Video Analysis - Beck Johnson


#1

I would love to get some feedback on my son’s pitching mechanics in these slo-mo videos. I guess my main concern is whether his pitching arm is in a good position at front foot strike? I have heard that dragging the arm can lead to excessive torque on the elbow. Any other thoughts on his overall form would be great too.

Thanks.


#2

I’m just a dad too that’s been studying his tail off, so I’m not a professional…but it looks like the biggest opportunity is in stride length and power off the rubber. He’s back leg isn’t fully extended at ffs. His stride leg is bent at ffs. I would look at that and then look at arm position after its lengthened.


#3

Thanks for the response, Andy_Mac. It’s funny you mention that, because his coach just recently observed that lengthening his stride will give his arm more time to get up into a better position to release the ball. We’ve been working on that (as well as some other things) and I think it’s helping. Another thing I read recently was that changing the leg lift so that the foot/lower leg goes further back (toward second base instead of straight up) will make the stride even longer and provide more time. That’s next on our list of things to work on.


#4

Going to build off this and make a slight correction. You are fully correct in the back leg statement: it should fully extend (hip, ankle and knee) before FFS, however the front leg should be bent. Landing with a straight front leg is no Bueno for knee health. Landing with a bent front leg also allows the pitcher to extend it and send more force up the chain. Your stride is a result of your back leg more so than the front.


#5

Thanks, cursed.legend. The bent front knee is actually another tweak that our coach just recently made in his delivery.

Just a couple of clarifications:

  1. When you say the bent front leg “allows the pitcher to extend it,” what are you referring to (i.e., extend what?)?

  2. Are you saying the long stride is caused more by driving off the back leg rather than reaching out further with the front leg?

Thanks.


#6

Your son doesn’t lead with his hips. He lifts his leg and lets it aggressively fly out, which means it opens too early which means he is losing a ton of velo and stride length.

It appears (I can’t fully tell from this view) he aggressively lifts up his lead leg to gain momentum. Have him just lift it, this is hurting him. Once he lifts his leg more passively, get him to work on really sitting on that back leg, and having his HIPS lead instead of his leg. His hips should move forward and down at the same rate. This is what your son needs to work on, not getting MORE aggressive with the front leg like you said in another comment.

So have your son learn to lead with the hips, with them going forward and down at the same rate. His back leg should be bent, so that loads his hip and glutes; don’t only load the quads. Work on this, then post more video for analysis. The beginning of the delivery is what causes the issues at the end, not just the end being wrong.

Now, because you asked, I will answer about his arm cocking at FFS
Here’s your son:

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And there’s sonny gray. His arm should be slightly more cocked, HOWEVER it could be I didn’t pause the vid properly with your son although doubtful.
I’d recommend you paste these two citations in google scholar and read them;

Rod Whiteley. – Baseball throwing mechanics as they relate to pathology and performance – A review. – Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2007) 6, 1-20
Hirashima M, Yamane K, Nakamura Y, Ohtsuki T. – Kinetic chain of overarm throwing in terms of joint rotations revealed by induced acceleration analysis. – J Biomech. 2008 Sep 18;41(13):2874-83.


#7

Wow - thanks for the detailed response. I will definitely look at those articles.


#8

I don’t think his arm is very late, but I don’t think it’s on time. Your sons arm is about at 60-75 ish degrees of external rotation while 85-90 at front foot plant is good. He is not too far off though and his timing would be borderline I guess.


#9

Thanks, GreenMonster. Any tips on how to get him more “on time”? I’ve noticed that his delivery looks faster overall than just about any of the good pitchers on his team or the teams he faces. Would it make sense to simply get him to slow down his stride so his arm can “catch up”?


#10

He needs to drive earlier, that’ll let the arm catch up. You want back foot driving off the rubber before his front foot hits. If it drives after his foot hits all the energy is already killed and is not optimizing his lower half energy.


#11

Thanks, JRS. Does that mean that, for a split second, both his feet are off the ground (after back-foot drive, before front-foot strike)?


#12

Yes, but I am hesitant to go out and say that because I don’t want it to seem like I’m advocating “jumping” off the mound. But a better indication of driving is seeing the foot in plantar flexion. Like Chapman in the picture. ( https://www.google.com/search?q=aroldis+chapman&espv=2&biw=1272&bih=583&site=webhp&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&sqi=2&ved=0ahUKEwiJzM_Ijs_PAhUSID4KHYa_CQ8Q_AUICCgD#imgrc=QZj8pp1iLvUPqM%3A ) See how chapmans foot is kicking into plantar flexion and his front foot is not down yet, that’s what you want as far as driving goes.


#13

Gotcha. Makes sense. Thanks again.


#14

So I screwed up the timing when I paused the video?


#15

No, but I think if he could drive a bit more, his foot would stay off the ground longer.


#16

You paused him at foot strike, I was pausing at foot plant. Here is foot plant


#17

Help me understand - What’s the difference between “foot strike” and “foot plant”?

Do all the previous observation and pieces of advice still apply either way?

Thanks again.


#18

I’m guessing foot plant is when the foot is completely down and no part is up.


#19

I’ve been reading about Connection Ball training, which seems to encourage an arm action that is “smaller” and keeps the arm closer to the body. As you can see from the video, my son tends to drop is arm to his side so that his elbow is completely straight, which during his delivery puts his hand down by his knee until he starts to bring it back up to throw the pitch. This seems to be in conflict with what Connection Ball training is trying to promote. Is this something to be worried about?

Thanks


#20

His arm action would be completely clean if he drives off his back leg more. He would stay off the ground longer and his arm would get up on time. Other than the timing his arm action is fine