Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

High Cock Drill vs. Equal Opposite Drill

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • High Cock Drill vs. Equal Opposite Drill

    During the brief period that my son was working with an academy coach, he learned to do the high cock drill, which is discussed here:

    http://www.thecompletepitcher.com/pi..._drills.htm#q3

    He did well when he started from that position. The coach had all of the kids practice that.

    But I have noticed that most kids I'm coaching have problems before the high cock position. Essentially, they never reach the high-cock position. As far as I can tell, they turn their wrists after separation. So their knuckles do not face the sky. Some also seem to resist bending of the elbow.

    So we've really focused on the equal opposite drill where we start at that point and focus on getting the arm into the high cock position. My pitchers who do reach the high cock position have really improved their accuracy by doing the equal opposite drill. And those who aren't reaching the high cock position are beginning to learn how to do so.

    In your experience, is this the area where most young pitchers have the most issues? And do you feel that the equal opposite drill is the most important for young pitchers?

    And should I be telling kids to bend the elbow and rotate the arm to reach high cock? That seemed to work with one kid yesterday.

    Of course, there are other areas that need attention. Many kids do not bring their chests forward to the glove/knees. Most are under-striding. And nobody seems to have any balance at the follow through stage.

  • #2
    I've always taught Opposite/Equal, from "The Art and Science of Pitching" from NPA.
    I find that this helps promote more use of the body. For the younger kids who don't quite understand opposite/equal I try to use the terms "down, out and up" for the throwing arm.
    I think that when pitchers focus on the high cock position it leads to more "armsy" throws and less use of the body (does "armsy" make sense?).

    You're coaching 9u right? At this age I would work "down, out and up' and promote follow through after the throw. Many times at this age, the players (position players included) tend to stop their arms after release and not let it follow through. This is harmful to the arm in my opinion.

    Comment


    • #3
      “During the brief period that my son was working with an academy coach, he learned to do the high cock drill, which is discussed here”
      While much better than the “low cock” position that has your hand on top of the ball at glove side foot strike because it gets you Humerus outwardly rotated the first 90 degrees early, eliminating much of the UCL stress, this position leads to forearm loop and grabbing closer to the head at mid forearm humeral transition phase that causes inner shoulder injuries like Labrum tears because when the pitcher starts to accelerate with the Humerus staying low, the forearm whips around in a loop pushing the head of the humerus forwards into the glenoid fossa and hard against the anterior Labrum ( front side), then when the loop finishes forwards the head of the humerus slides back to the posterior side (back side) of the glenoid fossa like a mortar and pestle tearing away at the back of the Labrum. This action also leads to a loose shoulder capsule by stretching the glenoid Ligaments, this instability causes dead arm and loss of velocity.

      Better to pendulum swing down then back then up (glove and ball simultaneously) equal and oppositely with the humerus in line with the shoulders at all times thumb up (supinating) with only a slight bend in the elbow (forearm straight back) attaining driveline height (ball top of head high) when your glove foot touches down. Now you immediately turn your elbow up while keeping you humerus in line with your shoulders and forearm still laid back. This gives you the longest possible ball driveline and the safest position from which to ballistically force the ball.

      Heinekenman,

      ”But I have noticed that most kids I'm coaching have problems before the high cock position.”
      Have them practice the pendulum swing drill with the accentuated elbow turn up while at the back.

      “Essentially, they never reach the high-cock position. As far as I can tell, they turn their wrists after separation. So their knuckles do not face the sky. Some also seem to resist bending of the elbow”
      Some may be doing it wrong (high cock) that means they may be doing it right straight back ?

      ”So we've really focused on the equal opposite drill where we start at that point and focus on getting the arm into the high cock position. My pitchers who do reach the high cock position have really improved their accuracy by doing the equal opposite drill. And those who aren't reaching the high cock position are beginning to learn how to do so”
      It’s amazing how you can get results to anywhere you want with enough time and practice depending on a particular kids motor learning proficiency even if it is injurious !

      In your experience, is this the area where most young pitchers have the most issues?
      Yes, Humeral/forearm transition once set in because when they were first learning to throw dads let them do whatever they start doing naturally without concern that it would effect how they should be doing it much later. Proprioceptive awareness (muscle memory) is hard set at very young ages and very difficult to change but can be done, reversion is the next difficult issue.

      “And do you feel that the equal opposite drill is the most important for young pitchers?”
      No, every drill along the phases is just as important as the rest, injuries occur all along the kinetic chain especially with the mechanics that are taught today.

      And should I be telling kids to bend the elbow and rotate the arm to reach high cock?
      Absolutely not !!!
      Only if you are willing to accept the injuries I have described and be OK with it ?

      ”Of course, there are other areas that need attention. Many kids do not bring their chests forward to the glove/knees”
      Oh great? Another useless mechanic that degrades the lower back.
      Have you seen how many MLB pitchers that have gone down this year because of this mal-mechanic?

      Have your pitchers stay tall and rotate by driving their ball side leg through attaining the classic drop step position at recovery, then they will not be susceptible to back problems and taking a hard dose from Bubba that can actually kill one of them because their ball side leg stays back.

      “Most are under-striding.”
      This is intuitive and correct! Just have them rotate 180 degrees.
      This is even changing at the MLB level with more and more of them understanding that the longer the stride the less momentum they can use.

      “And nobody seems to have any balance at the follow through stage.”
      This is because they are learning the traditional pitching motion that has them recover by bending at the back, lifting the back side leg up, and finishing their arm hard across the chest, all at the same time the ball is contacted, very harmful even if the ball is not contacted hard.

      Do no harm !!!!
      Primum non nocere

      Comment


      • #4
        Jbolt__2000,

        “Many times at this age, the players tend to stop their arms after release and not let it follow through. This is harmful to the arm in my opinion.”
        It’s the opposite with pitchers J. Players have the natural ability to rotate further alleviating some of these effects.

        When a traditionally trained pitcher recovers his arm, because the ball side leg stays back the arm whips around and across the now flexed ball side pectoralis major and levers the head of the Humerus away from the glenoid cavity (separation) causing LL shoulder where the very large proximal (shoulder end) Humeral growth plate is often cracked.
        It also causes deceleration injuries to the rotator cuff (terres minor).

        Try this….. put you ball side humerus against your chest with your hand on the opposite side lower ribs where traditional pitchers hard flop their arms. Now push the ball side elbow towards your belly button and keep an eye on the ball side humeral head. You will notice it start to lever outwards away from it’s glenoid cavity, this also causes loose ligaments within the glenoid cavity.
        This is all alleviated by rotating the shoulders (hips and legs) 180 degrees at recovery instead of the way it is taught today by leaving the ball side leg back.
        Primum non nocere

        Comment


        • #5
          Every time I read one of Dirtberry's pitching posts, I feel like drinking whiskey. Some of that stuff is too technical for me. But let me try to put one part into my words, and we'll see whether I'm getting the correct info.

          You are seeing that, after the arms do their pendulum swing, the ball arm should extend back with the ball facing third base rather than facing straight down. Is that part correct?

          Then, my understanding is that bending of the elbow at equal/opposite also jams the arm into the shoulder and puts strain as the arm rises with that pressure coming into the joint. Is that correct?

          If I'm batting 2-for-2 at this point, I'm going to go for another. You are saying that the whole ball arm should come up and only THEN should the arm bend at the elbow. This way, the arm rises without the pounding on the shoulder. Is that correct?

          I think most kids on my 10U team under-stride, but I get what you're saying. I had my son striding too far out during some practice time, and he lost power. But I have some kids who just take a soft step like they're batting.

          You lost me on the back stuff. I don't understand this drop step sort of thing. But I have watched Verlander, and I'm shocked by his follow through. It seems not bending will cause more strain on his back. I'm not saying that you're wrong. I just don't understand. But I did notice Verlander and had wondered about it.

          Comment


          • #6
            I have one pitcher who finishes with his ball-side leg way out in front of his glove-side leg. He's not facing home plate. He's facing somewhere about 20 feet down the first base line.

            Comment


            • #7
              DB, I'm checking out a lot of stuff now. I think I get it. The elbow is supposed to pull up the arm at separation. During the same movement, you rotate the arm to show the ball to third base. Once the elbow has reached its proper height for this thing everyone is calling driveline, the arm then begins to come forward with the forearm continuing to rotate.

              Comment


              • #8
                HM,
                I too was just as confused in the beginning reading DB's stuff (and other Marshall gents). I'd suggest googling each term and look at the actual parts of the body he's referencing. At first it is overwhelming. Once you look at the parts though you'll realize he's giving you a lot more detail and it helps you understand it a lot more.

                Feel free to msg me if you'd like. Our kids are the same age and going through some of the same trials and tribulations. I've got tons of video we've worked through learning different mechanics. Spending time with your kid learning all this stuff is half the fun! BTW, VIDEO IS CRITICAL! It allows you to break everything down and not only see every detail for yourself, but also show your son.

                Comment


                • #9
                  LOL. Yes, I was just on some site looking at the anatomy of the shoulder joint. I'm probably more confused now than ever. From what I understand, the drill I am calling Equal-Opposite is Tom House's Flex T Drill. The only problem is that I have the "knuckles to the sky" thing going on. And I need to have them turning the forearm to show the ball to third base, I think. Not sure on that part. I read that I was supposed to let the elbow pull the ball up to the high cock position. Then I just read that is called the inverted L and that it's a major no-no and that I want this so-called T position. Oddly enough, I'm not getting these letters when I look at the arm. So that's not making it any easier.

                  This definitely is fun. With my kid, I'm fine with tearing his arm to shreds. But other people are entrusting me with their children, and I want to make sure that I'm not destroying their chances of pitching beyond age 15.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Heinekinman,

                    “Every time I read one of Dirtberry's pitching posts, I feel like drinking whiskey”
                    I used to feel the same way before I learned these tenets!!
                    Every time one of my clients would go down and many under the knife when I taught the traditional pitching motion and thought there has to be a better way.
                    As I have made these changes and seen it work to my amazement I now feel like passing the bottle over to the NPA, ASMI and all the rest.

                    “Some of that stuff is too technical for me”
                    No it’s not Heine !! Just ask any question you do not understand and I will answer it for you in both scientific and yard terms, no skin off here.

                    “let me try to put one part into my words, and we'll see whether I'm getting the correct info"
                    At a boy Heine!! Most people run for the hills and are not curious, they think as they are told, that there are only so many bullets in the arm so who cares we’ll take that risk and run with it. My boy is tough

                    “You are seeing that, after the arms do their pendulum swing, the ball arm should extend back with the ball facing third base rather than facing straight down. Is that part correct?”
                    You are correct ! So you understand pendulum swing?
                    This is a supinated arrival where the humerus is turning with the forearm and hand so the thumb is up. This puts you very close to the best position with the hand actually under the ball but if your boy does the full version he will be ridiculed as a “pie thrower” so half way is OK as long he keeps turning his humerus outwardly where the elbow turns up at the back before he starts forwards.

                    “Then, my understanding is that bending of the elbow at equal/opposite also jams the arm into the shoulder” and puts strain as the arm rises with that pressure coming into the joint. Is that correct?”
                    Remember these actions do not cause injury within this immediate mechanic !
                    Early pendulum swing will be a gateway for how you the apply ballistic force and this is where you get hurt. If you are to late (hand on top, forearm down at ball side foot strike) or to early (high cock, goal post, high guard, position at ball side foot strike) the mechanic becomes an injurious gateway during the acceleration phase and recovery phase.

                    ”f I'm batting 2-for-2 at this point, I'm going to go for another”
                    If you go ofer, keep bringing it.

                    “You are saying that the whole ball arm should come up and only THEN should the arm bend at the elbow. This way, the arm rises without the pounding on the shoulder. Is that correct?”
                    Some what, the arm should swing back with a slight bend smoothly rising, we don’t want any more contractions than necessary at this point “we must relax” and you should attain driveline height and turn the arm continuously with out ant stops. Again no injury here, it’s when you turn the (finish transition) corner the bad forces start.

                    “ had my son striding too far out during some practice time, and he lost power”
                    This is one of the most miss-understood parts of the traditional delivery, the legs do not cause any velocity unless they are still driving forwards during the balls actual forwards movement and this can only be done if both legs are used. If you are doing the traditional long splits stride you are not even using the large muscles in your legs and the center of body mass remains at the back of the front leg, not very efficient. This is why a crow hopper walking forwards can attain 5% more velocity.

                    “But I have some kids who just take a soft step like they're batting”
                    This may be to short, have them stride the length that they power walk.

                    “You lost me on the back stuff.”
                    What part? When I said bending the back injures the Lumbar vertebrae?

                    “don't understand this drop step sort of thing”
                    The drop step is a classic athletic position performed by many athletes when defending first moves or starting initial powerful starts. It is where one foot is ahead of the other with the body either in line with the feet or laterally positioned think sprinters position or flanker starting position.
                    With pitching finish recovery the feet will be apart and inline with the field driveline (the imaginary line that runs from second to home through the pitchers plate) with the ball side leg forwards.

                    “But I have watched Verlander, and I'm shocked by his follow through”
                    Don’t be ! These guys are changing right before our eyes for the better!! They are staying taller, throwing more pronated pitches and rotating further. They are also getting their humerus’s outwardly turned earlier like JV.

                    “It seems not bending will cause more strain on his back.”
                    Not if you add in the body rotation and get their arms higher.
                    Primum non nocere

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If you try to teach this stuff, in depth, to a whole team... you've got your work cut out for you. I have no desire to spend the time with other kids that I do with my own! I'd just start with equal/opposite and pendulum swinging glove and pitching hand in sync. Have them do it over and over again without pitching. Make sure they understand it. That's the first step. Kudos to you if you have the patience to work with a whole team!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        DB, Thanks a bunch. I understand a lot more now than I ever did a few hours ago. I know about the pendulum swing, and I knew the idea of equal and opposite. This is the first I've learned about this driveline business with the elbows reaching only the same height as the shoulders. It makes good sense. I believe I was teaching relatively solid mechanics yesterday. I'll make sure to have them turn their arms to have the thumbs up.

                        I should note that my own boy's major problem continues to be a refusal to bend his elbow to 90 degrees. Frankly, there are times when it's 140 degrees. And he was throwing the ball all over the place. Once he began to use the Flex T drill, he started to throw with unbelievable speed and accuracy. Some of the other coaches commented on it. He doesn't have any problems throwing in the field. It's only when he pitches. I think I will focus with him on understanding the Flex T position.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I don't think it has to be exactly 90 degrees. 100-110 is fine too.

                          but 140 is too much since he is basically straight arming the ball not allowing for enough elbow range of motion.
                          I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dominik View Post
                            I don't think it has to be exactly 90 degrees. 100-110 is fine too.

                            but 140 is too much since he is basically straight arming the ball not allowing for enough elbow range of motion.
                            I agree. I'm just excited to know what I'm doing now. Throwing mechanics have been my weakness from the start.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dominik View Post
                              I don't think it has to be exactly 90 degrees. 100-110 is fine too.

                              but 140 is too much since he is basically straight arming the ball not allowing for enough elbow range of motion.
                              Anything over 90 puts major stress on the elbow and shoulder.
                              efastball.com - hitting and pitching fact checker

                              Comment

                              Ad Widget

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X