# Two Plane Mechanics

I was noticing this gif of Kyle’s pitcher (who threw 100 mph from flat ground):

It looks to me like he’s using his glove side actively/pulling it somewhat North/South.

I’ve also seen Paul Nyman’s discussion on East/West and North/South and Kyle’s pitcher seems to fit that mold:

Paul also had used the example of Sandy Koufax as an E/W and N/S pitcher:

What benefits are there mechanically in this two plane approach?

Is it possible that this decelerates the non-throwing/glove side more quickly/effectively and transferring that momentum to the arm?

It seems that in an East-West movement pattern “pulling the glove” (as had been traditionally taught) might cause you to spin (using the spine as an axis) and not be very effective, but in a East/West combining with a North/South, the pulling the glove side down/decelerate to a different plane may cause you to launch using the glove side as an axis.

Anyway, no agenda, just wondering aloud. Kyle’s gif combined with Paul’s stuff had me wanting to figure out exactly what’s happening there.

That client never hit 100 MPH to be totally honest, he hit 99 MPH a few times.

There are two engines of velocity - translation and rotation. Translation is the linear movement to the plate (North/South) and rotation is, well, rotation (East/West). Most pitchers are good at one and not the other and get their core competency from that area. Tyson Ross is a great example of someone who is exceptionally good at rotating and terrible at most everything else.

Elite throwers who are 98+ MPH almost necessarily have to be good at both, as you noticed. Aroldis Chapman is a good example, as is Craig Kimbrel:

Bauer is a good example of someone who is not great at both on the mound but is exceptionally good while throwing a ball max effort. It is something we continue to work on. I am looking forward to releasing some video and his crow-hop velocities down the line. I think some people will be very humbled

Back in 2001 at Wolforth’s Pitching Coaches Boot Camp, I presented the concept of the Flatbed, Merry-Go-Round, Ferris Wheel to describe how the body throws the baseball.

It was my attempt to demonstrate three important components of the throwing process:

1. linear momentum towards home plate
.

2. rotational momentum around the bodies transverse axis.

3. flexing forward of the torso in the sagittal plane.

An important point/concept being it’s about momentum development and transfer. And an even more important point to understand that maximum throwing efficiency which includes both velocity and control occurs using rotational momentum.

The reason why it’s called 3° of freedom is because in three dimensions there are 6 degrees of freedon. An object moving in three-dimensional space can have translation (speed and velocity) along along each axis of the three dimensions (X, Y, Z). Along with translation there can be rotation around each axis.

In the case of the Flatbed, Merry-Go-Round, Ferris Wheel , if we arbitrarily assume that the X axis is aligned with the home plate to second base direction and the y-axis is aligned along the first base to third base direction and the z-axis would be the axis form by the pitcher standing erect on the rubber along the direction from his head to his feet.

In this case momentum from the Flatbed would be along the x-axis toward home plate. Translational momentum due to Merry-Go-Round rotation would initially be around the z-axis. And Ferris Wheel flexing forward would be motion around the y-axis. Hence we have movement utilizing 3° of freedom.

An important point that I have tried to explain, preach, repeat many many times is that translational movement onto itself has very little effect on throwing the baseball. Which is always brought up the question (in my mind) as to the value of pushing off the rubber i.e. generating linear momentum towards home plate. I won’t get into the details here but I believe it does have a role but a role that is not really understood by many who talk about the value of momentum created by pushing off the rubber.

So if we take the linear momentum equation or I should say out of consideration then we have rotational momentum around both the Z and Y axes. And rotational momentum can create velocity.

And to fully appreciate the importance of rotation I must emphasize again that rotation is velocity. Also that it’s not about arm strength per se meaning it’s not the rapid contraction of muscles in the arm that creates velocity i.e. strong-arm. But rather it’s the transfer of momentum and the ability of the arm to endure the stress and forces of this momentum transfer that creates velocity i.e. a whipping arm action.

The question to ponder for a rainy day is how does each rotational component affect the throwing velocity and throwing efficiency?

Great discussion and information, thanks to all.

Went by Kyles’ facility last weekend. Recommend the high speed video to anyone. Great stuff.