Often times baseball players get caught up in perfection. It makes it difficult to enjoy the game and perform at your best when you try to be perfect. I know at times I get into great depth about how to throw the baseball with proper pitching mechanics; for good reason. But sometimes we forget to simplify a process in our mechanics that can make a significant difference in our overall performance on the mound.
If I were to pick one mechanical weakness, that can correct several other mechanical flaws and simplify pitching, it would be to keep your head over your center of gravity (belly button) while heading toward home plate. Most pitchers know that this is mechanically correct, yet many overlook the importance of it I think because of its simplicity.
This is what I mean: Right after your leg lift you begin weight transfer toward your target. keep your head over your belly button all of the way to foot strike. Foot strike is simply when your landing leg hit (or strikes) the ground.
After working with thousands of pitchers over the years, I have seen this one mechanical change help many pitchers throw harder with more accuracy. Their timing becomes better and they learn to “feel” how to pitch because their entire body is moving toward the plate not to one side or the other.
when a pitcher keeps his weight back, toward second base, they are really losing a ton of power. When teaching the principal of “head over bellybutton” I often say to my pitchers “go with the pitch” in other words don’t hold anything back. Keep your energy going toward home plate.
We also have other pitchers who have similar mechanical (balance) issues and lean forward when they pitch. I call these pitchers “leaners.” This is when a pitcher leads with his shoulder, not his hip, and he drops his shoulder keeping his head IN FRONT OF his center of gravity. When this happens it is very difficult to throw strikes, either the ball is too high or too low because it messes, not only with timing of release, it can throw off the pitchers natural arm slot.
Also take a look at how Nolan Ryan keeps his head over his center of gravity (belly button) by clicking here!