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The #1 Flaw Seen With Most Pitchers’ Lower Body

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  1. Mark says:

    Great breakdown.. You just added the next level of knowledge to my understanding of the hips and how they factor in to hitting/throwing actions in sports.

    The key piece for me was the timing of the hip turn & the new for a dominant backside initiating things vs front side.

    • Lantz says:

      With a lot of kids, I believe their idea of “opening” is too only get the front hip open. By doing so, they open early and never create much of a load, if any, in the hip region. They really have no sense of loading/unloading the hips.

      Glad it helped, appreciate the comments.

      Lantz

  2. Kenny says:

    Great video to add to collection and for video explanation when working with our pitchers. Thanks

  3. Ron Wolforth says:

    Very good piece. Well done. AFA Trevor Bauer changing his ‘mechanics’ …you should e-mail or text him. He is altering his movement pattern because of a reoccurring groin injury not because of a performance limitation or constraint, and Trev realizes this he must solve or he won’t be able to perform at his best over a career. Keep up the good work…I like the way you are thinking and applying. Coach Wolforth

    • Lantz says:

      Thanks Ron, I appreciate your kind words. Isn’t altering a movement pattern, another way to say making a mechanical adjustment or change? 🙂 I agree with you about looking ahead and making changes now for the better tomorrow, I just questioned the timing. However, most pitchers don’t have the knowledge,desire to make those types of changes like the one Trevor is attempting, so attempting to make mechanical changes during a competitive cycle would only create a unique set of internal and external constraints. If anybody could do it, it’s going to be Bauer. Intent and desire, you have obviously rubbed off on him, extremely well done.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting,
      Lantz

  4. Connor says:

    I really liked the demonstration. I’m 17 years old and this is only my first year pitching I’m a converted catcher. I’m 6 foot 5 so I’m really focusing on improving my lower half to use everything I have in my body to improve my velocity. This really helped. Thanks

  5. Chris says:

    Great article, I have read it over and over. Very well put together. I would love to be able to send you a clip of my son to get your thoughts or a comparison to McCullers. Let me know , thanks!

  6. Wayne says:

    Good article – learned a lot! When I try to click on the link for the video you mention at the end of the post, it takes me to a password protected page. The “4 Pitching Drills …” video — how can I view this one?

    Thanks
    Wayne

    • Lantz says:

      Wayne,

      Originally I had given access to everyone but it was one of the videos that I felt I gave away too much. That portion of drills is included in my upcoming pitching program, Pitching With Feel and will be released at the end of the month. Wish I could be more help.

      Lantz

      • Zita Carno says:

        Lantz,
        This is exactly what I’ve been talking about all these years. “THE SECRET.” I learned this many moons ago from watching how the Yankees’ Big Three pitchers did it: they all so they could did the same thing. They were driving off the lower half of the body, using the legs, the hips and the torso in one continuous—and, it seemed to me, seamless—motion, creating a nonstop flow of energy all the way up through the shoulder and arm to the fingertips. This was how they were generating the power behind their pitches—even Eddie Lopat, who was not a fireballer—so they could throw harder and faster with less effort and in the process take a lot of pressure off said shoulder and arm. I watched, and I saw how they were doing this, and I made a note of it so I could work on this essential element of good mechanics on my own. As I practiced this I found that I was doing the same thing they were, and being an honest-to-gosh sidearmer (yup, one of those exasperating, infuriating creatures) I got more snap and sizzle into my delivery. Add the crossfire, which I had absolutely fallen in love with, and—you should have heard the batters scream blue murder and just about the whole compendium of felonies because they couldn’t hit me for sour apples! Yes indeed, Lantz, you have hit on a key component of “THE SECRET”—getting the lower body involved.
        A good place to start is the “Hershiser” drill, which aims at getting the hips into the action. You have pointed this out very well. I wish more pitchers would learn and practice this. Keep up the good work.

        • Zita Carno says:

          Lantz—take a look at Phil Rosengren’s analysis of Masahiro Tanaka’s pitching motion and you’ll notice just how he uses his lower body, focusing on the hips and getting them moving. I saw that video, and it occurred to me that someone must have been spreading information about “The Secret”—because that’s exactly what comes into play. Same thing.

  7. Tom Cahill says:

    Lantz :
    I think that you are right on the $ regarding the back hip. Kids who “leak”
    their front side are losing most of their power. I have noticed that we coaches
    tend to pay too much attention to the front shoulder opening prematurely
    when, I feel, that it’s the front hip “leaking” that leads to the front shoulder
    opening too soon. Kids either don’t know how to use their lower 1/2 properly
    or they lack the strength in their lower 1/2 and, as a result try to muscle the
    ball with their upper 1/2 in order to generate velocity.

    • Lantz says:

      Tom,

      I would totally 100% agree. Its the center part of the body that controls just about everything in the delivery. More times than not, when you see something up top, it was caused by something below.

      Nice point and thanks for commenting.

      Lantz

  8. Nick says:

    Hey lantz, really liked this post! I’m actually a college pitcher and I struggle with opening my front foot and hip very early. I’m a big body 6’7 220 should I be trying to get lower as I stride to help keep closed? What do you think would help?

  9. francois.cg@gmail.com says:

    Hey Coach Lantz, Thank you for this article. I was looking for something to send to my son’s coaches to help them understand this. My son has been improving this for a little over a month and the results are amazing(+5 mph immediately with improved command). I’m trying to actually get coaches to help him improve his greatest performance inhibitor rather than focusing on what they accidentally regurgitate to all their students. Thanks again!

    • Sure thing….it’s why the Core Velocity Belt has been super effective. Thanks for commenting.

    • Don Ervin says:

      Lantz, you have a great informative site.
      To keep from opening up the front side too early keep in mind/remember that the body movement from the rubber to stride foot touch/plant down is/should be a sideways body movement with the hips leading the way, not the stride foot leading the way, as is the habit of the majority of those who attempt to throw/pitch from a rubber atop of a {10} inch mound, major league pitchers included.
      Great base ball-N-
      Don Ervin
      ame392002@yahoo.com

  10. Aaron says:

    When do you recommend kids start working with your belt. I love this article and the suggestions therein. I also think the belt could be a great addition for kids at a certain age. I would be curious as to your thoughts as to the right age. Thanks.

    • Not really a ‘right’ age… There’s so many different things you can do with The Belt to heighten awareness of the hips. Sorry, I guess I didn’t answer your question did I?

  11. Mike Richards says:

    Lantz

    This article should be in Cooperstown.

    Great work

    Mike Richards

  12. Don Ervin says:

    Lantz,
    As usual you have sent out another very excellent and informative article with video clips.
    Don Ervin

    Nick,
    It has always been my understanding based on my numerous years of experience that if one wants to successfully learn something one must first acquire a basic understanding and knowledge of what one is attempting to learn, the basic understanding of one’s body’s pitching movement from the rubber to one’s stride foot touch, plant down is that one’s body movement is/should be a closed/ side way’s movement, which means that at the first forward body/hip/core movement from the rubber the eyes are on target, the front hip, {not the stride foot and leg} should first lead the way and travel app. {12} photo/video frames while being trailed/tracked by the shoulders, then followed by the stride foot and ankle bone/knob which are all aimed and should then travel in a straight line towards the target/catchers mitt, there should be no body opening/rotation until a split second prior to stride foot touch/plant down. Draw a straight app. ten foot line from your pitching spot at the rubber towards your target/catchers mitt then practice standing and striding side ways straight down that line to acquire the side ways feel, stand side ways on the line in your normal stride length which should be app. your body height and rock forward and back, pull your foot back to shoulder width then slide it back to normal stride length several times to get the feel of moving side ways, have your movements taped for viewing, hope my comments are helpful to you.
    Don Ervin
    dfervin32@yahoo.com

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