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

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!

 

Ever wonder why pitchers make good golfers? I can’t tell you how many guys I played with who liked to get out for an early tee-time on the days they weren’t pitching…

But hitting a golf ball well (consistently) can be one of the most challenging, frustrating things in all of sports.

It should be so EASY! It’s literally just sitting there for you on the tee!

But if you’ve ever played the game, you know it’s anything but… It’s why even the best pro golfers put in hours of practice time, working on their swing, hitting shot after shot.

And it’s why I’ve never gotten really good at golf… I just don’t have the patience for it, and didn’t grow up with the love for the game the way I did with baseball.

Maybe someday when I have the time to dedicate to it… but with 2 little ones at home, that day isn’t coming anytime soon.

Now all of that said, the swing itself tends to come pretty naturally to most pitchers.

I stumbled across this article the other day (actually, one of you sent it to me – you know who you are)… Hit a Golf Ball Farther Than Bubba Watson

It’s all about this former University of Miami pitcher who now absolutely crushes golf balls in long drive competitions.

And there’s a difference between mashing the ball for max distance and what you see with a pro golfer…

For the pro golfer, accuracy is king. I don’t pretend to know a whole lot about golf strategy, but I’m pretty sure hitting from the weeds every hole isn’t a recipe for success.

To see what I mean, just watch this video (max drive is about aggression more than control):

[h4]But why does any of this matter to you?[/h4]

I mean, if you’re here on my site or you get my emails I’m assuming your expecting pitching info right?

Well if you watch that video, look out for the 1:30 mark because that’s where he get’s into some concepts that are very important for maximizing power in your pitching delivery.

[h4]How Effectively Crushing a Golf Ball Relates to Your Pitching Velocity[/h4]

It’s all about your kinetic chain… a term you may have seen tossed around pitching circles before.

You’ve probably heard coaches say you want to “throw with your entire body”… you can usually spot a guy throwing “all arm” a mile away. What they’re talking about really is the kinetic chain.

When you get down to it, it’s mainly about timing and the effective sequencing of movements in your pitching delivery.

It’s about the flow of momentum from your lower half to upper half…

Roger-Clemens-Pitching-Mechanics

Well golfers have been on to this whole kinetic chain thing for a long time. See, the sequencing for both actions is really pretty similar:

[h4]Legs, Hips, Torso, Arms…[/h4]

Now in reality all these things are working together, it’s not like one body part shuts down and the next section takes over… we’re humans after all, not robots (why you want to stay away from bad pitching drills).

The key is getting everything working together in the right order… Firming up with the front side to transfer power and create good whip.

It’s why that Miami pitcher has a leg up over guys who’ve never pitched before. He knows what it feels like to transfer power up his body, through his hips and out to his arm.

[h5]Happyy Gilmore knows a thing or two about the power of the hips[/h5]

(For more on the science of the Happy Gilmore swing, check out this piece)

Now I mentioned before how I’m not much of a golfer. But I do enjoy hitting a bucket or two at the driving range when I can find time. I like the feel for getting my hips into my swing… firming up with my front side and whipping that golf club through. And then seeing the result…

In so many ways, it’s just like when I used to work on my pitching delivery (minus the stride).

It’s the same kind of direct feedback training you want to have with your training if you’re a pitcher… it’s why long toss, while not the magic velocity bullet or bogeyman some make it out to be, can be a useful practice tool (more on that here).

When you get your whole body working together in the right sequence and get the feel for transferring power and momentum up your kinetic chain… well that’s a beautiful thing.

[h4]So how do you work on this?[/h4]

Well, it really starts with good sequencing and getting the feel for efficient movements. And one way you can work on this is with med ball training. Working to throw a heavier ball can be a great way to get the feel for getting your body into your motion.

The more efficient you are in the movements, the lighter the ball starts to feel.

It’s one reason I include a system of Med Ball Throws in the Ballistic Pitching Blueprint

Click Here to learn more about a complete system for developing a powerful pitching delivery.

 

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