This past weekend I went to the ball park to watch some pitchers I have worked with during the off season. I sat next to a parent during the game and we spent some time looking at the mechanics of a couple of the guys who got to pitch. For the most part their mechanics were stable and consistent, though the first boy had a tough time finding the strike zone. He was missing up in the zone quite a bit. Obviously, this is not good since hitters generally love the ball up. His problem was pretty easy to spot; therefore if you’ve got an athlete who is having a tough time locating down in the strike zone, look for the following:
1. Stride length. The pitcher I was referring to above was pretty short in his stride towards home plate. This caused him to get out over his front foot much too quickly and finish very high. Because of this, the ball was up in the strike zone.
We’ve written quite a bit about stride length and how to get a good long stride, but you’ll need to be careful how you teach your pitchers how to stride. Leading with the hips is a must in order to generate good momentum and a healthy stride. This part of the pitching motion is crucial, therefore make sure you know what to look for and that you’re teaching it correctly. To help with that, we’ve got over an hour and a half of pitching mechanics packed into our Pitching Mechanics DVD that will walk you through how to teach the mechanics above to your athlete.
If you’re not familiar with what to look for, the DVDwill help with that. To spot mechanical flaws in your athlete however, pick up a hand held video camera that has got 60 frames per second recording and slow motion playback. Kodak Zi8 is a good one. This will help you and your athlete study mechanics in an easier way.