So this is something I see a lot…

Pitchers and coaches using perfectly good drills… but performing them in a way that only further ingrains bad habits. Making the pitcher stiff, overly linear, and robbing him of rotational power.

See, that drive to the plate – that powerful move down the mound – is important… But it’s all for naught if you don’t convert that to rotational power at foot plant. It’s why you see the game’s best, the elite of the elite, doing one thing exceptionally well.
[h5]Getting Over and Around Their Front Leg/Hip[/h5] Pitching-Mechanics-Hips

Because after all… Pitchers are ROTATIONAL Athletes…

Just ask Jake Arietta…

Arrieta HomeRUn
(Estimated roughly 442 ft. MOON-shot…)

arrieta front view
Above gif courtesy of Rob Friedman (aka @PitchingNinja)

He’s got a great DropBox library of pitching mechanics clips – well worth checking out.

Anyway, I could go on… but instead I thought I’d share a video. This one comes straight from the BetterPitching Academy video lessons vault (it’s the paid members-only pitching site where I share what’s working right now with my pitchers). In it you’ll see exactly how I modify two very popular pitching drills to ensure a pitcher maximizes momentum and rotational power.

Yep, I’m giving you a complete sneak peak… because good drills done bad are ruining way too many young pitchers out there… But I won’t be keeping this video up forever.

So do me a favor:

  • Click Play…
  • Check it out… And if you like it…
  • Hit one of those buttons below to share it with other pitchers/parents/coaches who could benefit.

Front-Hip-Video

This video is no longer available – to learn more visit BetterPitchingAcademy.com

[h3]Limited Time BetterPitching Academy Discount[/h3]

Finally, I’ve got a special thank you for being part of the BetterPitching community…

For the next 5 days you can become a BetterPitching Academy member for 70% OFF.

Just use promo code BPA-HIPS at checkout. There’s over 3.5 hours of cutting edge (but practical) pitching information waiting inside. Click below to learn more.

Discount/Promo Has Expired

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Until next time…

Committed to Your Pitching Success,

Phil

I want to let you in on a little secret.

As you know, I’m a big fan of using video with my pitchers. Motion Analysis can be a powerful tool…

But here’s something that might surprise you…

When I’m working with a pitcher, I DON’T record every pitch. In fact, there might be entire sessions where we don’t look at video at ALL.

Why would I do that? How do you make any progress if you’re not constantly evaluating and assessing?

Fair question.

We all know those pitchers who are just OBSESSED with their mechanics.

After every throw they want to know, “How’d I look?”

Their desire – that craving for outside feedback – becomes overwhelming. And you soon get what I talked about in a recent post (what I learned about coaching from Mommy Hippo).

Video is great. But you also need to give the pitcher some space.

Give him the freedom to work on things, make adjustments, feel his way through it.

[h4]There’s a METHOD to it.[/h4]

Early in the process, it can be really helpful to get a baseline.  I’ll usually show the young pitcher side by side with a pro. With a young Little League pitcher, it can make more sense to use a high-level high school pitcher – someone closer in age who’s already developed a powerful pitching motion.

There’s just something powerful about being able to look at the videos side by side.

You get those “light bulb” Aha moments where the pitcher finally “gets” it.

BUT… as I’ve mentioned  before…

[h3]The Goal is NOT to move EXACTLY like another pitcher[/h3]

Try to find a high-level pitcher that would be a good model for YOU.

Similar build, similar style.

Key in on what you do that’s similar… (reinforce the positive).

Then what do you see in the big league pitcher that you could get more of in your own delivery to get more powerful.

For example, here’s a shot from an initial analysis I did for a 13 year old pitcher a while back.

 

ythvskersh2

 

Kershaw’s not a guy I’d typically use for comparison. For lack of a better word, he’s got some FUNK in his delivery… But there was enough similar with these guys.

Similar body type. Similar habit of taking the glove arm to the target early.

But what’s the big noticeable difference?

HINT: It has to do with TWO main things:

  • Weight Shift
  • And Timing…

Now frankly, I didn’t need video to know these were big issues with this pitcher.

And I could have spent all day TELLING him what he needed to work on.

I could see it right off the bat.

But by letting HIM see himself – and then see how a guy like Kershaw gets his body moving powerfully – I saved myself a lot of needless (and probably unproductive) talking and explaining.

Once he knows what to work on (and has a clear image in his mind), it’s about getting to work and developing the right feel.

In the next couple sessions we barely looked at video at all… Then came time to break out the camera again for a VERY important next step.

[h3]Tracking The Pitcher’s Progress[/h3]

For now, at this stage, we’re done with the big league comparisons…

We’re gonna revisit the old video… Check if he’s made any progress.

Not a finished product, of course… but in a short time, this pitcher made some really good improvement.

He could start to feel when he was getting his body moving more powerfully.

And looking at video at this stage does two big things…

It provides some solid, positive reinforcement…

He can SEE and verify the progress he’s made.

He feels good about himself… He’s learning that if he puts in the work and has the right focus, he’ll see the results.

And two, he can then turn to what he still needs to work on and how he can get even more powerful.

Here’s another short clip from that same Before & After sample.

Could he have made these improvements without using video?

Probably… In time.

But without that initial JOLT to get him out his old patterns, you can bet it would’ve taken a lot longer…

And been a whole lot more frustrating.

Hope you found this post helpful. As I mentioned, in the very near future I’m going to be releasing my new Motion Mapping Method program…

It’s going to dive deep into motion analysis and show you EXACTLY how you can use video to help skyrocket your pitchers progress.

 

Okay… now if you read all the way to the bottom here, I’ve got something special for you…

A chance to get this new program FREE along with a FULL YEAR of Pro Features to Powerchalk (the same program I use for all my motion analysis work).

Just head over to this Facebook post and (IMPORTANT) follow the steps detailed in the post.

A winner will be picked on February 9th.

Good luck!

That’s all for now. Until next time…

Committed to Your Pitching Success,

Coach Phil

 

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.

 

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