Let me start by saying that this thread is blending discussion of pros with discussion of kids. While the best pros in the game set the example upon which we base what we teach to young kids, we have to remember that young kids often do lack in certain departments like functional strength.
There is a potential health issue here. If the tilting of the spine causes other problems - specifically sequencing or timing problems - then extra stress can be placed on the arm. The guys you named have been able to accomodate the tilted posture without other ramifications - so far. By the way, the top pitcher for the Curacao team that played in the Little League World Series a couple years ago really tilted his spine and his head. He just had Tommy John surgery.
I could be wrong but I have the impression that House doesn't automatically set out to eliminate all downward head movement with every pitcher. Rather, House has pitchers lower their center of graity when they appear to have balance and posture issues. House might also do this when he tries to get a pitcher to stride further. Personally, I don't worry about downward movement unless I have reason to think it's actually causing a problem.
I think this might be something coaches would pay more attention to with tall pitchers who are perceived to have a competetive advantage due to their height. I could certainly see a coach wanting to maximize downward plane with such pitchers. But I'm not so sure it would be as big of a concern with shorter pitchers. The difference between a low slot and a higher slot might be only 8" to 10". That difference, when compared to the distance to home plate, only accounts for a small angle at home plate.
One thing to remember is that the NPA places a lot of importance in injury prevention. The number of injuries - especially to young pitchers - is skyrocketing. Now, I'll admit a lot of that is due to overuse. But what happens when you couple poor mechanics/timing with that overuse?
I agree. It's important partly for balance but mostly for timing, IMHO. And timing is a concept that I think most pitching coaches fail to understand and appreciate. House says he spends more time these days fixing timing than fixing mechanics.
That's an excellent description! When I've tried to explain "opposite and equal" as being a momentary position in passing that occurs at foot plant, I'm never confident people really understand the timing aspect.
I share your concerns - especially about the "hold it there" part. I think it really all comes back to timing. When timing is on, things happen when they should and nothing needs to be held for an artifically long time. Everything feels more natural. So, your concern about stabilizing the glove hindering the pitcher is really a concern about proper timing, IMHO.
I'm not familiar with the face/chin to the glove teach. But I agree with your comment that the glove arm can be relaxed after ball release.
Well, since I believe House still works with Johnson on occasion, I wouldn't assume he has an issue with Johnson's glove.
Why you little...