Update-11-19

I am 15 years old, 5 foot 8, and about 160lbs. Sometimes i will lose complete control of everything, and other times i’ll be able to throw consistent strikes. I would guess velocity is in the mid-70’s. That definitley needs to be higher. Any thoughts here?

your making my computer freez.

I think that what you really need to do is work on location—what some of us call control. Here’s something I used to do when I was a little snip and continued to do well into my playing days: I would get a catcher, and we would go to an unused playing field, and I would take the mound while he set up behind the plate with a mitt. We would then play a little game we called “ball and strike”, in which he would position his mitt in various spots, high, low, inside, outside—any which way but standing on his head :lol: —and I would concentrate on getting the ball smack-dab into the pocket of said mitt, actually throwing the ball through the target rather than just at it. I did this with all my pitches, at different speeds, and because I was a sidearmer I got the crossfire into the action. It was a terrific workout and a lot of fun, and oh, what a sweet, satisfying feeling to hear that “thwack” as the ball hit the catcher’s mitt. From time to time we would get someone to stand in the batter’s box so I could really zero in on the strike zone, and we might even have him swing at a few pitches. Best way I know of toe sharpen up one’s control.
As for the velocity—the speed—I wouldn’t worry too much about it. But if you want to ramp it up, let me tell you about “The Secret”—something I learned a long time ago by watching how the Yankees’ Big Three did it. I noticed that they were all driving off the lower half of the body, using the legs, the hips and the torso in one continuous motion, and that was how they were generating more power behind their pitches—even Ed Lopat, who was not a fireballer, could hit 90MPH. And with less effort to boot. I realized that this was the real key to a pitcher’s power, and I made a note of it and started working on it on my own, and as I practiced this I found that I was doing the same thing they were! Thing is, the hips are the connection between the lower and upper halves of the body, and when that connection is established there’s a continuous flow of energy all the way up through the shoulder to the arm. A good place to start working on this is the “Hershiser” drill, which aims at getting those hips fully involved. (And you don’t need any special equipment, just a fence or a wall.)
Good luck, and keep pitching. 8) :slight_smile:

I don’t think i have a problem leading with my hips. You can see from the side view that they start moving forward before i reach peak leg lift.
And right now, velocity is my main goal. A wild 90 mph pitcher will get more looks than an 83-84 mph, even if he does have great control. Any other suggestions?

There are a few I see going on here.

You seem to have some disconnect in your torso rotation right at the end of your throw. This is shown where I have the red lines in this clip, and then where you finish (the clip is repeated in the area I’m talking about here):

I would also work on your arm action/timing, the way you move out down the mound, and your hip flexibility (which may improve as you get older but why take a chance).

Now…in this clip:

I like the way you are “loaded” (indicted by the red lines) but I would like to see you a little more tilted (the yellow line). Think along the lines of Sandy Koufax or “Goose” Gossage.

Next a few frames after that where I pause the clip I would like to see a little more “sit” as your moving out. You seem to pop up a little early and your losing a little stored energy here. If you could keep that loaded posture a little longer (3 frames where I have the lines to where I pause the clip) you would get a lot more potential energy to use later on in the throw.

Now a few frames after that…where I have the red lines again is where your arm should be at that point. Your arm right now is up a little early right before foot strike.

Finally at the end of this clip (where it is again repeated) is where I’m trying to point out your flexibility issue which is hampering the rotation of your torso (ultimately taking some velo away from you).

Lankylefty had some good drills that address this hip flexibility issue and some others for your arm action that would be useful to you.

You are on the right track…just keep the tempo up, and get violent through the release of the ball and you will be fine.

Good luck

Thanks for the reply, exactly who i was hoping to hear from.

Tilt-I have had poblems with getting the ball down before, and i have been working on a more forward posture around foot strike. That is probably why the tilt isn’t there. Maybe something i could work on in the future when i get some other things figured out.

Sit-I agree that there could be more sit as i move out. That is something i will work on right away. Hopefully not too hard to fix.

Arm timing- It looks like my arm is about a frame ahead of what it should be.

Hip flexibilty- i have been trying to figure out what is causing my knee to drive forward like that for a while. It looks like i don’t rotate through release, instead i catapult over that front leg. I think this is one of the most important things to figure out with regards to gaining velocity. I have been performing a stretching routine twice a day now for about two weeks, so hopefully that will help this problem.
Do you think this could also be from over-rotating the hips? (front view)

Bottom line is that i seem to collapse at release.

[quote=“beaver26”]Thanks for the reply, exactly who i was hoping to hear from.

[quote]
Tilt-I have had poblems with getting the ball down before, and i have been working on a more forward posture around foot strike. That is probably why the tilt isn’t there. Maybe something i could work on in the future when i get some other things figured out.[/quote]

It’s possible that if you have a problem with leaving the ball up it is more likely a timing issue (arm action timing & release point). The fact that your arm is up early already possibly indicates that you are just having to “guess” when to release the ball (repeatability issue with the release point because of constantly making corrections). I think that once you smooth out your arm action and start to get better “feel” for your mechanics, your muscle memory at that point will allow for more consistency and an easier time locating. But it takes tons - and I mean TONS! - of quality reps and concentrated practice.

Backwards chaining here is the way to go. Break up your delivery into 3 or 4 pieces and work on 1 part specifically over and over. As your doing that incorporate a couple live throws where you go through your entire delivery from start to finish. So a workout would look something like:

Backwards Chain Drill #1 - 5 reps
Complete throw - 2 reps
Backwards Chain Drill #1 - 5 reps
Complete throw - 2 reps
Backwards Chain Drill #1 - 5 reps
Complete throw - 2 reps

Backwards Chain Drill #2 - 5 reps
Complete throw - 2 reps
Backwards Chain Drill #2 - 5 reps
Complete throw - 2 reps
Backwards Chain Drill #2 - 5 reps
Complete throw - 2 reps

Backwards Chain Drill #3 - 5 reps
Complete throw - 2 reps
Backwards Chain Drill #3 - 5 reps
Complete throw - 2 reps
etc…etc…

Agree

[quote]Hip flexibilty- i have been trying to figure out what is causing my knee to drive forward like that for a while. It looks like i don’t rotate through release, instead i catapult over that front leg. I think this is one of the most important things to figure out with regards to gaining velocity. I have been performing a stretching routine twice a day now for about two weeks, so hopefully that will help this problem.
Do you think this could also be from over-rotating the hips? (front view)

Bottom line is that i seem to collapse at release.[/quote]

Good observation. I agree with most of that, but I do not feel you are over-rotating at all. That all looks great, but it’s the timing of it all and having the flexibility to pull it off is where the rubber meets the road.

Below is have a drill that I gave to Lankylefty a while back to help him with this same issue (this is the drill I spoke of in the above post):

Again this would be used as part of the backwards chaining process (first or second drill you would do) and might be one you want to focus on immediately. Getting the flexibility you need in your hips/torso might be the ticket in taking your throwing to another level. You want your lower half to be able to generate power and support good arm action. The timing of all of it is key.

Here is another clip of what lower half flexibility looks like:

So give that a try. If at all possible get a radar gun so you can monitor your progress. Don’t “guess” at what your are throwing!

Above all else take care of your arm and body and do ALL the other things that go along with it (do your arm care work, train hard in your strength and conditioning, get PLENTY of rest, eat the very best food that you can and tons of it).

Good clip of Kazmir. It gives me a great picture of what the finish should look like. I will begin working on that right away, and it will be the main focus. I will also focus on the way i move out down the mound. Little more stepover and back leg sit.

Lanky has commented to me that my arm action looks alright, its just a matter of getting it to work in sync with the lower body. I think Ron Wolforths “whip” drill could help with that. The goal is to dangle it down by the hips, and then let the lower half bring it up and forward. See how it goes.