When to start hip rotation?


I hear a lot of talk about striding closed, and striding sideways … this means you hold off on opening the hips until just before foot plant, right?

Doesn’t Mills teach that you actually don’t rotate until after foot plant? (Though I don’t think that’s possible)

However, CADAD put up a clip of Oswalt in a recent thread and it looked to me like he started opening up his hips right when he started to bring his leg down.

Mills is simply wrong about this. I have heard that this may be a cue that he uses, rather than something that reflects reality.

Oswalt does this a little differently than some, but still delays the rotation of his hips…

He swings his leg out toward 3B as he strides. However, notice that his toe is facing up and toward 3B for much of his stride, which indicates that his hips are still closed. He appears to start opening up his hips about halfway through his stride.

This is easier to see if you open the clip in QuickTime and go through it frame by frame.

The hips don’t need to open up until the front foot wants to open up. The hips must (for all pitchers I’ve worked with) start to open up for the front foot to be pointed at the target (which explains why Mills’ claim is wrong though I’m not sure he still makes that claim). The timing of all of this is very important - open up too soon and you waste energy and possibly open the shoulders early and put more stress on the arm, etc. Open up at the right time and the energy transfer from the hips to the shoulders is maximized.

My suggestion is that unless you are in fact opening up early, you don’t need to worry about it.

Mills has said that nothing happens until footplant for a long time. Someone I know very well :wink: pressed him about this about a month ago and he finally acknowledged that the hips open just prior to landing. It’s not that he didn’t know that. He just likes to use the cue because he believes that it’s a non-teach if you tell someone to hold off rotation for as long as possible and then land at 90% stride length with the toes pointed just to the throwing side of the target line.

I got a second questin to add here about the lead leg:

Is it ‘better’ to move the leg directly forward, out and down into plant, like Oswalt…

OR is it ‘better’ to bring it more down first and then as you stride have the foot skimming low above the ground, more like Kazmir; and I think Jason Shmidt does it this latter way as well.

when I say ‘better’ I’m really looking for an analysis of the advantages one style might have over the other, in terms of generating power, rotational force, etc.

Chris has a video of Prior on his site and it looks like he brings his leg down before swinging it out.

There is tremendous variation on what successful pitchers do.

So much so that I don’t think it really matters what you do.

There is tremendous variation on what successful pitchers do.

So much so that I don’t think it really matters what you do.[/quote]

Proboly right. I was throwing with a radar gun (getting embarassingly low readings, btw) this weekend, and I was trying both styles out. It made no difference in my speed.

The keys are that…

  1. You keep your hips closed as long as possible.

  2. Your shoulders don’t start rotating until your GS foot plants and your PAS forearm is vertical and in the High Cocked position.

As long as you can achieve that, whatever you do should be fine.