Stiffening the Land Leg?


#1

I was reading some of Chris O’Leary’s mechanical analysis’s of pitchers, and I was interested in a thing that Kerry Wood and Koufax do. These two pitchers, both very hard throwers, stiffen up, and almost push back towards second base with their landing leg as they rotate their shoulders. Chris is of the believe that doing this allows the hips to rotate more, giving them their exceptional velocity. But he also thinks that doing this makes the shoulder take the majority of the stress upon release, opposed to someone like Seaver who’s front leg is bent and acts as a spring, allowing some energy to dissipate into the ground. What do you guys think about this? Here are some pictures of guys who do it and guys who don’t.

Guys who do-
http://www2.jsonline.com/sports/brew/image/2000/july/wood702.jpg (Wood)

http://www.brownsteins.net/Ulpan/Images/SandyKoufax_lg.jpg (Koufax)

Guys who don’t-
http://graphics.boston.com/images/bostondirtdogs//Headline_Archives/RCbos_RChou.jpg (Clemens, who I noticed incidentilly is doing more of the stiff leg thing now, check out the pics in the article about him in SI)

http://cache.eb.com/eb/image?id=60179&rendTypeId=4 (Seaver)


#2

I think if you can’t stablize that leg you loose alot of MPH and have a hard time getting the arm out in front.


#3

No, We think it helps you throw harder because it increases your flexebility throughout your hips and lets them rotate more.


#4

I was agreeing with you in the fact that if you can stiffen the leg that it will help velocity but if you can’t then you can’t drive everything at home plate.


#5

Maybe, but I think you will still be moving because this is after the foot has already landed. These guys land with a bent leg, but then stiffen it out to rotate more. And you can’t argue with Wood and Koufax’s velocity.


#6

You need to be specific about when the leg stiffens. Many pitchers plant on a bent leg and then the leg stiffens as they release the ball and go into follow through. Others actually plant on a straight front leg but it seems like that is more problematic.

I prefer pitchers to plant on a bent front leg. But the front leg needs to be strong enough to firm up and brace despite the momuntum the pitcher has built up.