Here is a clip of 6 pitches(all fastballs) from 1 of my pitchers, he is 16 and throwing about 85%. Last september he had surgery on his left ACL and wears a brace now. His velocity and location is down from last year. I havent been able to figure the problem out. If any of you could help me with things we need to fix and drills to accomplish these I would greatly appreciate it. He has also felt shoulder pain a few times this year, but only when he throws and then the pain goes away almost instantly.[/url]
Here are a few things…
- The most obvious thing I see (in the first throw especially) is that he drops his elbow well below the level of his shoulders as his shoulders come around.
See timestamp 2:25 of 24:02 (open in QuickTime and then go WINDOW > SHOW MOVIE INFO > Current Time). This will shorten the lever arm of the throw and lead to a lower velocity. If you go frame by frame through the first part of the clip, it looks like he is pushing or shotputting the ball rather than throwing it. It also doesn’t look like he is dropping his back shoulder too much; his shoulders seem fairly level.
What he needs to try to do is keep his pitching arm side elbow higher; closer to the level of his shoulders.
- He seems to have very little separation between the rotation of his hips and his shoulders; his shoulders appear to turn pretty much at the same time as his hips. This could cost him significant velocity (and probably more velocity than dropping his elbow).
See timestamps 7:02 and 10:27.
To improve his velocity, his hips need to rotate ahead of his shoulders. If he was doing this right, then in both frames his shoulders would be just starting to turn rather than significantly turned.
- I would prefer that he pulled his glove into his glove-side pec rather than finish with it at his belt buckle. This should give him a few more MPH and will leave him in a stronger fielding position.
Hope that helps.
This pitcher has much work to do. Chris is right about the low elbow coming through. It should be at shoulder height. He’s also right about the lack of hip/shoulder separation at landing. This is mianly because, at front foot plant, his shoulders have already squared to the plate. Much, much, much too early! The shoulders should be aligned with a straight line between home and second at this point and the hips should be open to whatever degree his body allows.
Also, he has no forward trunk flexion into release. When that front foot lands, the shoulders then, not earlier, rotate around the spine while the elbow starts forward and the chest is thrust forward. Then, into and beyond release, the trunk must flex forward and on to a “flat back finish” over the front leg. The rotation of the shoulders continues past release also, as the trunk is flexing forward.
There are timing issues here that need work but these fundamental things must be addressed. Has he always had these mechanics?
He’s pushing the ball with a low elbow. This needs to be fixed if he’s going to progress in the game. Is he trying to get the ball to tail?
Definitely timing issues - the shoulders are opening up too soon with the obvious symptom that he falls off to the left after each pitch.
But, it really looks to me like he is babying his bad leg. He doesn’t stride very far and he seems to want to get the weight off of the bad leg as quickly as he can. In a couple of the pitches in the video, he strides a bit closed and that will put extra torque on that bad knee as the hips and shoulders then try to overrotate to square up to the target. Striding directly to the target will reduce the torque on the knee. If I’m right about the bad leg, then he needs to work on the strength of the leg. He may need to build up some confidence in it as well. Once this is taken care of, then he can start working on mechanics and timing.
I agree that he doesn’t look like he’s trying to make maximum effort throws.
As you may know, I think the stride is over-rated as a source of power. I am much more concerned about the timing of the rotation of the hips, torso, and shoulders.
Thank you all
I have already talked to him about the knee, he says that it feels strong and has no pain, but I noticed it too. He pitched tonight and threw a lot better than he had previously, velocity was higher nad he was more accurate. We have a 10 days off until oour next game so we will work on these things, I will try to get another video in 2 weeks.
Hes throwing sidearm, try to get him to throw overhand.
Well it doesn’t look like he’s getting full lower body extension. His stride is awful short and he’s not getting his lower body into it. I’d say that he has to work on increasing his leg drive. I know it has to be difficult when there’s probably some residual pain, and that’s why he isn’t extending. Because of this, it’s throwing his mechanics off, which causes his arm to get sore.
this kid needs some serious mechanical improvement, he is throwing like a shotput person, he needs to extend his arm back towards second, and get his legs into it a bit more
It hurts me to watch him throw. He obviously has some mechanical flaws. I see many little leaguers throw like this and it is disturbing. He is dropping his elbow and he really needs to change this. Sort of shot putting the ball to the plate.
I hope he see’s someone locally and hopefully he will stop throwing like this.
we have worked for the past month or so on this, his arm action is much better now. I cam to find out that instead of practicing pitching between football and baseball he had barely thrown a baseball, but rather was throwing a football every day. he then tried to transfer his football throwing mechanics onto the baseball feild with disasterous results.
Here is a clip of 6 pitches(all fastballs) from 1 of my pitchers, he is 16 and throwing about 85%. Last september he had surgery on his left ACL and wears a brace now. His velocity and location is down from last year. I havent been able to figure the problem out. If any of you could help me with things we need to fix and drills to accomplish these I would greatly appreciate it. He has also felt shoulder pain a few times this year, but only when he throws and then the pain goes away almost instantly.[/url][/quote]
One problem I see right off the bat is he lands too closed with his stride leg, its real evident from the behind clip. Everybody is giving you advice about his arm action and timing issues with his hips and shoulders opening, this may be true but what Im telling you MAY be the cause or part of it, at least. It starts from the ground and moves up. His hips are NOT opening into footplant. His stride is short, this IS certainly not helping him to achieve any amount of separation between the lower and the upper. The pelvis should open INTO footplant he is not this combined with a short stride is for lack a better analogy kind of “jamming himself” much like a hitter jams himself by letting inside pitches eat them alive and saw them off. By not striding far enough to begin with coupled with landing to closed hes simply not letting himself get any prestretch within his torso. Because his pelvis is not opening all he has left to deliver the ball is his shoudlers. By landing closed its putting him in a position to throw the ball to early. His stride leg is down to early, its closed. This is telling him to throw the ball becasue the leg is down and ready to throw the ball but his arm is not ready, thats one reason his elbow drops. If you try and focus on what another poster told you about hips/shoulder rotating in sequence it will do NOTHING for you UNTIL he stops landing so closed. In this case its NOT so much hes rotating his hips and shoulders at the same time, its moreso he NOT rotating his pelvis at all into landing. Again in short very general terms hes “jamming himself” or “tieing himself up” keeping him from achieving any separation at all.
Nice catch Chin
This would definitely make it difficult for him to rotate into landing or at all. The elbow coming through so low is really a problem that landing properly won’t help though. My opinion is that his arm action needs to be fixed as the number 1 priority. I’m going to advocate for reverse progression here again. Let’s get him better arm action, add the chest thrusting with forward trunk flexion. Once this is comfy, let him then start adding momentum from a good stride as you aptly noted.
My fear is that, if we focus on the stride now, he’ll be following it up with stuff that he hasn’t gotten down yet. That’s what the learning researchers recommend against.
You’re spot on though, Chin, about the stride. I missed that one.
Good to see you posting again. Haven’t heard from you in a while.
Stride length and foot angle at plant was the first thing we adressed. His knee was completely healed and healthy, it was just a matter of whether he trusted it again or ont. Once he renewed his confidence in his knee, things started to look better. Then we adressed arm action and it got a little better. I wish I had a new video clip, but our season is over and he is once again dedicated to football so I cant get a new clip. Anyways thank you all for your input