If you get my emails, you’re probably already well aware that pitchers are some of the most amazing athletes in the world… (don’t let some of their physiques fool you)

And the really good ones, the few guys who actually go on to pitch in college and the pros, get there based largely on their ability to do one thing athletically better than the rest…

And it’s not running really fast (If you ever got a chance to see Randy Johnson run the bases, you know sprinting speed isn’t a prerequisite for throwing hard).

It definitely doesn’t hurt… but a necessity for throwing hard? Nope.

But there is one thing that all hard throwing pitchers do better than just about any other athletes…

They know how to rotate well… Sounds simple, right?

It’s not… Professional pitchers are ridiculously powerful and efficient at using their hips and trunk… they understand momentum

Now pitchers aren’t alone in this by any means… you can look at any powerful rotational athletes… hitters, tennis players, hockey players… golfers… Where does their power come from?

For more, you can check out a post from a bit ago: Happy Gilmore Velocity Tips

And it’s something I’ve been working on with guys in our weeknight throwing sessions… getting more power with their hips and trunk, getting more efficient with their movements.

So that’s the quick tip of the day…

Want to throw harder? Learn to rotate better. 

Now for a couple quick announcements…

New Video Added to the Ballistic Pitching Blueprint:

Based on some of my work with my remote coaching clients, I’ve started working in a new throwing progression using a series of modifications of the Power Catapult drill… You’ll find a new video where I explain it all inside the Ballistic Pitching Blueprint.

Weeknight Throwing Program/Pitching Classes:
Weeknight Warriors throwing program will meet at 4pm today… Back to 6pm next week. Has been great seeing guys push each other and already making big strides and moving better. Spots available, Click Here for details.

Remote Coaching Options:
A couple different options if you’re looking for some help maximizing your training this off-season.

1) Complete customization of a program with ongoing coaching: Exactly what you need to do each week with regular check-ins and personalized videos where I walk you through things the way I would if you right here with me.

(med ball drills are great for learning to unlock more power in the hips)
2) Customized program (minus the ongoing coaching): Based on initial motion analysis and phone consultation to assess your needs/goals.

These custom programs are for serious pitchers only. Click here to apply.

That’s all for now. Until next time…

Committed to Your Pitching Success,

Phil Rosengren

Here’s a video clip I came across of Adam Wainwright actually demonstrating how he thinks about throwing his curveball. Overall, I he does a really nice job explaining it.

And just a general rule of thumb I picked up in my pro ball days:

When a guy with a filthy pitch you’d like to master talks about how he throws it… you better listen.

Soak it up. Try it out. You never know what little adjustment is going to make the difference for you.

Now that said, I wanted to point out something a little whacky about the video…

What Wainwright thinks he’s doing on his curveball (what he feels like he’s doing) and what is actually happening are two very different things.

Check it out. Can you find the part I’m talking about?

See, the thing to keep in mind is that it all starts with an understanding of what you want the ball to do – how you want it spin, the shape and size of the break.

It starts with getting that clear in your mind.

And to get the right feel for how you do that, you want to think about getting over the ball with your middle finger just the way Wainwright explains in the video.

Here are a few other key things he hits on:

[circle_list] [list_item]You don’t want to change your arm slot to “get on top” of your curveball (all your pitches should come out of the same window)[/list_item] [list_item]The shape of your arm path is going to influence the break on your curveball[/list_item] [list_item]And then he says… Follow through with your hand into your body almost “like you’re cutting yourself in half”[/list_item][/circle_list] Interesting… if you go to the 1:40 mark, you can see Leiter question him on this.

So no pronation (hand turning palm out) after ball release… instead, think about pulling back in towards your body. Okay, now let’s take a look at this slow motion clip of him throwing his curve in a game.

 

Wait, could I be seeing things? I thought the hand wasn’t supposed to do that on the curveball.

Isn’t that what he said? And after all, he’s one of the greatest curveball pitchers in the game!

Maybe I’m missing something, let me check it again…

Okay, I’m pretty sure I’m seeing that hand pronate and turn out right after ball release.

Alright, hopefully you can tell I’m just having a little fun with this. The way Wainwright explains how to throw a curveball isn’t really wrong when it comes down to it.

In fact, it’s the same way I was shown to throw a curveball as a young pitcher and it worked out pretty well for me.

But the thing to understand is that, while the feel for throwing this pitch well is that you want to come over it with your hand (almost like making a big letter C in the air), when you actually throw this pitch full speed, it’s physically impossible to do that.

That’s right. It is physically impossible to throw a good curveball (with anything on it) exactly the way he describes in the video.

The wrist and hand are going to turn in after every pitch, no matter what…

But here’s the important thing.

It doesn’t matter.

In fact, it happens so fast, one of the greatest curveball pitchers in the game isn’t even aware it’s happening. It’s a byproduct, a result… it’s not the goal.

I remember when I got to college and my pitching coach told me that you pronate naturally after every pitch, I didn’t believe him.

I knew for sure I didn’t do that on my curveball. I was thinking about getting over it with my middle finger, pulling in on it. Yet it was happening right under my nose… But! And this is key…

[h4]What really matters is the intent on the pitch![/h4]

The goal when learning this pitch should NOT be to pronate on your curveball… just know that if thrown well it’s going to happen naturally.

But you still need that feel, that INTENT, of getting over it with a strong middle finger, pulling on that seam just like Wainwright explains in the video.

Let that intent, that picture in your mind’s eye, guide you.

And then when you speed it up and throw it full speed it looks like this…

Wainwright Curveball Clip6

Notice the middle finger pulling in on the ball as it leaves his hand? That (along with good arm speed and hand/wrist position) is how he throws such a nasty deuce with good tight spin.

So what’s the lesson here? Well, basically this: “feel” trumps all.
[circle_list] [list_item]Start slow by getting a good feel for the ball[/list_item] [list_item]Develop the feel for consistent arm path (maintaining good hand position)[/list_item] [list_item]Start to see good shape and break on the pitch (and know what that feels like)[/list_item] [list_item]Then lastly… gradually crank it up[/list_item][/circle_list] Also, just a quick side note. You may notice Wainwright’s index finger on his curveball. He doesn’t even have it on the ball… not too many guys in the big leagues do this, but it just shows you how important the middle finger is on your curveball.

It’s what is usually called the “curveball starter grip”. But it’s totally valid (clearly), and it can be a good way to start out when learning to throw a real big league curveball.

It’s even one of the grip options I go over in the Curveball Mastery System You can grab your free CB Grips Cheat Sheet right here (for a limited time):

Curveball Grips Cheat Sheet

If you’ve followed my site, you know I’m a big on getting your hips into your pitching delivery. It’s something I talk about in two recent video lessons – here they are again if you missed them:

How Masahiro Tanaka gets his hips into his pitching delivery

Tips for learning to lead with loaded hips in your pitching motion

And working to stay loaded up and getting your hips into your delivery is great but a friend of mine, Josh Heenan, made an excellent point in the comments below the Tanaka post. Josh wrote:

“Many people do not possess the hip mobility to be able to get into that much hip internal rotation, which is something that can often be increased with dedicated joint mobility work. There are also genetic limitations…”

So to continue the discussion, I caught up with Josh the other day to address this issue in more detail. This video is a little different than previous interviews – it’s sort of a discussion / mini-webinar where Josh shares his screen and explains in detail why mobility is so critical for pitchers.

He also shares some great techniques for improving hip mobility and hammers home the need for assessment and individualization in a pitcher’s training program.

So check out the interview/webinar – Josh really knows his stuff!

[h3]Hip Mobility for Pitchers with Josh Heenan[/h3]

[hr] [h5]Josh Heenan – Head Strength & Conditioning Coach, Moore PT[/h5] website: JoshHeenan.com – great resource!

[h5]SPECIAL BONUS!!![/h5]

Josh is offering a special 50% Off deal on his Building the Perfect Pitcher program. Mechanics are important, but they’re just part of the equation. If you want to maximize your potential, you need a good strength & conditioning program. This is the only program I’ve seen designed specifically for pitchers that takes the individual needs of the athlete into account. I’ve checked it out and it’s legit.

perfect-pitcher
 ,

Full disclosure: I do receive a commission if you buy Josh’s program through this link. I only endorse stuff that I truly believe in – I know how solid the program is and I stand 100% behind Josh and his quality as a coach.
 

Page 2 of 81234...Last »