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Pitching Mechanics - Back Foot

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  • Pitching Mechanics - Back Foot

    Should my back foot be on the ground at release?
    Or should it be like Justin Verlanders? (comes off entirely)

  • #2
    Originally posted by justin97 View Post
    Should my back foot be on the ground at release?
    Or should it be like Justin Verlanders? (comes off entirely)
    Hi Justin,

    I'll respond with a question. What causes (insert pitcher's name here)'s back foot to come off the ground?

    In my limited rec league experience, I have never told one of my pitchers, "Your back foot needs to come off the ground at release."

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    • #3
      Wouldn't taking weight off of the back leg make the back leg come up?
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbVQc2gYjFQ

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      • #4
        Justin97,

        “Should my back foot be on the ground at release?”
        This depends on what you are trying to attain in your mechanics, both ways work.

        Many high level pitchers in the past performed with their ball arm side foot still against the pitchers plate just before and at release. The problem is these pitchers perturbed their bodies rotation during ball drive and with the traditional pitching motion this rotational length is already short because of the length of their strides that do not allow them to maintain forwards body mass through ball drive. This mechanic throws the arm down and across the chest (pectoralis major primarily driven) causing deceleration injuries and exacerbates back bend that causes lower back injuries. If you prefer this go for it.

        “Or should it be like Justin Verlanders? (comes off entirely)”
        Modern traditionally oriented pitchers like Verlander are learning that it is OK to stay taller and rotate further during ball drive. This will have their leg come off the pitchers plate faster and earlier alleviating some mall stress at recovery by ending up180 rotated with both feet closer to being on the ground when contact is made, making it much more safe to defend against come backers.
        This taller and rotationally lengthier mechanic allows you to pronate all your pitches better if indeed you are trying to do this and you should because pronating all your pitches will relieve elbow mal-stress.

        Good luck.
        Primum non nocere

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        • #5
          Hi Justin,

          The back foot leaves the ground because of follow through. The back foot could leave the ground and because the pitcher did any number of things improperly the ball could wind up in the dirt before home plate or 3 feet above the catcher into the back stop.

          I don't know how old you are, but I'm going to act as if you played on one of my teams and you are around 12. You are average build for a 12 year old and appear to be in good physical health.

          Start from the beginning...
          - Do you have good core strength? Are you physically in shape? Do you eat well and drink plenty of water? Do you get plenty of rest and sleep? Do you fill your body with sugar and caffeine? (I hope not. Most 'energy' drinks are detrimental to producing the kind of energy your body really needs).

          Pitching mechanics...
          Do you start with a good four seam grip?
          When you come set in the stretch are you relaxed and focused? Do you have a good athletic posture?
          When you draw up your front leg, do you maintain balance? Are you strong and tall? A simple drill and test is to stand in front of the mirror and bring your front leg up. Can you count to 3 Mississippi and maintain your balance?
          As you begin the stride forward and the hand break down do you maintain equal and opposite balance? Does your head stay up?
          As you come to the "power position" are you maintaining balance? Does your throwing hand reach a comfortable "L" behind your head with the ball facing the same basic direction as your chest?
          As the stride continues does your body rotate to bring your chest to the batter? Does your head remain high and focused on the catcher's mitt? Does your upper body lead the way to the catcher and then 'ride'
          the ball to target? Does your throwing hand follow-through, out and away from your body? In other words, you don't pull up and abbreviate your throwing motion.
          Is your stride straight towards home? Is it long and strong?
          Does your the follow through bring your back leg with it?
          Can your restore your balance after your throw to prepare to field the position?
          Last edited by JCincy; 06-03-2012, 05:45 PM.

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          • #6
            I can't remember now who posted this first, but here is something to look at.
            efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

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            • #7
              My 12 year old was not used to a tall mound at the begining of the season and would take a short stride when he pitched. Consequently he was more erect when he pitched. He threw strikes but his velocity was nothing to talk about. When we taught him to take a longer stride using crow hops as a teach (not crow steps), there was a very noticeable gain in his velocity and movement. The emphasis was on using his legs and hips to throw and it works. He does not think about his back foot except to push off the rubber; just like when he is hits, he does not think about what his back foot is doing.
              Last edited by Baseball gLove; 06-04-2012, 10:46 PM.

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