Take a look at enough pitching videos and you start to see some interesting things… First off, you notice that no two pitchers are exactly the same. It’s why I’m big on letting pitchers develop their own style.
And you start to think, “Huh, all these guys throw a little differently… There have to be some things they all do the same, right? Some kind of secret to their power?
And the good news is there absolutely is. Whether they’re smaller, more dynamic guys like Sonny Gray or your, big-bodied prototypical power guys, all hard-throwing power pitchers share some commonalities in their pitching delivery.
But what you also see as you look at the video is that a lot of the conventional pitching wisdom regarding “ideal pitching mechanics” doesn’t really hold water.
A lot of it’s stuff I know I heard growing up, and it unfortunately too much of it gets passed down to this day… Things like:
- “Get to a balance point”
- “Get to a power position”
- “Stay back”
- “Tall and fall…”
And one thing you hear sometimes is that you HAVE to keep your back foot on the ground at ball release…
After all, you can’t have any power if there’s no weight on your back foot, right?
Which is exactly what you see major league power hitters… Or is it?
[h4]Wait a minute… what happened to “squishing the bug”???[/h4]
Okay, now I’m not a hitting guy, so I’m not gonna get too technical here. But the thing to understand is that there’s a lot of overlap between hitting and pitching mechanics. They’re both linear and rotational. And if you want to hit with power, you need to have some powerful weight shift.
You’ve got to generate some force and firm up around a strong front leg.
And those same things are HUGE in your pitching delivery. It’s about creating power in your stride and then accepting all that force with your landing foot and sending it up the chain.
And if you shift your weight well and get your hips through powerfully, that means your back foot is going to bearing exactly ZERO weight at ball release.
Now to be clear, I’m NOT saying you should actively lift your back foot as you throw. Please don’t do that. It’s more a result, a byproduct. It’s an afterthought… or, if you’re a coach, a “non-teach”.
But for guys who make a stink about the need to keep your back foot on the ground I thought it might make sense to take a look at what you actually SEE with hard throwing big league pitchers.
(These guys all throw 95+ MPH)
But those are just still shots… let’s look at some video, shall we.
[h4]Why it DOES NOT matter if your back foot is on the ground[/h4]
(note a hint of sarcasm in this video… I was trying to have a little fun with it)
Again, please don’t get me wrong. There are indeed times where pitchers can shift their weight too soon and get out front. Or sometimes it’s something you see with guys who don’t get their hips open into front foot plant.
But hopefully this can get you thinking about what really matters in your pitching delivery, and start questioning some old, conventional pitching myths.
And as I said, I was joking around in the video, having a little fun… And hopefully, if you follow this site, you know I’m a big believer in the importance of things like:
Stabilizing with the front side:
What is Good Glove Arm Action?
So start working on those big drivers and stop worrying so much about every little last detail in your pitching motion!
Thanks as always for stopping by the site, and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
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