Toes of the plant foot


#1

i was taught the toes of the plant foot should point directly at the plate upon landing but i recently read an article by Bill Thurston that suggests the toes should point slightly inward (10-15 degrees). i would think this would limit the ablilty of the hips and trunk to rotate all the way through. does anyone have any thoughts or research on the advantage(s) of turning the toes slightly inward?


#2

I don’t believe there is an absolute rule that applies to all pitchers. Instead it is a comfort thing. Some pitchers might not have the flexibility to point the foot directly at the target. So a little variation is ok - within reason. Obviously, not opening up enough will put extra torque on the hip and knee when the hips and shoulders rotate. Opening up too much will likely result in premature and over rotation of the shoulders which puts more stress on the throwing shoulder.


#3

I have exactly the same concern with that piece of advice.

If anything, I think the toes should point at the target to slightly open.


#4

You can open up the hips without opening up the shoulders at the same time. In fact, you have to if you are going to generate significant power.

Of course, you have to be quite flexible in your core if you are going to open up your hips and not open up your shoulders.


#5

[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]…you have to be quite flexible in your core if you are going to open up your hips and not open up your shoulders.[/quote]This is really a matter of degree. It is quite easy to have an approximately 45 deg. difference between the hips and shoulders but it becomes harder to increase that.


#6

[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]
You can open up the hips without opening up the shoulders at the same time. In fact, you have to if you are going to generate significant power.[/quote]

No argument there. My point was just that pitchers who plant the foot in an open position often open up the shoulder too soon and too much leaving the arm dragging through the zone. Not always but often. This takes away power as the energy built up in the torso gets wasted before the arm gets going and that puts more stress on the shoulder.

[quote=“Chris O’Leary”]
Of course, you have to be quite flexible in your core if you are going to open up your hips and not open up your shoulders.[/quote]

Again no argument there. Pitchers will vary between 30 and 60 degrees of separaton between the hips and shoulders. But all pitchers should strive to maximize their separation and to maintain it for as long through their delivery as possible.


#7

I have exactly the same concern with that piece of advice.

If anything, I think the toes should point at the target to slightly open.[/quote]

wouldn’t landing slightly open make you worry about opening up too soon and dragging the arm?


#8

[quote=“Roger”]…all pitchers should strive to maximize their separation and to maintain it for as long through their delivery as possible.[/quote]I disagree with the idea of maintaining the separation for as long as possible. A muscle’s concentric contraction is strongest immediately after an eccentric contraction but it must happen immediately with no pauses or the energy built up bleeds off and is not usable in the concentric contraction to follow. This is the “stretch shortening cycle” in a very simplistic description.


#9

Absolutely.


#10

You’re right. I should have said hips and shoulders need to stay closed as long as possible through the delivery. But pitchers should strive to maximize the separation between hips and shoulders.

Correction: You do want to delay shoulder rotation. Motion analysis shows that the elite pitchers stride and open the hips as the foot plants. They continue moving their torso forward while delaying their shoulder rotation until their torso has moved as far forward as it can while remaining upright. They then rotate their shoulders around an upright spine.


#11

Absolutely.[/quote]

I realize some pitchers have a tendency to drag the arm through for whatever reasons. Striding more open should not cause this, however I know it can BUT the real culprit is many times due to something else. Where the hips go the torso/shoulder are not far behind, if the hips are opening up a little than so is the torso and shoulders to the same degree, which is wrong I know but it is not always the cause of a lazy or dragging arm, thats probably more related to inefficiant arm action. This is more often a case of not getting on top of the pitch or as some say [over the wall]. It is also caused by a separation between the lower , the lower should work as a unit together as the handle so to speak. This actually goes back to the amount of drive/effort of the post leg foots action INTO footplant ,not before, as well as the allignment of ankle/knee/hip. Its a timing issue between the post leg foot turning over [the push] and its result in driving the front side simataniously into footplant .The whole coconut IS how well a pitcher rotates into landing. How well he is able to makes the transfer from linear to rotation. For many including my son the fix was extremely easy. I simply had him turn his post leg foot inward about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch when his post foot is against the rubber. Made all the difference in the world in regards to achieveing excellent rotation into footplant. He was a long strider but like many lefties he landed to closed although his foot was pointing at the target. Many well intentioned people would automatically have him try and shorten his stride WRONG. Im a firm believer in the idea of if the post leg foot being a tad even a little as [1/4 inch can make a difference for some] internally rotated if its externally rotated beyond parallel the slightest bit it can inhibit good drive as well as rotation into landing almost certainly guaranteeing bad rotation and loss of power. It is a posture thing and when its not right it will throw off the allignment mentioned earlier in the post which can result in performance losses. Usually I woudl reread my post serveral times before I actually submit. Todasy I simply do not have the time, so read at your own risk. Some items I proabably would change and retype for whatever reasons today I cant but the general gist is very important imo so its staying because like it or not the whole Coconut for a whole many people IS how one goes into landing and what he is able to take with him from the subsequent stride.


#12

Absolutely.[/quote]

I realize some pitchers have a tendency to drag the arm through for whatever reasons. Striding more open should not cause this, however I know it can BUT the real culprit is many times due to something else. Where the hips go the torso/shoulder are not far behind, if the hips are opening up a little than so is the torso and shoulders to the same degree, which is wrong I know but it is not always the cause of a lazy or dragging arm, thats probably more related to inefficiant arm action. This is more often a case of not getting on top of the pitch or as some say [over the wall]. It is also caused by a separation between the lower , the lower should work as a unit together as the handle so to speak. This actually goes back to the amount of drive/effort of the post leg foots action INTO footplant ,not before, as well as the allignment of ankle/knee/hip. Its a timing issue between the post leg foot turning over [the push] and its result in driving the front side simataniously into footplant .The whole coconut IS how well a pitcher rotates into landing. How well he is able to makes the transfer from linear to rotation. For many including my son the fix was extremely easy. I simply had him turn his post leg foot inward about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch when his post foot is against the rubber… Im a firm believer in the idea of if the post leg foot being a tad even a little as [1/4 inch can make a difference for some] internally rotated if its externally rotated beyond parallel the slightest bit it can inhibit good drive as well as rotation into landing almost certainly guaranteeing bad rotation and loss of power. It is a posture thing and when its not right it will throw off the allignment mentioned earlier in the post which can result in performance losses… .[/quote]

thanks for the idea of turning the post leg foot in a tad. i think thats a good one. but the position of both feet directly effect the abilty of the hips to rotate. i think to clarify i should rephrase my question.
in regards to the toes of the landing foot, is there an argument against having them point directly at home plate (0 degrees) is the optimal position?


#13

I think the only arguments against particular toe positions would be against positions that are too extreme in the open or closed positions. Ultimately, the hips and shoulders should be squared up to the target at release. If one can do this consistently with the toes pointed slightly off of the target, then so be it.