Some drills

Just in case some of ya’ll don’t read my log…here is a video of my son working with Rick Wilkens…several of the drills and if you can hear the discussion might prove helpful…

Hey JD, wat was that coach saying at the 6 min mark? It seemed important

He is getting the lower half back involved. Part of the problem when concentrating on certain aspects of a delivery is the the other aspects can pick up bad habits or be forgotten about. In the first segment of the lesson Rick was working on balance and posture elements and you’ll notice as the lesson progresses that Andy starts locking out his hips and simply not using his lower half. His upper half is doing all of the work. Rick is reminding and re-integrating the lower half into the delivery. I don’t know if you picked up the audio but at one point he brings up the fact that they had been working on an over-rotation issue for the past couple of months…so most of the lesson had to do with how he oriented to the plate and correcting that over rotation (At one point even getting on him during the step behinds :lol: )

I couldnt pick up any audio but i did notice when he got a little fustrated lol. but thanks for the summary on it. The thing in the beginning where he just had ur son moving his glove side leg stride out and going back with his upper body not moving. Was that for hip shoulder-seperation?

Try it…you won’t believe what it does for core strength and stabilization, it also positively effects posture, those are 3lb weights in his hands.

Already have been :lol: . I didnt notice the weight the first time around though ill add that in there. How olds your son by the way?

The drill where you stride out and back while holding dumbells above your shoulders is shown in House’s book, The Pitching Edge. The purpose of the drill as it appears in the book is to practice balance. I’m not crazy about the drill because, as you can see in your video, the pitcher - in order to remain balanced - tends to keep his weight back and reach with the front leg.

The knee drill is also a House drill. But House would have you orient your knees and hips at about a 45 degree angle to the target. Also, in order to help you practice stabilizing the head, he would have you sit back a bit with the hips (but not resting back on your calves) with a slight bend forward at the waist. The knee drill lets you focus on upper body mechanics by taking the lower half out of the equation. For that purpose, I think it is a good drill.

The step behinds are also a House drill although he uses it more as a means to warm up than as an actual drill. For warm-ups, House proposes step behinds are a good way to prepare for a game as they afford you the opportunity to start adding in momentum and getting accustomed to building momentum down the slope of a mound before really letting loose. I have my pitchers do step behinds as part of their pregame preparation.

Regarding the over-rotation issue, I couldn’t make out what the instructor said. But it is common for many instructors who perceive over-rotation or early rotation to instruct the pitcher to slow down the part of their body that got ahead. That may be what happened in the video because it appears to me that Andy tried to make an adjustment on the very next pitch but it threw off his timing. The correct instruction, IMHO, would have been to speed up the rest of the body - to increase the tempo and get into foot plant quicker. But this is just speculation since I couldn’t really hear anything other than the word “over-rotation”.

He’s 18 now in the video he was 16

Perhaps…and it is just a snippet of a session so it is hard to determine just exactly what is going on…what I celebrate and find completely validating is that a guy who has caught in the bigs for more than a decade (Such names as Maddux, Sutcliffe, Johnson, Schmidt, Moyer, Peavey and worked with the pitching coaches of the Cubs, Cards, Pads, Mariners, Giants and Rockies), instructs a player as a major leaguer would be instructed…this I believe is a solid validation of House…not that Rick doesn’t use literature that House has produced…he certainly does (Why because Tom produced it…it isn’t readily available elsewhere), I think more to the point is that Tom House was a major league pitching coach and the techniques that he teaches are very obviously major league caliber…seeing Rick use drills that House promotes (He most certainly would never spend the time to worry about NPA certification) means that they both address a player in the way that they would be addressed if in fact they were mlb players…how exciting…kids all over America can and do access the “true” method of training that is used on a day to day basis by the professionals within the industry. They approach an individual, they ascertain that they throw a certain way, they adjust through various methods of focused drill work in order to make the individual as efficient delivering the ball as can be possibly done given the skills and limitations of the student. It is a representation of truth…to me that is just so daggone right on as to make me smile…it also endicts the cookie cutter approach in a realistic way.

Last year, when I was coaching a junior high team, we took the team to a spring training game. When we arrived at the park, the teams were doing their warm-ups. A couple of my kids looked at what the pros were doing and said, “Hey, they’re doing the same thing we do!” So, there you go. Through me, House has provided young kids with access to the same stuff the pros do. And the kids like that.

This is key. It’s why, when starting lessons with a new pitcher, I offer the first lesson for free. I spend most of the time just analyzing and not offering much instruction. (It also lets the pitcher as well as his parents evaluate me at no cost to them.)