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  • Pitching plant foot at 45 degrees??

    Freshman son's coach is instructing them to do two things that seem contrary to what I see MLB pitchers do - especially in the studies done by Chris O'Leary.

    First, he seems to be in favor of a "drop and drive" as opposed to more of a swing of the lead leg into foot plant. This would seem to open the hips sooner.

    He is also wanting a 45 degree angle front foot landing instead of having the toe pointed straight down the power line towards home plate, which seems really odd to me. He claims this helps prevent the arm from dragging. He also claims that if you open the hips too soon, you tend to loose power. I have heard nothing said about hip/shoulder separation/loading though.

    Should a 15 year old be learning now how to pitch with advanced MLB mechanics, or is there a "system" to gradually work their way up? We certainly didn't do this with hitting!

    Thoughts & comments?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Sammy View Post
    Freshman son's coach is instructing them to do two things that seem contrary to what I see MLB pitchers do - especially in the studies done by Chris O'Leary.

    First, he seems to be in favor of a "drop and drive" as opposed to more of a swing of the lead leg into foot plant. This would seem to open the hips sooner.

    He is also wanting a 45 degree angle front foot landing instead of having the toe pointed straight down the power line towards home plate, which seems really odd to me. He claims this helps prevent the arm from dragging. He also claims that if you open the hips too soon, you tend to loose power. I have heard nothing said about hip/shoulder separation/loading though.

    Should a 15 year old be learning now how to pitch with advanced MLB mechanics, or is there a "system" to gradually work their way up? We certainly didn't do this with hitting!

    Thoughts & comments?
    Drop and drive...eh? I assume basically, he wants his pitchers to "sit down" on their pitching leg from a high leg kick position, then push off the front of the rubber toward home. Pushing is fine, but doing it in that fashion will fatigue your lower body in about half the time, without any velocity benefit.

    He wants the glove foot to landed 45 degrees "closed" I assume. Or does he want it to be "open"?

    Example: A right handed pitcher would land with his left foot "closed" at a 45 degree angle pointing the left foot toes at the third base side on-deck circle.

    Vice versa if the foot would land "open". I just need a little more info.

    Comment


    • #3
      This is with a RH pitcher. I guess "drop and drive" wouldn't be a 100% accurate description. He really doesn't promote the "sit" that much. I think he's trying to get a more direct path towards home plate with the stride, as opposed to a swinging around of the stride leg. He wants them to land more closed, with the toe pointing more towards the 3rd base line.

      Comment


      • #4
        Landing Closed

        I'm not a mechanics wonk, but landing closed can be a big problem for pitchers as it severely limits their ability to rotate their hips and achieve hip/shoulder separation at landing. I'm sure there are those who will disagree, but I believe the verbal cue "point your toe at the RH hitter" for a RHP tends to cause them to land too closed. I have now changed the cue to "stride closed and land with the toe pointed to home plate keeping your shoulders closed" so there is no confusion.

        Comment


        • #5
          Simibaseball - What you are saying is pretty much what has been stressed to my son.

          Consistent, repeatable stride keeping foot (and hips) closed as long as possible, landing with toe pointed down power line. At landing, hips are open (facing home plate) but shoulders are still closed (facing 3rd), with scap loading. There are lots of other details, timing, etc., but this is easily seen in photos of the high cocked position.

          Having the stride foot land closed just seems to go against conventional wisdom and prevents maximum separation of hips and shoulders. Wouldn't this keep the torso/shoulders from fully rotating? Is there something I'm missing?

          Comment


          • #6
            closed

            Originally posted by Sammy View Post
            Simibaseball - What you are saying is pretty much what has been stressed to my son.

            Consistent, repeatable stride keeping foot (and hips) closed as long as possible, landing with toe pointed down power line. At landing, hips are open (facing home plate) but shoulders are still closed (facing 3rd), with scap loading. There are lots of other details, timing, etc., but this is easily seen in photos of the high cocked position.

            Having the stride foot land closed just seems to go against conventional wisdom and prevents maximum separation of hips and shoulders. Wouldn't this keep the torso/shoulders from fully rotating? Is there something I'm missing?
            Landing with an exaggerated "closed" glove foot will certainly make it very difficult to rotate his hips. If his hip rotation is inhibited, so will his shoulder rotation, and of course, his drive line velocity.

            It would seem that if he successfully executes that landing, he would have real trouble driving the pitching side of his body toward the plate. His momentum would not be carried thru rotating over his glove foot completely, and his left hip would tend to drive toward the first base on-deck side. It seems like he would have the feeling he is "tripping" over his left hip, and a balanced recovery would be difficult.

            Bob Gibson pitched with a type of a "closed" left foot landing. He fell horribly toward the first base side of the mound. In a TV interview he said his elbow hurt terribly and would swell up after every game. He said he could not even pick up a baseball the day after a start. His exceptional natural athleticism allowed dhim to excel despite poor mechanics.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Sammy View Post
              Simibaseball - What you are saying is pretty much what has been stressed to my son.

              Consistent, repeatable stride keeping foot (and hips) closed as long as possible, landing with toe pointed down power line. At landing, hips are open (facing home plate) but shoulders are still closed (facing 3rd), with scap loading. There are lots of other details, timing, etc., but this is easily seen in photos of the high cocked position.

              Having the stride foot land closed just seems to go against conventional wisdom and prevents maximum separation of hips and shoulders. Wouldn't this keep the torso/shoulders from fully rotating? Is there something I'm missing?
              That is not what Simi said. What he is saying the hips and shoulders stay closed until footplant. So you keep your stride foot and knee closed (pointed at 3rd for right handers) until your foot and knee open right at plant, triggering the hips and then shoulders to open. If you point your knee and foot at the target too soon, you then open your hips too soon.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Sammy View Post
                Freshman son's coach is instructing them to do two things that seem contrary to what I see MLB pitchers do - especially in the studies done by Chris O'Leary.

                First, he seems to be in favor of a "drop and drive" as opposed to more of a swing of the lead leg into foot plant. This would seem to open the hips sooner.

                He is also wanting a 45 degree angle front foot landing instead of having the toe pointed straight down the power line towards home plate, which seems really odd to me. He claims this helps prevent the arm from dragging. He also claims that if you open the hips too soon, you tend to loose power. I have heard nothing said about hip/shoulder separation/loading though.

                Should a 15 year old be learning now how to pitch with advanced MLB mechanics, or is there a "system" to gradually work their way up? We certainly didn't do this with hitting!

                Thoughts & comments?
                **my first thoughts with the swinging of the leg was as mentioned, the hips opening too soon, but also the arm lagging...you'd have to focus on really speeding it up! in addition, staying "closed" is going to prevent full rotation of the torso/shoulders, which would make finishing pitches difficult. I have a soph. that is BAD about throwing across his body...in his bullpen i noticed he was on the extreme 3rd base side of the rubber, i moved him to the center, and his stride hit the same place!! this time it was in the power line directly toward home!!!

                take a look at this link!!! listen to the cues he talks about. thats what I'd focus on. this towel drill is something i've used as a player and coach, and have yet to find a kid with poor mechanics be able to do it. usually because
                1. a pitcher that steps to a closed position and can't rotate his hips enough (if it's properly positioned) can't reach the towel.

                2. a pitcher that strides off the 'center line' or straight line to the plate cannot reach the towel.

                3. a pitcher who opens his front side too early can't reach the towel.

                4. a pitcher that does not control his glove hand (to his pec area generally speaking), cannot reach the towel

                you get a kid doing these things, the rest is just ironing things out!!!

                http://clubhousegas.com/archive_player_prog.asp?id=160
                Last edited by turnin2; 03-10-2008, 08:08 PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The direction in which the plant foot toe points at landing was my primary focus.

                  regionman - Good point about falling off towards 1B. I will look for that cue in some of the other pitchers IF they adopt those mechanics. Basically I'm telling my son to listen and learn - we'll separate the wheat from the chaff as we go. My theory is if he's producing results that please the coach, he won't try to "fix" anything.

                  To muddy the waters, they did the dreaded "fence drill" this evening in their first night of hitting! I thought that went out with throwing the knob to the ball...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks turnin2 - good video. The part about bringing the body to the arm instead of pulling back, or tucking, was interesting.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      All current coaches do “Anecdotal mechanical survey” (Noly did it that way so it must be right). WRONG and that a’int right! While this is OK for batting it is absolutely not the way to get out of the injury-laden hole that “Traditional pitchers” are in. Locking in your land foot puts tremendous stress on your Knee and hip joint just ask any X-MLB pitcher who is having post play problems with these Joints.

                      Try to land heal to toe on the Glove side of the drive line the way we are built to motor forward, then you can powerfully late rotate off that leg also.
                      Primum non nocere

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dirtberry View Post
                        All current coaches do “Anecdotal mechanical survey” (Noly did it that way so it must be right). WRONG and that a’int right! While this is OK for batting it is absolutely not the way to get out of the injury-laden hole that “Traditional pitchers” are in. Locking in your land foot puts tremendous stress on your Knee and hip joint just ask any X-MLB pitcher who is having post play problems with these Joints.

                        Try to land heal to toe on the Glove side of the drive line the way we are built to motor forward, then you can powerfully late rotate off that leg also.
                        Dirtberry, I don't think you know how trained traditional pitchers land.

                        Traditional pitchers are able to generate more energy from their stride which helps hip rotation and they use torsion from hip shoulder separation. Marshall pitchers leave the energy obtained from the stride and torsion out of their mechanics. They arm their throws which costs them velocity.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Dirt,

                          While deep in regression from my 25 lb wrist weight recoil cycle, I hit 85 mph on Monday. I am extremely happy with that, since out of regression I'll be anywhere from 5-10 mph faster.

                          What are your guys throwing? Is it "costing them any velocity"?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Fastball95,

                            As you know we came out of regression two months ago since we are only doing 120 days of Interval training program starting on October 1st and they all have their Velocity back and what great advances all of them have made. I know have 2 Senior pitching above the 90 mark and one Junior already there, this kid is a projected top 3 rounder.

                            The Senior lefty who has only been throwing 2 pitches all fall for his scout team was pitching in a winter league game last month and one of the scouts asked his catcher if he had a change-up and the catcher said he has 5 pitches but the coaches only want him to throw 2 so he told the pitcher to open up with all of his arsenal this inning because there was 12 area scouts and 4 X-checkers in the crowd. Well he opened up a can of worms and threw all of his pitches and was also clocked at 92 (I think he was throwing for the gun) and that one single night might have changed his draft chances, when he was in regression he was around 84. I wish these kids would only train like you guys but they all believe they have to pitch in scout ball, show cases, camps, winter and Fall leagues which is so detrimental to their training cycle.

                            The senior righty is 2-0 with 1 save in his teams first 5 games and threw a 2 hitter today.
                            He is touching 90 but is short in stature so he gets little respect from recruiters or scouts. He’ll get his soon.
                            Last edited by Dirtberry; 03-11-2008, 01:49 AM.
                            Primum non nocere

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              So - next question - IF the HS coach is teaching something that is generally agreed to be poor mechanics, how do you suggest him handling this in a PC and diplomatic way? Is it just "yes sir" and continue with what you know is correct? The HS season is not that long, but every poor repetition just adds to retention of a bad habit.

                              His hitting is generally superior to most of the freshmen, so we're far enough ahead of the curve with hitting that there will probably be no attempts to "correct" him. But I fear any gains in bettering his pitching mechanics may be jeopardized.

                              Comment

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