Staying Back....I just don't understand the concept


#1

I’m sorry and I really did do my homework by searching this topic on LTP before bringing it up. I think the NPA would say that “staying back” is not really supported by science (maybe that’s a bit strong but I think they might say that staying back will happen as a function of proper mechanics; that is, it’s not a “teach”). Roger, et al, please correct me if I have that wrong. Anyway, my son is constantly being told that he is leaving velocity on the table by not staying back. Honestly, I don’t even know what that means. That is, what is staying back? Here’s a picture of Jon Lester. Is this staying back? Specifically, note that he leads with the hips and, yet, his upper body is “tilted” or “back”. I need all you gurus to straighten me out here…I’m going crazy hearing this all the time.

Thanks, as always, guys.


#2

I never liked the cue, “stay back”… it implies that you actually “stay” somewhere when, in fact, you want to move explosively forward toward the target. What we are really talking about is proper weight shift. So, let’s look at it from the stretch position: the weight of the body should be primarily over the rubber and over the rear foot before the delivery begins - look to see that the head and shoulders are over the back leg/foot. From here, whether there is a leg lift or not, the weight of the body should transfer forward but being led by the front hip - so the weight is “staying back” or “behind” the lead hip. The body continues to move in this fashion as a single unit with the pitcher’s nose directly over or slightly behind the belly button all the way into landing/bracing.

Hope that helps.


#3

Thanks, it does. By the way what did you think of my picture of Lester? :lol: As my wife likes to say “I really am a piece of work”! I accidently copied Fred’s great video on here. I don’t know how to put a picture up.

Sorry about that.


#4

The NPA would say that “staying back” is not what most of the best pitchers in the game do.

If someone says “stay back” and they mean keep the total body back as if getting to the balance point, then that is generally a poor teach. But if they mean keep the upper half back - head and spine slightly behind the front hip - while moving forward early, then that would be inline with what the NPA teaches.


#5

[quote=“structuredoc”]I never liked the cue, “stay back”… it implies that you actually “stay” somewhere when, in fact, you want to move explosively forward toward the target. What we are really talking about is proper weight shift. So, let’s look at it from the stretch position: the weight of the body should be primarily over the rubber and over the rear foot before the delivery begins - look to see that the head and shoulders are over the back leg/foot. From here, whether there is a leg lift or not, the weight of the body should transfer forward but being led by the front hip - so the weight is “staying back” or “behind” the lead hip. The body continues to move in this fashion as a single unit with the pitcher’s nose directly over or slightly behind the belly button all the way into landing/bracing.

Hope that helps.[/quote]
If you keep your weight centered between both feet, then your weight will transfer forward sooner when you go into knee lift. Some pitchers will complain it makes them lean a bit but that’s because they’re used to orienting themselves to flat ground. If you’re going to be striding downhill, there’s nothing wrong with orienting yourself to the slope of the mound and then you get that added “push” from gravity.


#6

Thanks, Roger. I wish I had been able to get the Lester picture up because I think it demonstrates what you are saying. In the picture, Lester is leading with his hip but his upper body is over his back leg / rubber (if that’s the appropriate way to state it). I think what people are trying to tell my son is that he is leaning his upper body. I do think he understands the concept of leading with the hip but I wonder if he is leaning his upper body a bit forward at the same time. So, his hip may “hit the wall first” but he still has a tilt to his upper body. That may be messing up the timing of his weight shift.


#7

I think the balance point needs to be defined… If you stop most/all of the MLB pitchers at a knee lift to their waist; they are pretty much at a balance point where they have loaded their backside… Where they separate themselves from younger pitchers is their ability to be at maximum knee lift while moving to the target/leading with their hip while staying “back” or having dynamic balance (head over belly button)… Most younger players will get to maximum knee lift over the rubber and then start going; not creating maximum momentum and a closer release point…

Here are pictures of knee lift at waist:




Here are pictures of knee lift at maximum:



#8

Good stuff! It looks like the “green line” is from shoulder to rubber and over the back leg. So, although the hands are in different positions, the upper body is, definately, back over the rubber.


#9

I actually drew the green line at their back hip when they did their pivot step… just to show where their hip started from - it’s pretty much at the rubber as you mentioned though…


#10

The problem with the cue “stay back” is that most coaches through the years have used it to tell a pitcher to keep his lower body back along with his upper body. This cue is very valuable, but the “staying back” needs to occur with the upper body, not the lower body.

The legs and hips should lead the way, but there is still a such thing as rushing. Everyone on here loves momentum, and I love it too, but if the front shoulder and upper boddy are flying forward at the same time as the lower body, that’s where problems occur.

So “stay back” with the upper body.