What part of your delivery are you working on right now?


#1

Pitchers, even professionals, are constantly refining their pitching mechanics. It’s a never ending process. What aspect(s) of your own delivery are you working right now? Everyone should have something to share…


#2

I am actually a pitching coach, but I am going to be, when legal to do so, working with pitchers on staying closed. We have an outstanding core of high school pitchers coming back, and as great of success as they have had, most seem to have the same problem. Staying closed. Many of them blow open and drop their gloves down very early in their delivery. I am looking for as many drills to correct this as possible. We have two pitchers in particular, one who can hit 90, and another in the mid 80’s that both have bad front sides. So, I am upset at the rules against coaching right now during open gyms, because I don’t want to see them get hurt. But, what can you do.


#3

I need to work on hip/shoulder separation.


#4

As a coach/instructor…

Got two pitchers currently working on stabilizing posture through the delivery up to release point. Will move onto other things once this foundation is established.

Got one pitcher working on maximizing hip/shoulder separation to see if we can squeeze a couple more mph out of him.

Got one pitcher - a glove puller - working on getting to the NPA’s “equal and opposite” position at foot plant and then transitioning to the NPA’s “swivel and stabilize” position. He’s also working on timing of shoulder rotation by getting to “equal and opposite” at foot plant and by adding a slight counter-rotation of the shoulders at first forward movement.

Got an entire travel team working on stabilizing posture and glove.


#5

Roger,

Any recent refinements or changes to your approach for optimizing hip/shoulder separation?

Hip/shoulder separation, and delayed shoulder rotation, are so important, and can be so hard to convey effectively to the guys who don’t get it intuitively, that I’d be glad to hear the details of how you are training guys for this.

If you’ve got the time to really let yourself go on this topic, you will have at least one avid reader…(I’m guessing maybe more than one, though).


#6

Lower hand break and I have been opening up too much at foot plant. I cross the line several inches beyond where I should be planting.


#7

My finish. I tend to finish a bit upright, and would like to finish my delivery more. I think doing this would squeeze out a couple more MPH.


#8

[quote=“laflippin”]Roger,

Any recent refinements or changes to your approach for optimizing hip/shoulder separation?

Hip/shoulder separation, and delayed shoulder rotation, are so important, and can be so hard to convey effectively to the guys who don’t get it intuitively, that I’d be glad to hear the details of how you are training guys for this.

If you’ve got the time to really let yourself go on this topic, you will have at least one avid reader…(I’m guessing maybe more than one, though).[/quote]

laflippin,

This might not be what you are looking for but one of the drills I really like to do with my kids is with a medicine ball. All we do is hold the ball around the mid-section like you were going to chest pass a basketball. Then we take 3 side shuffles towards a wall, open the front foot, rotate the shoulders and thrust the ball towards the wall (again, similar to a chest pass). The added weight of the med ball helps slow the shoulders down without putting any stress on the throwing arm.

As far as throwing drills, I really like backward chaining to teach this. I think I recall that you weren’t a big believer in this method, which is fine. Other than that, we just focus on striding closed for as long as possible. I feel like the later we open the front foot the faster it happens, thus helping it open independently from the shoulders. This creates that rubber band effect through the core that we are all looking for. I hope that makes sense.


#9

Thanks, HasBeen–the medicine ball drill sounds good–I get how the weight of the ball would help delay shoulder rotation.

The backward chaining thing–I still don’t really know enough about it to have a strong opinion one way or the other. For some reason it’s not very intuitive to me how that actually works. Not saying it doesn’t though–lots of people talk about it.

Keeping the stride leg closed as long as possible sounds like it might help…when the hips do finally open, followed by the shoulders, it would have to be pretty explosive. It seems to me that it may not matter exactly how long the hips and shoulders are separated, but only how far they are separated before shoulder rotation finally occurs. Is that what you mean?


#10

I am working on reducing my back back shoulder “drop” after hand break, staying closed longer on my front side, and really focusing on finishing out front as much as possible.

Scott


#11

[quote=“laflippin”]Roger,

Any recent refinements or changes to your approach for optimizing hip/shoulder separation?[/quote]

I’m doing two things - both of which I’ve seen at the NPA’s coaches certs.

First thing is the “throwing weighted plyo balls into a rebounder from a back extension bench” thing. This help train pitchers to maximize their counter-rotation and, therefore, their separation.

Second thing is to introduce a slight counter-rotation of the shoulders right after first forward movement. This seems to promote good timing and late shoulder rotation.

I haven’t been doing this long enough or constistently enough to have realized any measurable gains. The NPA reports 3-5mph gains from the first item above. I need to talk to the NPA and get their training protocol.


#12

[quote=“laflippin”]Roger,…If you’ve got the time to really let yourself go on this topic, you will have at least one avid reader…(I’m guessing maybe more than one, though).[/quote]Make that 2!


#13

Make it three.


#14

My friend last night showed me something that I could do with my mechanics to try and increase the velocity of my fastball as well as the movement of my two-seamer which now has greater break than it did before. I took my friend’s advice because he’s the one hitting 87 mph on the gun and last I checked I was only hitting 74 mph. In any case, what he told me to do what speed up my delivery. So, instead of holding my leg in the air and pausing as I usually did, I just speed it up and have my motion going forward which feels like it’s putting less pressure on my elbow and more on my legs which was what I wanted and giving everything a better break, including my two seamer and change-up which I had problems with because of the pronation.


#15

That sounds like good advice.


#16

I’ve only thrown a pen with it so far but our first games are tomorrow so if I pitch I’ll come back and tell everyone how it went whose interested in the concept.


#17

Right now i am flying open . So i am working on that right now.


#18

Same here, just trying to get that straightened out and then I should be alright …