staying closed

Hello everyone,

Recently ive been told that i open up too early and need to stay closed until my stride foot lands and then use my upper body as a torque and force my arm around to get maximum potential out of my upper body how can i work on this?

i was told the exact same thing a couple years ago and nobody told me how to actually STAY closed. i tried different stuffs but what worked for me is to bring my glove arm to the first base side (im a lefty) and really keep it there until my front foot lands on the ground. i keep my shoulders closed and that helped me with control too. you have to work on it a littlebit.

so for me im a righty i would like point my glove to third base and keep it there until my stride foot lands? and then use it as torque to add more momentum towards home?

how can you open early if you basically lock your shoulders by pointing toward 3 base. like when you start lifting your legs and your pitching arm leaves your glove i just straight point it to first base (third for you). it helps you keep your shoulders close and so pitch more with hips. it’s all about timing so it might not feel right at first. that’s something that helpped considerably with my arm pain after pitching. my arm just follows everything and i can it the target more consitently. you dont force anything that just happens.

You can also try to break your hands (seperate the ball and glove) later in your delivery. If you weight longer it can help to keep you closed also. Mostly it will be a mental habbit that you have to overcome.

I had to concentrate on using my shoulder as sort of a sight (like a gun sight). The longer I could keep my shoulder on the catcher - the longer I was staying closed for. This worked pretty good - with my fastball - but I had to try something different for the curveball - I did the old fence drill with the curveball - because i was losing my arm angle and also opening up - this caused my curve to be inconsistent and it tended to have a very flat break that ended up in the dirt way outside of the strike zone.

Staying closed is very important especially on the shoulder. When you open up to early it puts almost all of the stress on the shoulder and in order for the arm to catch up with the rest of the body. This could cause serious injury over time, if you continue pitching this way.

For me, a righty, I have always used a line of tape and started my wind up and when my stride foot landed, I always want to be straight on the line with my glove out in front of me and the ball back in my hand. Then you almost pull your glove side arm down into your body instead of pulling off and opening up.

This link might be helpful:

Start by thinking, “Stride Side.” In other words, stride sideways and rotate your lead hip just before you land. Said another way, try just standing up, pick your knee up just off the ground - maybe 6 inches, now rotate your leg forward, like you’re striding to the plate. Don’t move anything else!!! Just your leg. That is ‘opening the hips’, or hip separation.
Soooo, stride sideways, open the front hip. Do all this before shoulder rotation and that’s all there is to it!



Lead with the elbow, keep the glove up. Begin to tuck the glove before front foot lands. Throwing arm will begin to pass through high cock position before front foot lands. Pretend you’re carrying a bag of groceries with the glove arm.

Yes, I had the exact same problem, and did just that. Just try and focus on sweeping your Gloveside arm a little bit out towards third instead of just letting it do its own thing. This fall season, the first two games I pitched, 11 walks. After I started doing this, remaining 11 games pitched, 10 walks. It helped my control immensely, and I believe it helped my velocity too, I felt I was throwing harder for longer than I usually do.

My best example of the motion is–

Look at the one on the right, now Clemens does this to an extreme in my oppinion and if you try and throw your glove out there that much, at least in my expirience everything will end up inside to a righty. But I find when its more a subtle sweep instead of a hard push, you’ll stay closed much better.

Wow. Lots of ideas here.

Staying closed is a timing issue. In order to stay closed as long as one should, all of the preceding elements of the delivery need to take their full amount of time. If any one element happens or finishes too soon, that causes a ripple effect whereby subsequent elements happen too soon.

Now, timing issues are themselves caused by mechanical problems. Or, to turn that around, mechanical problems destroy timing. Common mechanical problems that steal the timing required to stay closed include posture and balance problems, failure to get to an opposite and equal position at foot plant, and an unstable glove side that drops or flies open.

Many of the suggestions here are “tricks” that might work for some but not for others. They will work if they have the effect of fixing the underlying problem.

Breaking the hands later is not a guarantee to fix the problem of opening up early. If the underlying cause is a posture or balance issue, the hands may have no effect on that.

Tucking the glove before the front foot plants will most likely contribute to opening up early.

The comments about opening up early being a health issue, that is absolutely correct. However, resulting injuries are not limited to just the shoulder. The elbow is also susceptible.

[quote=“kat89”]This link might be helpful:[/quote]
Now, don’t get me started on Chris and his “point the glove at the target” cue. I’ve been into it with him enough (too much). That’s the key in his teaching to stay closed. He says “…as Mariano Rivera is doing in the photo …” Look at it again. Is he “pointing” the glove at anything? No. Do ANY of the major leaguers point at anything. I contend NO. Check out every clip in the video section on this site. Watch what they actually do. Then go back to Chris and see if you want to follow his teachings.

Dynamic actions, such as this, require dynamic solutions.

Agreed Dm

Point the glove at the target??? That’s beyond absurd.

I would agree that pointing the glove is often meaningless. However, there is a time when it is appropriate. From an opposite and equal standpoint, the front side needs to be a mirror image of the back side. If the throwing hand turns thumb down/palm out, the glove hand should too. If the throwing hand hooks, then the glove hand should too. If the throwing hand extends straight back, then the glove hand should point. The purpose of this is to make the front side take the same amount of time to do its thing that the back side takes to do its thing. If the front side is quicker than the back side, then timing problems occur with the common result being opening up early.

So, pointing the glove is sometimes a fix but only for those pitchers whose backside dictates that the front side should point and who aren’t already doing it.

Now, adding in a little counter-rotation is a tactic that can help some pitchers but that tactic should be more us a last resort thing. If there are posture and balance issues, momentum issues, front-side stability issues, etc., then those issues should be resolved first.

The pointing cue, in my opinion, is just not necessary or even helpful. If you need to point the glove hand because you point the throwing arm, then I’d say you should fix the throwing arm. Pointing implies something static. I see nothing of the sort in the arm action, front or back, in the pros. As usual, I ask “point where and for how long”?

Agree about it not being static. All I was saying was that if one side does something that takes a certain amount of time, then the other side needs to do something similar that takes a similar amount of time. It helps with balance and with timing. If there is pointing to be done, I would agree it is probably done in passing - nothing static.

House teaches that the throwing arm belongs to the pitcher and that coaches should only make adjustments to the glove arm. I’ve followed that strategy although moreso because I figure the throwing arm probably figures out on its own the best way to do things and I didn’t want to risk making things worse. However, one thing I’ve learned form House is that you can make certain small adjustments to the throwing arm indirectly by changing other things at earlier points in the delivery.

[quote=“Roger”]House teaches that the throwing arm belongs to the pitcher and that coaches should only make adjustments to the glove arm.[/quote]I can only really agree with this thought to a point. What I do find is that arm action can hinder the generation of arm speed via the “whip”. There’s a Youtube video re: Momentum pitching of a kid named Emerson Csorba who I believe exemplifies this hindrance. His arm action is very much “straight arming”, resulting in a motion akin to throwing a grenade. A little help with arm action and this kid would not have that “holding him back”.

Point well taken.

Yeah DM there was a kid in my league once who basically threw all palm balls and straight armed the ball a ton.