“It’s Getting Dangerous In Here!” says one pitching coach. First I want you to act like your pitching. Did you do it? Ok, do it again. Now on this throw I don’t want youto stabilize your front leg.
- Stabilizing your front leg and foot act as part of the fixed point for rotation of the hips and shoulders.
- Stabilizing your front foot allows for segmented rotation between the upper and lower body.
- Stabilizing your front foot allows the hips to effectively decelerate.
And we both realize the hips decelerate before the arm, right?
It’s true. I know there’s a few pitching camps out there that focus on the arm never crossing an imaginary mid-line created by the elves at Rice Krispies.
Never mind. I’ll save that one for a future post. Can’t give you everything today.
Anyways, let’s back track a minute.
Last year at Palooza15, myself, Scott Brown (Vanderbilt pitching coach) and Wes Johnson (Arkansas pitching coach) spilled our guts on how the lower-half worked.
We told everything we knew and also demonstrated the most effective way possible to utilize The Now Famous Core Velocity Belt.
And one of the highlights of the event came with a quote by Wes, when he said…
“Your results on the mound are a direct reflection of your kinetic chain.”
The kinetic chain is how energy is passed joint by joint through the body during your pitching delivery.
If even the smallest link in the chain breaks, you’re left starting over and stressing the hell out of your arm.
So, to quote Paul Nyman…
Everything Affects Everything.
And then Derek Johnson (Pitching Coach for the Milwaukee Brewers) steps up and describes why you should pay particular attention to the feet.
A pitcher will travel foot to foot.
Meaning: If you see a player’s front heel leave the ground at release, he must have pushed off from the ball of the back foot.
Game changer! So, true!
A beautiful example of how the body works together as a system.
How the body craves equal and opposite.
So, here’s how it all works and it’s important you know this.
#1: Never, ever train from one knee drills.
- One knee drills severely restrict the hips range of motion.
- One knee drills in-prison the arm and force you to push the ball.
- One knee drills force the pitcher to dominate momentum with the quad, by pushing from the ball of the foot.
And whenever you push from the ball of your foot, you’ve got no chance for rotation. The body’s not anatomically designed to work that way. It’s impossible.
- The hips must be separated from the rotation of the shoulders…
- Given time to stabilize and firm up to transfer energy to the upper body through rotation.
Basically, the hips rotate. Stop. And the shoulders pick up where they left off.
Is that easier to understand?
And whenever the hips are restricted from rotating, what do you think happens to the shoulders?
You’re right! They’re severely restricted as well.
So, being the body’s #1 goal is to protect itself, the body’s going to be forced to compensate by trying an alternative route to deceleration… Head bobbing.
Excessive trunk flexion is another way of saying it. (Add in the Snap-Crackle-Pop and it’s a fantastic way to scare the hell out of the body and make sure it never rotates or slows down the arm.)
I’ve talked too much…
Here watch this video and I want you to watch for Red Flags:
1. For the hips to rotate, it requires the front leg to be a stable post.
2. For the hips to rotate, you cannot push from the ball of the foot. (It’s why my pitchers NEVER ROCK BACK AND FORTH inside drill work… Killer!)
3. Watch how the one-knee position promotes all the wrong things you would never want to happen.
So, what should you do to replace one knee drills?
I’d start with the Finisher drill inside The Pitching Mechanics MasterMind System that was released back in 2011. Here’s one of those videos found inside the program released almost 5 years ago today.
Hopefully, it’s all making sense now.
* Secret:* Instead of using the one-knee drill… Start your pitchers in the “ready to throw” position seen in that video.
Much better than what you saw with the earlier videos before they made an adjustment to the program. This is what you want. Nice work!
One of the mistakes so many pitchers make even from this position is failing to rotate. Instead they spin. Which is the anti-thesis of rotation.
Over the next week, I’ll be releasing new insights into the lower body and detailing a lot of the common mistakes I see being made and how they can negatively affect you.
Like Ron said last week…. “Things are getting dangerous in here or maybe he said out there.”
Just so I don’t leave your elbow hanging…
Here’s the difference between rotating and spinning courtesy of The Pitching Mechanics MasterMind System.
While you’re here…
I’d highly recommend you reserve your seat now to the #1 coach’s clinic in the country, Pitch-a-Palooza… Created by Coaches for Coaches!
Trust what you FEEL!