When it comes to pitching mechanics, it’s important to remember this.

No two pitchers are exactly the same…

I mean, you’re an individual, right? You’re not built exactly like that 95 MPH pitcher you see on TV… you’ve probably got your own strengths and weakness, your own physical constraints…

So it doesn’t make any sense for you try to COPY that pitcher’s delivery, right?

Or does it? 

This may seem a little off-topic, but I want you to ask yourself a simple question.

How do great writers get GREAT?

It doesn’t even have to writers… how do the great ones (at anything) get that way?

Innate talent? Sure, there’s some of that at play… but there’s a lot more to it than that.

In fact, you can even learn something from a little-known secret that top writers have known about for a long time…

See, I don’t know about you, but I love learning new things… It’s why I took Japanese in college instead of an “easy A” taking the French I’d learned in high school.

And during the off-season (back when I was playing ball), when I wasn’t busy training, I always liked to learn or develop some new skill…

One year I took drawing classes at the Chicago Art Institute.

(Quick tip… the link between athletes and artists? Well developed powers of perception…)

Another year, I taught myself web design.

I studied investing and the stock market (how I ended up trading for a tech-focused hedge fund before turning my focus to coaching full-time).

And one of the things I learned that helped speed my learning curve in all these endeavors is understanding this…

“Success leaves clues.”   (I’m pretty sure that’s a Tony Robins quote)

See, I was also an English major in college and have always had a love for great writing…

And when I got to studying how great writers developed their craft,  one of the recommended techniques I came across again and again really stood out… It seemed so basic.

Study great writing…Read it over and over… And then COPY it.

(Not plagiarize… we’re just talking about a writing exercise here)

Either from memory or actually word for word. Some examples… Jack London learned by copying passages from Kipling… Robert Louis Stevenson (Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde,Treasure Island) copied Shakespeare… To actually feel the words flowing through him.

Ben Franklin developed his own method for learning to write good essays. He’d find a piece of great writing, read it, and then try to recreate it (from memory). Then he’d compare his work to the original… and try again.

The way I saw one writer put it recently, it gives you the “neurological feel” for great writing… it creates a sort of “neurological imprint.”

That same writer went on to emphasize how you ultimately don’t want to “copy” another writer’s style…

In time, as it becomes more natural, you develop your own rhythm and style.

Now back to pitching (knew I’d get there eventually, right?)

I’ve seen a LOT of videos of young pitchers over the years… and 9 times out of 10 there are some big glaring differences between these pitchers and what you see with 90 MPH guys…

And I’m not talking about where they break their hands or any of the million nit-picky things people tend to get hung up on.

I’m talking about major timing issues and the BIG drivers in your pitching motion.

And it speaks to how so many young pitchers are taught… They either never studied a good model, or were simply shown generic steps that only remotely resemble what you actually see with successful big league pitchers.

Over time, these movements get ingrained… the pitcher isn’t even aware he’s doing them. It’s why motion analysis can be such an eye opening experience.

This email’s getting long in a hurry so I’ll end it there, but expect more on this tomorrow…

In the meantime, the Ballistic Pitching Blueprint still comes with a complimentary motion analysis from yours truly.

Until next time…

Committed to Your Pitching Success,

Phil

PS – To be clear, I’m generally not  a fan of “copying” someone else’s motion… but when you understand how athletes LEARN (and the 3 stages of learning) you’ll see why there’s a time and place for it… more on that soon.

 

When it comes to pitching mechanics, you know I’m a big fan of giving young pitchers the freedom to develop their own style… But there have to be some constants, don’t there?

I mean, you can’t just have young pitchers just trying to figure it all out on their own, can you?

Okay, I’d agree with that… But I also think you want to avoid being too cookie cutter.

  • Focus on the important things… the Key Power Drivers
  • Develop good mechanical efficiencies
  • Avoid reinforcing major mechanical flaws
  • Start developing powerful movements early on….

But what does all of that mean?

Yesterday, I had the honor of being a guest presenter for one of Powerchalk’s training webinars over at GetBetterFaster.tv. The topic?

[h3]Drop and Drive versus Tall & Fall Pitching Webinar[/h3]

Drop_and-Drive_Tall_and-Fall_Webinar

Really had a great time talking shop with Chaz… And we got into what I see as some of the big problems I have with both terms…

It’s why you’ll never hear me actually use the terms Tall and Fall or Drop and Drive with my pitchers.

A lot of times guys hear “Drop and Drive” and they think it means sinking or “dropping” over their back foot and then pushing or “driving” off the rubber. Here’s a post from a while back where I talk more about that.

On the other hand, when pitchers hear “Tall and Fall” they think, “Okay, I just want to get tall and let gravity take over.” You end up with a stiff, passive back leg and a pitcher who’s totally upper-half dominant.

In case you’re not quite sure what I’m referring to, I dug up some clips here (you’ll see more if you head over and watch the webinar).

[h4]Some Classic Drop and Drive vs. Tall and Fall Pitching Examples[/h4]

Drop_and_Drive_or_Tall_and_Fall_Cone_Wood

That’s a David Cone (19 strikeout game) and a young Kerry Wood (only 20 K’s that day).

As you watch, I think it’s pretty easy to see which one of them would be considered the “Drop and Drive” guy. Another thing we discuss on the webinar is how a lot of guys you might think of as “Tall and Fall” really aren’t… they’re active with the back leg. Kershaw’s a great example. Brandon McCarthy’s another…

Real tall pitcher… High center of gravity… Throws “downhill”…

Looks like a “Tall and Fall” guy here, right?

Brandon_McCarthy_Pitching_Tall

But what about here?

Brandon_McCarthy_Pitching_Back_Leg

 This is a key move that most pitchers miss out on when they think about “staying tall”… Here’s another clip… Rosenthal on the left (more “Drop and Drive”), McCarthy on the right (“Tall and Fall”?)

Drop_and_Drive_or_Tall_and_Fall_Pitching2

Pay attention to McCarthy’s back leg… Look pretty active?

Okay, I’ll end it there today… Definitely plenty of room for more discussion.

So what do YOU think? Tall and Fall or Drop and Drive?

Or maybe Neither and Both???

Until next time…

Keep Learning. Keep Growing. Get Better!

 

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]

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