What's the difference between spinning and rotating?

So I have heard things like “You should rotate, not spin”. What does exactly this mean?

Also, should I have a “downward torso drive” at the end of the delivery? I mean, should I just rotate around my body “laterally” or should I rotate first and then pull my torso down into release?
Did I make myself clear?

re: “You should rotate, not spin”

-------Sounds like someone needs to explain to you more carefully what they mean with their jargon. I’m sure your coach, or whoever is saying that to you, has the best of intentions. Spin and rotation may convey different meanings to him, but they are both synonymous with “motion in a circular path”–as opposed to translational motion, i.e., “motion in a linear path”.

“Downward torso drive” at the end of your delivery?–Personally, I don’t think so. Your torso should track forward to the target. “Downward torso drive” sounds like a dressed-up version of “grab some grass” at the end of your delivery–I haven’t noticed that any really good pitchers actually do that, even though it’s been part of the youth coaching lexicon forever.

Thanks la.
What comes in mind about that downward movement is Tim Lincecum. He has been quoted as saying his dad put some dollars and he had to pick it up from the ground after throwing the ball.
So in order to do that, he would need to pull his torso down, shouldn’t he?

Well, judge for yourself if Tim Lincecum does actually drive (or pull) his torso down during his delivery.

If there was a stack of cash in front of him, would he have been able to pick it up? I don’t think so.

It doesn’t really matter what he thinks he was taught–what matters is what he actually does during his delivery. Honestly, I’ve been consistently amazed over the years by the sometimes huge discrepancies between what many athletes believe they do versus what they actually do.

I agree with laflippin. It sounds like your coach is trying to make you follow through with your back parallel to the ground. But, like la said, very few pitchers do that. Higher arm slots tend to have their back more parallel to the ground while lower arm slots tend to fall off towards 1st or 3rd base respectively. Just follow your arm path. Try to find a pitcher (a successful one) with a similar arm slot and look at how they follow through. Try it out, but don’t copy them. Just use them as a loose guideline.

As for rotation vs. spin. I would say that rotation is almost always good. Spin can be good or bad. A good one would be tight spin. A bad one would be how the ball is just spinning. It sounds like your coach wants you to get rotation on the ball and have actual break on it instead of it just spinning and being a “gravity ball”.

[quote=“laflippin”]Well, judge for yourself if Tim Lincecum does actually drive (or pull) his torso down during his delivery.

If there was a stack of cash in front of him, would he have been able to pick it up? I don’t think so.

It doesn’t really matter what he thinks he was taught–what matters is what he actually does during his delivery. Honestly, I’ve been consistently amazed over the years by the sometimes huge discrepancies between what many athletes believe they do versus what they actually do.[/quote]

So the only movements I should be doing are rotational and forward movement (towards home plate). Is that right?
After I heard that I should get more downward movement with my torso, I searched ther internet and found some sites and a ASMI study, saying that this downward movement was good, or it was present in high level pitchers… I can’t find them, once I find I put it here.

Oh, my mistake… it’s not spin or rotation of the ball. It’s spin or rotating the body.

BTW, David Price does seem to bring his upper body down and forward prior and into release:

What do you think?

Try telling Randy Johnson he needs to pull his torso forward and down. :wink:

My point is that arm slot plays a big role in how a pitcher finishes. To tell all pitchers to pull their torso forward and down would be “cookie cutter” instruction. Furthermore, how a pitcher finishes is more of a result of things leading up to it. While I do use how a pitcher finishes as an indicator of other things, it’s not something I would instruct.

I think the article your referring to is talking about forward trunk tilt. Throwing down hill, not so much about grabing dirt or picking up grass which is about finish. Just simply throwing down hill by having your trunk tilt forward before ball release and to me it looks like almost every pitcher in the links on this site does this to some degree.

To answer the original question, in my experience “spinning” is when body parts are “locked” up and turn as a unit (no segmentation) and “rotating” implies segmentation between body parts as they turn.

Specifically rotating as you move out into footplant, the hips turn first, followed by the shoulders and then the arm.