Another quick story for you…

And pay attention because there’s a lesson here and it can be absolute death for you if you’re a pitcher.

So we’re on our way to church yesterday, and my daughter’s behind me in her car seat reading one of her giant animal encyclopedia books.

We’re cruising along and she’s telling us about different kinds of frogs (boggles my mind how much amphibian knowledge she can store in that little head of hers)… and then we come to a stop sign.

I was maybe a little heavy on the brakes. I hear a THUNK behind me.

“Aaah, my book!”

The force of the car stopping had caused it to slide out of her grip and onto the floor.

“Well, that’s inertia for you,” I say with a smile…

My wife just gives me a look like, “you’re an idiot, she’s four.”

So my daughter asks me, “What’s In-Err-Shuh?”

I realize I’m gonna have a tough time with this… how do you explain physics to a 4 year old?

“Well, sweetie… see, a body in motion wants to stay in motion…”

We go back and forth as she questions and I try to explain… I quickly realize my wife is right, I am an idiot.

Then my wife talks about how when you spin a wheel on a bike, how it keeps going until something slows it down. I think my little girl started to get it, and we eventually drop it and move on.

But it reminded me of a lesson I learned from an early pitching mentor, Bill Thurston.

I remember sitting with him in his office up at Amherst College, and he told me about one of his favorite analogies for explaining the pitching motion to young pitchers.

I still use this one all the time with new pitchers…It goes like this:

Imagine you’re pedaling along on your bike… you build up a full head of steam…

You’re pedaling, pedaling, pedaling… that bike is really moving now…

Now imagine what would happen if you slammed on the front brake?

Answer… the back tire comes up and you go flying over the handlebars. Newton’s first law once again…

Well, the same thing is happening in your pitching motion. You want to build up power in your stride (get your body moving towards home plate)…

But then you need to be strong with your landing leg so you can send all the power up into your trunk and throwing arm.

You want everything to catapult powerfully over and around that front leg.

Mess this part up by being soft or wobbly with that front leg and it will destroy both command and velocity…

It’s why the Ballistic Pitching Blueprint includes a slew of drills that specifically target front foot stability and powerful weight shift.

That’s lesson # 1 here if you’re a pitcher. Don’t ignore your lower half mobility and stability…

But there’s another way that INERTIA can wreck your pitching dreams… and this one is more deadly because you don’t even realize it’s happening.

The first part of Newton’s first law states that an object in motion tends to stay in motion…

Remember that second part?

An object at rest tends to stay at rest…

That’s the dark side of inertia… Once you stop moving in the direction of your dreams it’s easy to get offtrack… You lose that positive momentum.

The off-season is long… but believe me, next season will be here before you know it. What are you doing today that’s going to take you a step closer to your dreams? Keep it going…

Okay, that’s all for now, thanks for reading this far. And if you’ve gotten this far, maybe you could do one more thing. Drop a comment below and let me know what you’ve got questions about. I love hearing from you.

 

One of the biggest mechanical issues I see with young pitchers (and really you see this with some guys at the college and pro level too) is the problem of a sloppy glove arm.

I’ve written about the importance of good glove arm action before and the idea of maintaining the glove-arm/throwing arm connection. And understanding and addressing this mechanical flaw is absolutely critical if you want to maximize power and efficiency in your delivery while reducing the strain on your pitching elbow.

Pitching-Mechanical-Flaws

One of the things I’m most excited about with the NEW Ballistic Pitching Blueprint is the addition of a completely new video component I call the Flaws & Fixes section.

When version 1.0 first rolled out, I was up to my neck in motion analysis requests. And based on the past year-plus of work analyzing those videos, I’ve become very familiar with how to recognize and address the most common mechanical flaws among amateur (and even pro) pitchers.

So with the BPB version 2.0 I wanted to really help YOU to do the same thing. Once you know what to look for, you can then start to build a plan for making the necessary adjustments to help develop a more powerful, dynamic pitching delivery.

And in the Flaws & Fixes section, I break down each of these Big Mechanical Flaws and show you EXACTLY what drills are best for addressing them…

And perhaps more importantly, WHERE you want to place the emphasis with the drill to get the desired result!

So back to that glove arm action… Here’s an excerpt from one of the new videos in the program. This is just a taste of what you can expect in the new Ballistic Pitching Blueprint.

 
 
 

If you’re ready to start taking control of your pitching future, or if you’re looking to make sure your son or the pitchers you coach reach their full pitching potential, you need to check out this updated system: Ballistic Pitching Blueprint 2.0
 

[h4]Click below to download your free Ultimate Guide to High-Velocity Pitching Mechanics[/h4]

I’ve talked before about how when it comes to throwing strikes, one of things that can get you into trouble is thinking too much about your mechanics (for more on that read this article).

But today I’m going to contradict myself a little (it’s never black and white, after all), and talk about an easy mechanical tweak that can often get a pitcher right back on track.

[h5]An Easy Mechanical Adjustment for Improving Control[/h5]  
One of the things I like to do when I work with young pitchers is spend some time catching them in their bullpen sessions. I know, you don’t see everything going on in the delivery when you’re doing this… so I also try to spend time watching guys from the side and behind (and this is where video is a big help).

But catching allows me to see the ball out of their hand, see what the batter would see. I also get a feel for how their ball is moving and how their mechanics look different on a ball vs. a strike.

And after countless hours and zillions of pitches caught, I can often tell if it’s going to be a ball or strike before it even leaves their hand. I haven’t documented it, but I’m sure there are plenty of other coaches and catchers who experience the same thing.

Blink-Malcolm-Gladwell

And it’s not always the case of recognizing anything specific in the mechanics. Sometimes it’s just a sort of right-brained, synthesis sort of thing, along the the lines of what Malcom Gladwell talks about in his book Blink.

In it he examines Vic Braden, a legendary tennis coach who could predict with near 100% accuracy whether a player would double fault on a serve before the ball even hit the racket… without even knowing how he was doing it.

 
But other times, you do spot something mechanically… and one thing I can spot pretty quickly is when a pitcher is about to miss high and to his arm side.

You can see it happening in his stride before he even touches down with his front foot. Whoops… There goes the front side… There goes the glove arm… There goes the ball sailing over my head.

And a lot of times, when a pitcher misses high, they’ll say things like “I need to work on my release point.” Well good luck with that… do you realize how fast the arm actually moves when you’re pitching?

So if you want to get out to a good release point, don’t always focus on the throwing arm… instead, you’ll be a lot better off if you look to your glove side.

See, when the glove arm gets sloppy or too aggressive and pulls away from your body, things get out of sync. You end up with early trunk rotation and your throwing arm will tend to drag. What do you think this does to your release point?

Bottom line, when accuracy matters, your glove arm matters. Think accuracy matters to any of these guys?

throwing-mechanics-glove-arm
 
And I’m not talking about blocking yourself off with your glove, or bringing your chest to your glove… we still want to have powerful trunk rotation (read this article for more on Good Glove Arm Action).
 

Notice Cliff Lee here, staying closed and controlling the glove arm, but still getting through it with good trunk rotation (not blocking himself off with the glove).

And the good news is this is usually a pretty easy fix. After a pitcher flies open and misses high to his arm side, sometimes it’s just as simple as a gentle reminder:

“Hey, remember, stay closed…” (point to the front arm)

And if it’s something he’s worked on before and he knows what staying closed feels like, he can usually make the adjustment on the very next pitch. And boom, he’s back down in the zone. I’ve seen it work again and again… Now is it fool proof? Of course not.

If a pitcher doesn’t have a good feel for staying closed it’s another story…

One of the best drills I’ve found for working on this is what I call Torque & Turns. And basically it helps work on good glove arm action and trunk rotation. Just make sure you’re not pulling that glove arm out or leaning way over to to the side.

So again, it’s not always about mechanics. But instead of thinking about your release point, the next time you’re missing high… Look to your front side.
[hr] Side note for coaches and parents: I want to address a great comment a reader made to my last post. And the basic jist was to save the coaching for after the game – let the kids play. And shouting out mechanical cues and advice from the stands and the dugout usually doesn’t have the desired effect.

So if you see a pitcher flying open and missing high, instead of shouting out to him, try this approach:

Have some kind of signal with your catcher (work it out before the game). And before he throws the ball back to the pitcher, have him gesture to the pitcher by closing his front side and tapping his glove arm. This kind of reminder is sometimes all it takes.

And if he’s not making the adjustment, don’t keep harping on it. That just leads to frustration. It just means he needs to work on it more between outings.

More deliberate practice, less pitching…

Love to hear your thoughts. Drop a comment in the box below.

And if you know any coaches or pitchers who could benefit, you can do me a huge favor and share this article – Thanks!

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