A Common Mechanical Pitching FaultBy Bill Thurston,
Head Baseball Coach Amherst College
Coach Bill Thurston has been at Amherst College for 34 years and has won 70% of all games played (611 won 296 lost) as of this writing. Since 1990, he has served as pitching consultant for the American Sports Medicine Institute and since 1985, as the NCAA Baseball Rules Editor. He is a nationally known clinic speaker, and many of his instructional materials have been published and videotaped.His video, COMMON MECHANICAL PITCHING FAULTS is available at baseballtips.com for only $39.95 and is a must - own!
The fault of "flying open" occurs when upper body, shoulders and arms, open with the stride leg and front hip. This is a natural tendency biomechanically, but this actiondecreases rotational forces (angular velocity) and puts the motion out of sequence negatively effecting control and velocity plus creating unnecessary stress on the shoulder and arm muscles.
"Flying open" causes the arm to drag because the stronger & larger muscles of the legs, hips and trunk have already fired and are not available to create torque. Because of the lack of torque, most of the pitch velocity has to come from the shoulder and arm muscleswhich will cause early fatigue.
TECHNIQUES & DRILLS TO STAY CLOSED
1. Rocker-Pivot-Lift Drill.Get to a balanced posting position without swinging the foot or leg up. Make certain the pitcher closed up the front side but doesn't over-rotate.
2. Down & Out Stride Drill.(do not swing the leg or foot around and down) This technique will help keep the body aligned to the plate.
3. Lead with the Front Hip Bone.This technique helps alignment and generates lower body forces and for a longer and more powerful stride.
4. Stride Drill.for direction, landing flat footed on a stable base with the toes pointing inward slightly (10-15 degrees).
5. Hand Break & Lead Arm Action Drill.Use a flexed elbow as a rifle sight. This helps to keep the arms and shoulders aligned to the plate keeping the upper body closed.
6. Mirror & Abdominal DrillPerform the "down and out drill" and "stride drill" in front of a mirror. Concentrate on the lead elbow and shoulders staying aligned (closed) to the plate. Even though the front hip has opened upon stride foot plant, the lead elbow and front shoulder should stay aligned and closed.Learn to contract the abdominal muscles to keep upper body closed. A pitcher should consciously feel the abdominal tighten.
7. Cocked Position Drill.Remember that the natural tendency is for a pitcher's upper body to come open with the front hip and stride leg. "Staying closed" is a LEARNED, not a natural TRAIT, and must be understood and developed. Once a young pitcher masters this technique, you'll see improved control, more movement on the fast ball (due to torque), and an increase in pitch velocity.
Coach John Peter's Note:
Click the button above to go back to the web page or web site you were at before coming to this page
site is awarded the
In recognition of creativity, integrity and excellence on the Web.
The term "Little League" and the Little League logo are trademarks of Little League Baseball, Inc., Williamsport, Pa., extended only to local chartered leagues for purposes of identification and publicity
Copyright © 2000 Brookside Little League, Inc. All rights reserved
Brookside Little League, Inc.
Thank you , for visiting Brookside's Little League Web Site