Pitching Smart: Lead With Hips
September 21, 2012
How to Throw a Circle Change
October 5, 2012

I wanted to get this post out to you last week but we’ve both been slammed with work and a move/remodel. In any manner, to continue with the theme of pitching standards we need to discuss a common error among youth pitchers that once corrected has multiple benefits.

Last Wednesday evening my team practiced, and in the bull pen I was working with a strong kid, 16 years old, who has battled rough mechanics his whole career. Not because he hasn’t wanted to change things, but simply because he hasn’t had anyone really tackle pitching standards in his delivery before.

As he was throwing, I watched that as his front foot hit the ground his front side (glove arm) had opened up so much that he was exposing his chest to the catcher much too early. I stopped him and talked about the dangers of opening up too soon and then the benefits of keeping his shoulders closed off to the hitter longer in his delivery. Essentially here is what I explained this problem was costing him:

  • Loss of velocity as his arm needed to work harder to make up for the improper body
    mechanics.
  • Poor and or inconsistent accuracy since upon release of the baseball he was moving off to the left hand side of the mound (he’s right handed). This was causing his balance to be altered each and every pitch.
  • Loss of stamina since guys who have this mechanics flaw burn up far too much energy too soon and can’t throw deep into the game.
  • Increased risk of injury stemming from early opening of the body which puts undue pressure on the shoulder and elbow.

Once I explained these negatives, he was more than willing to modify his mechanics. Because he’s an athletic kid, we were able to solve a couple pieces to the mechanics puzzle in less than 15 minutes. Whether the tweak to the mechanics sticks until next workout depends on his work habit at home
.
For Dan and I these types of mechanics issues are easy to spot, mainly because we’ve been teaching athletes for a long time as well as studying Major League pitchers to see how they are getting the most out of their bodies during the pitching delivery.

But we understand that it’s not easy to spot some of these standards mistakes in your athlete at first. That’s why we promote watching a variety of YouTube clips to really learn what correct delayed shoulder rotation looks like. Then you can match what you see online with what you see in your athlete.

The strategy for solving the mechanics flaw is all about your technical knowledge and then most importantly how you communicate it to your athlete. We can teach you how to do this fully in a simple way in our pitching mechanics DVD. We understand that not everyone has a strong grasp of how to teach mechanical standards, so we filmed the DVD in a way that uses common language and modeling all the techniques needed to really impact your player. Spend a little time watching the DVD as well as building your understanding of what good pitching technique looks like and you’ll have all the ammunition you need to tackle the delayed shoulder rotation pitching standard and more.

 

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