Wrist Snap down

My son’s pitching coach is always yelling snap down, snap down. He says that everytime a pitchers ball is high is because he is not snapping down.

My question is, once you release the ball, then snap down, how is that going to get the ball down?

For a “full explanation” of that question you need a “full explanation” from the coach who said it.

But let me take a shot in the dark here…
1.) Perhaps the arm and wrist motion that this coach is suggesting is to compliment more that just snap’g the wrist down to get the ball down.
2.) The pitch itself - four seam, two seam, slider, etc., that your boy has may be working better with this suggestion, even though the initial observation on your part isn’t what it seems to be.
3.) Sometimes coaching someone to do one thing - although not in and of itself, gets a pitcher to do a better job than trying to address the subject directly.
4.) Perhaps this method has the pitcher extend his pitching cycle a little longer.
5.) Perhaps your son is receiving coaching currently … or in the past … that this coach is directly differently. Your son could be confused and even stretched between one way and/or the other.

Then again, the best approach would be to have the pitcher address the question(s) directly to the coach. Not mom or dad, not third parties, but one on one …coach to pitcher. THAT’S WHAT COACHES ARE THERE FOR.

However, please take this next suggestion with the good will intentions that I bring to the table. I know that I don’t know you or your situation, your sincerity, or the full extent of your son’s situation, but I’m going to extend this piece of advice:
Some parents will observe their child’s playing experience regardless of the sport, then they’ll seek out opinions and advice deliberately that are contrary to that given by their son’s or daughter’s coaching experience. For whatever reason, these people have an adversarial nature to them that’ll contradict just about anything that comes down the pike. Call it personality conflicts, ego. whatever. These people make it impossible to manage and coach with anything positive coming out of the youngster’s experience.

I respect your place and your concerns. Just be wary of the interpretation of your good intentions for your son’s sake and the reputation that can crop up down the road as he gets older.

I wish you the best with you and your son’s baseball experience.

Coach B.

I’d also like to add, that the amateur coaching environment is just that - amateur. These people do not receive compensation in monetary terms, nor do they work at that job 24/7. They also shouldn’t be held to a higher standard than what’s reasonable for the level of play and the competitive talent that is attracted.

Many pitching coach at the amateur level are not pitching coaches in the true sense of the word. Oh they have plenty of experience with the game, the nature of play, and so forth. But, truly understanding the dynamics of the human body at various age levels, health related issues and so on is not the forte of these people - NOR SHOULD IT BE. After all, they’re amateurs – just like you.

What I find repeating itself year after year, no matter what game I watch, is a chorus of people who are 2-3 hour coaches - vocal, critical, expectations beyond the beyond. But, try and find them during the formation of the club, volunteering hours of their time, gas and money to give a group of youngster a little fun and inspiration - ain’t gonna happen.
Even worse are the parents with the “me-myself-n-I” attitude that “my kid is this or that”. Natural instincts for a parent, Ill agree. But some go so overboard. Add to this the miserable ride home with said parent or family member(s) with the youngster hearing the venting of opinions which usually puts the youngster more on the defensive for things that he/she has little control over.

I do however, appauld those that genuinely respect the coaching process, regardless how inexperienced it may be, knowing full well that amateur means just that - amateur.

Coach B.

Coach Baker,

I talked to the coach today and he said that the pitcher’s fingers are not pointing down to the ground after release. He said if the fingers are pointing straight at the catcher or up in the air then the ball stays up because of improper rotation.

Basically, what this coach is trying to say (the idea he should be conveying) is this:

The delivery cycle of the hand - fingers in particular, should be delivering the ball completely with the fingers pronouncing the complete hand posture … from the beginning of the arm’s high position behind the head (or somewhere near there) with the intention of keeping the fingers on top of the ball during the arm’s progress … to release. SO… the end signature of all this has the fingers pointing down … AS AN END RESULT … of everything that has proceeded the release.

In simpler terms, the fingers pointing downward is not in and of itself the signature of a good release that keeps a pitch DOWN … but… an end posture of something that this coach is trying to instill PRIOR TO … and a work-in-process for you son’s pitching experience/training.

I hope my suggestions have help some.

Coach B.

Below, is a textbook release ending posture that I’ve used for other postings - but it serves as a good illustration of what I’m trying to get across.

This pitcher has all the classical body motions - in a snap shot, that directs all his energy towards his target, down range 60feet away.

Yes, his fingers are pointing down, but to use that as an end result - serving as a point of interest, is not in and of itself sufficient to explain … WHY. And Yes, his pitch will be down, because of his pitching form complimenting everything leading up to … and resulting in … total approach. Fingers down just happens to be a result of everything that proceeded it.

I agree with Coach Baker that your son’s pitching coach may be focusing on an end result. But I personally think that there are better things to put the focus on. First, immediately after the ball is released, the throwing arm pronates so if the fingers point down it is jut a momentary thing. Second, as Coach Baker indicated, there are other more likely causes of the ball staying up - things like posture issues and timing issues (e.g. opening up early).

But I personally think that there are better things to put the focus on. First, immediately after the ball is released, the throwing arm pronates so if the fingers point down it is jut a momentary thing

Absolutely correct.

I was going to mention the word with respect to the throwing arm, however I wasn’t sure if that would steer the topic of conversation into areas that would only confuse you … or … bring a topic of conversation up between you and your son’s coach that could present an uncomfortable situation.

What situation?

Your son’s coach may not understand the deliberate meaning of the word . Putting him on the defensive may not serve your son’s experience. Also, this deliberate act of arm and hand motion can look simple – be simple to explain – but can take on a bit getting use to and controlling pitch. It all depends on the pitcher and his/her willingness to accept certain patterns of movement.

In any event, Roger has said it very well.

Coach B.