Tall guy wants to collapse on back leg

My #2 right-handed pitcher on the varsity team this year is a very tall junior who tends to “sit” in the set position, thereby losing his height advantage. In other words, when he comes set, he bends his legs fairly significantly. We’re currently working on coming set a little taller and getting him to load up a little more to sync up his lower and upper body to throw on a downward angle. Have any thoughts on this?

i do this too and my coaches dont like it but it just seems natural, easier to throw the ball and quicker from the set position… but i assume if you can, staying tall is always best

Sometimes it’s better to be a 5’4" shrimp, like me—then you HAVE to stay tall! :lol:

Be careful with the tall youngsters because they often lack the core strength to stabilize posture while moving down the hill. If you stand him up straight, you may introduce more postural instability and worsen his control.

Also, I think you may find that even if you stand him up in his starting position, as soon as he starts his delivery his body will drop back down right away. The body will typically adjust to a posture where it has the strength to do what you’re asking it to do. The problem with the body making this adjustment during the delivery is that it introduces unnecessary movement in directions other than towards home plate. This will have the effect of de-stabilizing posture and it may shorten his stride and cause him to release theball further from home plate.

House calls the tall lanky guys “a bowling ball on a broomstick” and suggests the way to help them stabilize posture and balance is to squish them down a bit. What they eliminate in the form of up and down movement at the beginning of the delivery they will gain in stride length. It actually sounds like your guy has worked with an NPA instructor if he’s already bending the knees.

Another thing to consider is by standing him up, how much does his release point raise compared to where it is now? 6" maybe? How much does that translate to at the plate? Seems fairly insignificant to me and not worth the trade-offs with the above concerns.

I say it’s a non-issue as long as he uses that back leg to drive and get to full extension, thus creating a long stride. Just be sure he doesn’t generate early hip rotation because he wants to get his arm up and throwing too soon.

Height advantage, in my opinion, has more to do with how close one can get to the plate - pitchers who are long and lanky and get out there with explosive movements and long strides, along with long arms, seem like they are right on top of the hitter at release. It isn’t the vertical height that is so important.

Without seeing him, my first question would be is he still sitting in the post position or does he come up tall at that point?