Throwing from the Knees?

Thanks for the last advice about throwing more on a weekly basis, I only do long toss once a week, i am going to up it to 2-3 times a week. I also have been reading alot of articles from this web page and really enjoy, Coach Ellis thanks for having pictures of proper ways of gripping different pitches, this will definitely help … I’ve been showing wrong grips. My question is what benefit if at all is having kids throw from the knees and twisting at the waist, I’ve seen some teams do this and also throw flat footing twisting at the waste while long tossing, i’d like to know your thoughts on this. Also, coach Ellis I downloaded your workout program and read it, at what age should a kid start using that program? Junior High, High School or earlier. “Semper Fi” In Baseball.

There are two trains of thought on the pitching drill where the pitcher throws from both knees. Some say it helps to make kids aware of the trunk rotation that’s involved in throwing, while others say it’s no good because at no point during the pitching motion are both feet (or knees) is that position.

Which train of thought you prescribe to is up to you.

In my own development, I benefited greatly from throwing from one knee (just like the pictures on my pitching drills page). I also benefited from “Part 2” of the knee-drill by standing with my stride foot ahead of my back foot (leaving both on the ground) where I concentrated on my hand-break at the center of my body, proper trunk rotation and having quick hands – both important factors in how hard a pitcher can throw.

Progression from the knee drill to the “quick-hands drill” may be beneficial to you, too.

and just like mr. steve said, i do not throw from the knees unless there is a major problem. i focus more on getting a properly timed aggressive weight shift from the back to the front foot and focusing on momentum. i do this from a standing position and the stride foot on a folding chair.

this is based on gestalt psychology (when you take an engine apart it is no longer an engine, it’s just a bunch of parts. best to practice on the entire motion or specific parts of the motion if possible.

[quote=“dusty delso”]and just like mr. steve said, i do not throw from the knees unless there is a major problem. i focus more on getting a properly timed aggressive weight shift from the back to the front foot and focusing on momentum. i do this from a standing position and the stride foot on a folding chair.

this is based on gestalt psychology (when you take an engine apart it is no longer an engine, it’s just a bunch of parts. best to practice on the entire motion or specific parts of the motion if possible.[/quote]

Seem to be counterdicting yourself here. By Gestalt psychology are you suggesting that if the muffler goes out you replace the whole engine? Breaking the mechanics of pitching down to isolate its components is extremely important.

Its too bad really that Dr. Marshall gets as much attention as he does, but I guess when you spout off crazy long enough someone will be willing to pay attention. I suggest before anyone follow the theories of “momentum” pitching they look into what the respected professionals in the field have to say. More to the point, linear energy (momentum) has been proven in clinic studies to produce as little as 10% of the velocity created while creating a high percentage of misdirection (dynamic balance) problems in pitchers resulting in lack of location and injury.

Like towel drills (which are done incorrectly by alot of coaches), much of two knee throwing is completely misunderstood. Placement of the feet is irrelevant because you are focusing on the separation of hips and shoulders and the core muscles required in that movement. Particularly with youth players that do not separate hips and shoulders, it is important to isolate this movement so they can feel it in their full motion throwing.

no, when studying something and how it works, you study how the things work together. of course if a part is broken you must fix it (like a muffler or an elbow). the secret is how to get these things to operate as efficiently as possible. i think it is better to place your body in as close to the same position it would be in when you are throwing the ball. there are those that disagree and love all kinds of drills and gadgets. i only use these when they can’t get it just throwing.

i do push and guide kids as they are throwing much like gymnastics coaches do when gymnasts are working on things. this gives them a feel for where they need to change to get in a good position.

theres a drill where you keep both feet pointed towards target and only use you trunk to throw the ball. i think thats pretty effective for stretching and also feeling the rotation of swhoulder arm seperation.

“Its too bad really that Dr. Marshall gets as much attention as he does, but I guess when you spout off crazy long enough someone will be willing to pay attention. I suggest before anyone follow the theories of “momentum” pitching they look into what the respected professionals in the field have to say”

Who on this thread is extolling Marshall Theory…His name wasn’t injected as far as I can see, “momentum pitching” has been championed by Dick Mills…to my knowledge the little guy over on our (Floridas) left coast promotes…what… shot-put pitching? The javelin toss? Or is he now pushing a different set of unattainable athletic motion? We spend little time in these forums exploring Dr. Mike, sometimes we’ll get all lively and ask pertainent and always unanswered questions regarding his “theories”. Not lately though. We’d listen though…by golly if they ever threw together something that represented the “what”? without jingoistic marketing hoopla (“You just wait!”…“Everyone will be a child abuser!”…“We’re just about to break through to MLB then you’ll see how dumb you are!”…oh I can’t even think past this mantra for more examples of Marshallesque stuff spoken by his surrogates in the past). He would have a willing if questioning forum on this site.

The reasons I’ve always heard was always begin throwing in a fundementally sound fashion, starting from the knee to insure trunk rotation, the feeling of seperation. It also doesn’t promote throwing as hard as you can from the first throw, it promotes control of the body…many good reasons.

i agree. there are some good things it does if a kid needs to feel that stuff. i just haven’t found the need for it too often. i use other methods that closer duplicate (my professors would kill me if they saw that english) the throwing motion.

i really like jogging into post foot plant and springing off that foot to throw the ball in the opposite direction to experience and control weight shift. i get a ton of good out of this one. then pitching from the back edge of a portable mound (like the target is at 2nd base) to set the post or back foot properly.

(my professors would kill me if they saw that english)

Those sissy’s would’t come round here Dusty :wink:
Your Travel Squad would take their lunch money AND Girlfriends!!! :shock: :lol: :lol: :lol:
No worries…we shipped our spell/grammer nazi’s over to other web sites :roll:

[quote=“jdfromfla”]“Its too bad really that Dr. Marshall gets as much attention as he does, but I guess when you spout off crazy long enough someone will be willing to pay attention. I suggest before anyone follow the theories of “momentum” pitching they look into what the respected professionals in the field have to say”

Who on this thread is extolling Marshall Theory…His name wasn’t injected as far as I can see, “momentum pitching” has been championed by Dick Mills…to my knowledge the little guy over on our (Floridas) left coast promotes…what… shot-put pitching? The javelin toss? Or is he now pushing a different set of unattainable athletic motion? We spend little time in these forums exploring Dr. Mike, sometimes we’ll get all lively and ask pertainent and always unanswered questions regarding his “theories”. Not lately though. We’d listen though…by golly if they ever threw together something that represented the “what”? without jingoistic marketing hoopla (“You just wait!”…“Everyone will be a child abuser!”…“We’re just about to break through to MLB then you’ll see how dumb you are!”…oh I can’t even think past this mantra for more examples of Marshallesque stuff spoken by his surrogates in the past). He would have a willing if questioning forum on this site.[/quote]

I believe Mills and Marshall are similar in their thinking. This is one of Marshall “3 Laws”:

“To achieve their maximum release velocities, pitchers must apply straight-line force from my ‘ready’ position throught release to the end of their deceleration phase.”

Sounds alot like Mills momentum pitching to me:

“a new type of delivery used in the wind-up, unlike today’s pitching deliveries, emphasizes a step back toward second base, no balance position, while the pitcher focuses on driving his his entire body away from the rubber into a stride at least 100% of his height.”

It is as if they believe if a pitcher could take a running start from 2nd base he could throw significantly harder. Completely misplaced focus. Linear energy accounts for as little as 10% of velocity (per a velocity study done by the NPA). Even if you could run from CF to the mound to throw, you are talking about what 3-5 mph gain versus a static start? Rotational energy per the same study accounted for up to 85% of velocity (with the potential energy of the leg lift making up what’s left. Why not focus on the biggest percentange of velocity generation?

A study done in the Journal of biomechanics showed that the only noticeable difference between youth/high school/college and professional pitchers was the timing of their max pelvis rotation and max torso rotation. Stride length, time that max pelvic rotation is achieved, max external rotation, etc were all very similar but professional pitchers separated their pelvic rotation from their torso rotation by 18% (in terms of the timing of their entire motion being 100%). High school and youth pitchers exhibited only an 11% difference.

[quote=“jdfromfla”]
No worries…we shipped our spell/grammer nazi’s over to other web sites :roll:[/quote]
“grammer” is spelled “grammar”. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

[quote=“RBish11”]I believe Mills and Marshall are similar in their thinking. This is one of Marshall “3 Laws”:

“To achieve their maximum release velocities, pitchers must apply straight-line force from my ‘ready’ position throught release to the end of their deceleration phase.”

Sounds alot like Mills momentum pitching to me:

“a new type of delivery used in the wind-up, unlike today’s pitching deliveries, emphasizes a step back toward second base, no balance position, while the pitcher focuses on driving his his entire body away from the rubber into a stride at least 100% of his height.”[/quote]
I’ll agree that Marshall and Mills both share an element of “linear-ness” but I believe Marshall’s “linear-ness” really applis to hand path while Mills’ “linear-ness” applies to body path. So, to me, Marshall and Mills are more different than similar.

True, but maximizing one’s velocity really requires focusing on both.

That’s some interesting info. By chance do you have a link or reference to that study?

[quote=“Roger”][quote=“RBish11”]I believe Mills and Marshall are similar in their thinking. This is one of Marshall “3 Laws”:

“To achieve their maximum release velocities, pitchers must apply straight-line force from my ‘ready’ position throught release to the end of their deceleration phase.”

Sounds alot like Mills momentum pitching to me:

“a new type of delivery used in the wind-up, unlike today’s pitching deliveries, emphasizes a step back toward second base, no balance position, while the pitcher focuses on driving his his entire body away from the rubber into a stride at least 100% of his height.”[/quote]
I’ll agree that Marshall and Mills both share an element of “linear-ness” but I believe Marshall’s “linear-ness” really applis to hand path while Mills’ “linear-ness” applies to body path. So, to me, Marshall and Mills are more different than similar.

True, but maximizing one’s velocity really requires focusing on both.

That’s some interesting info. By chance do you have a link or reference to that study?[/quote]

I personally think both Mills and Marshall focus on linear components too much but I do understand your distinction, thanks.

I can’t seem to find a link to the Journal of Biomechanics article, only have a paper copy. Its titled “Kinematic and kinetic comparison of baseball pitching among various levels of development” by Fleisig, Barrentine, Zheng, Escamilla(excellent work) and Dr. Andrews. I think its a great study but I think their conclusion missed the boat. They explain the increased angular velocities with increased strength in a mature pitcher, which is abosolutely correct but only to a degree. When I saw the separation in the timing of the peak pelvic rotation and the peak torso rotation the bells and whistles went off in my head. We are talking 160% difference in the timing between a high school pitcher and a professional.

Note, I don’t take much stock in the youth numbers, in my experience, that group is going to be all over the place in terms of numbers because their coordination could vary drastically from pitcher to pitcher.

I’m not a big fan of static throwing drills that eliminate the lower half feel to isolate an upper half feeling. I can see what is being attempted, but translating that feel from a static position to the true delivery dynamic is inconsistent at best. Some can make that connection and others can’t.

Most pitchers screw up worse in the lower half than in the upper half. Upper half mechanical adjustments start to change that pitcher’s natural motion and should only be made when essential.

I focus more on the lower half because a good lower half automatically improves the upper half without even trying.

A bad lower half and you’re done.

Agree. You’re not throwing from one knee in a game.

As far as isolation goes, IMO, the same can be accomplished by backward chaining the mechanics.

[quote=“Turn 22”]… the same can be accomplished by backward chaining the mechanics.[/quote] :applause:

[quote=“Roger”]… I believe Marshall’s “linear-ness” really applies to hand path while Mills’ “linear-ness” applies to body path. So, to me, Marshall and Mills are more different than similar.[/quote]Atta boy Roger!