Stride Length?


#1

I know that stride length should be about 75% to 80% of total body length. But should there be a more accurate measurement. Example two people are the same hieght but one has longer legs than the other hence shorter torso. So their stride length would not be the same. So is there a better measurement for stride length?


#2

The way I think about it is that the stride should be as long as you can stride without 1) lowering the release point too much and 2) limiting the ability of the hips to rotate.

You do want the stride to be long-ish, because that means you will release the ball closer to the plate, which means that it will be travelling faster as it crosses the plate (because there is less time for it to decelerate).

The question (to which I don’t have an answer) is whether releasing the ball closer to the plate (which argues for lengthening the stride) is more important than releasing the ball as high as possible (which argues for shortening the stride). In other words, is it better to trade off one versus another?


#3

The way I think about it is that the stride should be as long as you can stride without 1) lowering the release point too much and 2) limiting the ability of the hips to rotate.

You do want the stride to be long-ish, because that means you will release the ball closer to the plate, which means that it will be travelling faster as it crosses the plate (because there is less time for it to decelerate).

The question (to which I don’t have an answer) is whether releasing the ball closer to the plate (which argues for lengthening the stride) is more important than releasing the ball as high as possible (which argues for shortening the stride). In other words, is it better to trade off one versus another?[/quote]

When did you change your thinking in regards to the stride now being referred to as such where as before you preferred calling it a step and were quite adament in your preference for its use? What is the height that you decide when the release becomes to low? Whats to low in regard to body position that will inhibit the hips from opening?


#4

The stride should be as long as is possible while still mantaining posture and balance.

Lowering of the release point is not an issue. It’s a matter of geometry. The difference between a high and a low release point is probably no more than 8-10 inches. When you compare that to th distance from the release point to home plate, the difference in angle of the pitch is insignificant.

Releasing the ball as close to home plate as possible is a good thing. Yes, the ball will have decellerated less as it crosses the plate but, more importantly, the batter will have had less time to see and react to the ball.

I’ll take a release point that’s closer to home over a high release point.


#5

According to about every piece I have ever seen in regards to the baseball slowing down in its flight to the target the ball deacels at the rate of around 1 mph. per every 7 feet traveled. In order for this to have any bearing the pitcher would have to be 7 feet in front of the rubber to save 1 mph. on his pitch. Perhaps the hitters perception of the pitch may change but to think in terms of saving velocity is pretty much a moot point.

Velocity increase increments as they relate to a hitters ability are generally in the range of 3mph. A hitter will not notice a pitch that is 1 or 2 mph. faster once it reaches about 3 mph. the hitter will notice and may need to adjust. Perhaps the 1 or 2 mph. difference has an effect on whether the hitter makes good contact or not may be another subject for debate. The hitter does not recognize that, which is great for the pitcher if it matters at all.

The concept behind a longer stride is for the pitcher to be able to apply force throughout a longer period of time/distance. A byproduct of this may be a more out in front release but thats not the teaching point. The teaching point is the longer driveline, being more out in front is just another advantage the pitcher incurrs mechanically and performance wise from the longer stride/driveline. From footplant to release is a extremely short period of time, what the pitcher has developed in the form of potential energy up until this time is of exteme importance [this should be a good lesson for the guys who only teach the stretch]. More important than worrying how much velocity he will save by releasing it further out front. People do not realize just how short of time the pitcher has to develop potential energy that ultimately transfers to his fingertips, every milisecond matters immensely. Barring extreme measures of a pitcher being way to low with his center/to much sit ,the hips will generally have no problem opening. Its not the sit it is the timing of the sit INTO landing. How well the hip rotation is done is more related to how the pitcher gets to that point. Of course the sitting aspect as something to do with this but the fact is a pitcher does lower his center for balance purposes as well as power. To many pitching coach inhibit the kids chances for success when they see this and make him ssllooww down because they say hes rushing, very misguided advice for many. Proof of this can be obtained by actually counting frames and developing a timeline from one point within the delivery until release of the ball. Most hard throwing high level pitchers are very close to 20 frames from highknee lift to release. Slower velocity pitchers are more into the mid 20’s. Time does matter in regards to velocity as well as distance of driveline.Most high level pitchers are quick but they are quick over a long driveline as well, perhaps this needs to be discussed in another thread.


#6

Differences in reaction time are negligible. The speed the ball approaches the plate at is far more important than the reaction time. Does anyone think the kids who can make contact with 70 mph fastballs at 45’ could hit 90+ fastballs at 60’? Reaction time would be the same but the swing has to start when the ball is much further from the plate with a 90 mph fastball than it does with a 70 mph fastball.


#7

Nice post chinmusic!!


#8

Well put. One of my jobs as a pitching coach is to make sure every pitcher on my staff can get the ball to home in 1.4 seconds or less from the stretch. Generally speaking, velecity is not affected negatively when guys make a jump from 1.8 seconds to 1.3-1.4(a huge difference in timing). If anything, I see a little spike in velocity with some guys. I monitor the stride length to make sure there is no change, and velocity with a jugs gun to make sure we are consistent. This is a very short amount of time to gather (produce) energy and you are exactly right, every milisecond counts.

What I have always found interesting, is that if a pitcher is at 1.4 in the pen, he will be between 1.15 and 1.25 on the mound.


#9

If you have pitchers that aren’t meeting the 1.4 second goal, what kind of things do you often end up changing?

By “in the pen” and “on the mound” do you mean “in practice” and “in games”? If so, I’d expect to see their velocity go up in games due to the added adrenaline. Any insights?


#10

As for changes: generally, if a pitcher is very slow, it is usually because of a lack of knowledge or effort. We do not want the pitcher to just start moving forward, but to maintain a small lift to keep weight on the back side and centered through stride. Many young pitchers will simply start moving forward which can effect velocity and control. Simply put, we concentrate on a quick, short lift to get the pitching motion started, no more than two or three inches. By keeping a stopwatch on them in the bullpen sessions, we will time until they get to the desired goal. Then, they need to repeat that time two or three times.

Part of this requires pitchers to know running situations and to have some mound presence. Last week, our closer was 1.2 on Wed. and had a runner caught stealing. Then on Fri., he was taking his sweet time around 2.0 with a full leg lift and had two bases stolen off him. At that instance, I have to remind myself that these guys are still only 18-20 years old.

“In the pen” can mean in practice or pregame warm-up, any time they are not throwing in a game to hitters. By “on the mound”, I did mean pitching to hitters in a game. I do see a spike in velocity sometimes even if they are in the pen. I credit the adrenaline though with the faster times on the mound in games.