so I took some of the advice from here (and hsbbweb), and have been working on it. I’ve been focusing more on conditioning (tuff-cuff, phase 3 btw), but here is some video from today (1/5/09).

In case you’re wondering, I use this particular location because it has a nice slope very similar to a mound, and there is a fence to throw into no more than 35-40 feet away, which allows me to throw without a partner quite easily. I really only use it when I want to work on something real specific for a few throws, or if I want to video myself. My usual bullpens are off an actual mound.

2 views this time:

Any comments / suggestions?

Not bad, where ya throwing? Access to a mound, that always helps.

I guess I should have asked a more specific question now that I re-read it.

Can you tell a difference in my motion from my last post? I’m working on not wrapping/twisting my body so much on leg lift to try and get a little more consistency. I’ve noticed that it helps with my tendency to stride closed. I’m also working on staying down and back a little longer. I’ve noticed that when I was striding forward, my back leg would straighten excessively, not allowing me to extend as much as I’d like. By keeping my back leg more bent, I don’t fall off to 1st as much, and I’ve been able to hit my spots with much more consistency.

My mechanics feel much different, but my question is, do they look different, and if they do, is it a progression in the right direction?

I feel like I’m throwing much harder lately, but haven’t been on the gun in a while. I’m hoping to creep into the mid-80s by the time the season is in full-swing.


You show excellent improvement …

    1. You show much less “tilt”. Said another way - you keep your Core more vertical longer than in past motions.
    2. You release the baseball in front of your Head. In your last video, you release point was beside your Head.
In my opinion, your Front Leg action out of your Starting Position creates the minor “tilt” you see in your most recent motion.

My recommendation … Instead of letting your Front Leg be more active than your Hands out of your Starting Position, reverse these actions. Consciously make your Separation your first move out of your Starting Position and let your Front Leg react to your Hand separation.

With this adjustment, you’ll maintain a more vertical Core, continue moving your release point farther out in front of your Head (you’ll get even more energy from your motion into your Throwing Hand than in the past) and, finally, increase your velocity without sacrificing your ball control.

L.A. “Skip” Fast
Professional Pitching Solutions

looks plent good to me. now get to work and build your arm strength. get to where you do not think about anything in your mind but a visual picture of your best pitch. you can’t think about mechanics when you throw.

professional pitching sol, i respectfully but aggressively disagree with trying to stay in a verticle position as you move toward the plate and emphasizing not to tilt. i scout a little with the cardinals and study pitching extensively. the cardinals are emphasizing tilt and leverage now throughout their organization. the dodgers who are know as some of the best pitching instructors in the world have always emphasized tilt and the power “V” or making a > out of the body when pitching. i invite you to read the first chapter of sandy koufax: a lefty’s legacy by jane leavy. he emphasized this is a key to pitching effectively, along with the position of the rear leg and pushing against the rubber which initiates a new round of debate we have on the site from time to time.

can you suggest some pitchers and video clips of what you consider a good pitching motion. i recomment pettit, ryan, koufax and feller. all of them tilt and quite severely.

dusty delso,

I respectfully ask you to take a critical look at the Cardinal’s current depth chart
(To see these videos, click on the Pitcher’s name, then click on the video links appearing “Multimedia”.)…

    1. A. Wainwright - no “tilt”
    2. K. Lohse - no “tilt”
    3. T. Wellemeyer - no “tilt”
    4. J. Pineiro - no “tilt”
When did the Cardinals begin teaching their Pitchers to “tilt”?

About good video clips and in an effort to stay on AngelsFan’s topic, I ask you to please compare AngelsFan First Posting
to his current posting. At the same time, please read his “post-tilt” comments on this posting. Eliminating AngelsFan’s “tilt” seems to have done something positive for his motion and his results!

Are you recommending he go back to the motion in his first posting?

L.A.“Skip” Fast
Professional Pitching Solutions

(“Tilt” defined - the Pitcher losing their Core - their Head drifting from over their Bellybutton - in the beginning of their motion.)

if you are efining tilt as the head getting in front of the hips going toward the plate that is different. you are right the cardinal guys you are referring to do not have a great degree of tilt. it looks to me like they do lead with their hips and get some angle going as they travel to the plate.

the meeting i am refering to happened 2 years ago. the director of player development was giving a presentation to the scouts and player development group in st louis. mike roberts who is their national pitching cross checker for the eastern u.s. discussed this with me at a coaches clinic we conducted. the cardinals had an unusually high number of young arms go down and they were doing this as one of the fixes to their program.

he flew a former first round pick who signed for over 1 million dollars in to work with him and i was there. he told the kid when he got to the top of his leg pump to get the hips out and feel like his front shoulder went straight to the sky. the kid looked good but apparently did not work. they released him the next year.

i really like the leverage and room it creates to accelerate the body. i always feel limited when i try to stay verticle and not get the hips going. i do not see getting the front or glove side shoulder higher that the arm side shoulder as a problem at all. feller, paige, koufax. it is common. not everyone does it and some are successful as well. drysdale and gibson did not have severe tilt but they rotated more.

i like kids to try to get athletic and really throw the ball early. i throttle my guys down later.

i really like the leverage and room it creates to accelerate the body. i always feel limited when i try to stay verticle and not get the hips going. i do not see getting the front or glove side shoulder higher that the arm side shoulder as a problem at all.

I’m not prone to offering opinions on form and related views on subjects like this – but, I agree with the statement above. Guys that I’ve coached in the bullpen, staff rotation or rehab, they all seem to feel comfortable, relaxed and ‘natural” by the motions that this youngster is showing in that video clip. They also seem to adapt better to adjustments during the game for whatever reason, seen more guys make and stay there healthy and producing. And although my experience to the total pitching population over the last 19 years has been limited – compared to Professional Pitching Solutions and Dusty, I see nothing really wrong with the youngster’s form and posture – in fact it’s aggressive and loaded for bear.

I know there are clinics and studies that promote all kinds of philosophies on this subject, and I’m sure their supported by “who’s who” in the sport. But a guys natural grove usually tells me more than philosophy, not that current thinking should be ignored, but I tend to favor what works for a guy – works. I’m sure a guy could get MORE from the adjustment – but more in my experience is usually marginal and a learning curve that takes more time than most guys are willing to work on. But then again, this has been my limited experience with pitching science dynamics.

Very interesting topic and I’ve enjoyed reading all views on the subject.

Coach B.

We tried the tilt over the last year or so…initially it felt “right” for my son and he started to incorporate it before his sophomore year. But, he seemed to lose a lot of his command as I noticed he was tilting more than I seemed comfortable with. He naturally went away from it as he struggled early in the year last year and seemed to have much more success when he got away from it. I do not know why but when gunned he seemed to be a few mph slower when tilting the shoulders from a mound…I can only speculate that the tilting affected his ability to rotate and rotate hard after foot plant.

One of the drills that Dusty made me privvy too which works exceptionally well, is to take your hand and push on the back hip and under the glove side armpit so your pitcher can feel getting the hip leading…that works extremely well like I said. We’ve kept the hip leading but he doesn’t tilt too much…just a little and it’s seemed to work very well.

But I think it all comes down to the ability to convert the momentum into the rotation whether you tilt or not.

Also asked for suggestions on the following and you’ll have an excellent “balanced” approach to keeping your son’s experience enjoyable and healthy

pre game and post game management
sleep and diet management
post game rest adherence.
a balanced and mature expectation level
single minded focus on self improvement verses being tagged with winning/losing pitcher

Coach B.

very good talking points. it does take lots of strength and repetition to use a throwing motion with tilt effectively and throw strikes. it’s not easy and sometimes not quick to master, but most things that are exceptional are that way. if it was easy, most people would do it and it wouldn’t be exceptional. sometimes (actually it’s always) it takes great directed effort to do something exceptional. like a beautiful, safe throwing motion that gets people out.

:allgood: Excellent point, Joe!

Great comments all around, guys. Great discussion.