I would definitely start the conditioning program just the way it is. Coach Mills
You have to make sure you timing is correct just prior to landing.
Making an individual recommendation about when to do something is nearly impossible without seeing your delivery.
What is causing this to happen?
Most pitchers simply do not get the lead arm up soon enough or not at all.
I rarely see pitchers who are too aggressive with the lead arm. Most do not know how to use it.
Not being able to use the lead arm is the result of not getting up soon enough or the trunk being too far forward at landing.
Yes…you are taking it up too high. Use your elbow at shoulder height as your site. You do not want the glove arm to prevent you from seeing the plate.
If you watch the timing at your lesson toward the end you were very good at that point. But practicing this when you are stepping out 2-3 feet is not the same as pitching so the timing is totally different.
Right now you are getting the glove in front of your shoulder too early. Keep the forearm ideally to the 3rd base side of your trunk until touchdown.
You do not want to be late or early with your lead arm.
You have chosen the fastest throwing pitcher probably of all time and trying to match his mechanics up with a mechanical model. There is no matching in this case. He has too many other positive characteristics that other pitchers and most athletes do not possess.
What does he possess that other pitchers don’t?
1. extreme speed of movement down the mound – probably the fastest
2. extreme stride of 120% or more and he is 6’4″ releasing the ball 12′ in front of his landing foot (like dropping the ball down the hitter’s throat)
3 extremely flexible – this means he not only creates a long range of motion and maximum distance to move his body but is able to put his muscles and connective tissue on stretch faster than others
4. from MER to ball release possess the fastest elbow extension speed
5. due to his size he has long levers
At this point there are no pitchers known who are capable of doing what he does. So probably not the best pitcher to call out because of all the other things he does so well.
However, I would argue his big turn is not a benefit mechanically.
Maybe we look at Verlander or one of those guys who can throw 100 but not 106.
I think he had an inning this year where every pitch was over 100 mph.
I think what this says is that the most important features for velocity may be:
1. start the body as far away from the plate as possible
2. weight shift before hand break
3. at hand break get the back leg extended as quickly as possible
4. get some trunk tilt going into landing
5. use the trunk to deliver the arm over a long range of motion
6. stride fast and far
7. get the head and chest out over the front leg
8. flex forward and deliver the arm as close to the hitter as possible
Chapman’s size (long levers) and his extreme flexibility coupled with his explosive movements make the difference.
Due to the complexity of the pitching motion not every pitcher is going to execute every specific action with perfect timing.
We also have to be careful of which pitches of these guys we use and when they are throwing them. The video from the back for Chapman is preseason. His mechanics there may not be optimum. Even spring training can be deceptive as they are still working on getting their rhythm and timing down.
Lincecum did much the same things when he was throwing 100 mph in 2007 and far, far smaller. But besides being so much smaller had some similar mechanical attributes. So we go back and look at that list of 8 I put up. Worth looking at for improved velocity. And if you have a youngster do not wait to get him moving explosively.
When you are referencing your son’s mechanics I can’t go by your description since it might be different than mine. So always post a video so I can actually see what you are referring to.
Bob, I don’t know whether your son is using his trunk correctly or what you are referring to as a fault. For example I do not understand this statement: “My son has been working on speeding up his mechanics and tilting forward with his trunk while simultaneously rotating.” Got to see this so that we are on the same page.
Does everybody look the same? Of course not. Does every pitcher get the most out of his body? No. Pitching is just too complex and we are dealing with human beings of all sorts of body types and different muscles structure.
Does Chapman get trunk tilt. Of course. If the front hip is elevated after hand break during weight shift, isn’t the front shoulder also going to be elevated? Of course.
Does Chapman use his trunk well. You bet. When his glove is pulled down notice how his throwing eblow is elevated above his shoulder and well above his non-throwing shoulder to get his trunk to lean toward the glove side while beginning trunk flexion.
Youth or amateur pitchers who do not use their trunks normally do not shift their weight properly to start with thus their front hip is not elevated above their back hip and neither is their front shoulder elevated.
If the glove is not lifted or pushed up toward the non-throwing shoulder or stays down they cannot use their trunk.
Try getting trunk rotation or trunk flexion with the glove hand in your pocket.
Some of you are confusing how to use the lead arm and the amount of trunk tilt required. We are not recommending severe tilt going into landing, just some.
If you focus on weight shift with a stable back leg and get the glove arm up sooner it kind of takes care of itself.
But you also have to understand what the role of glove arm is. To act as an extension of the trunk and help rotate and flex the trunk forward.
Many youth and amateur pitchers just tuck the glove in against the chest not understanding the role of the glove arm and the role of the trunk for maximizing arm speed. This is the job of a pitching instructor.
How many of you have gone through the 4 positions? This will help increase learning so pitchers understand how their bodies are supposed to work and the critical positions they should be in during the 4 positions.
If pitchers don’t learn how to use their trunk they will never maximize their velocity.
Have him throw from the stationary semi-cocked position with a bent front leg but not full stride length. lead arm up.
Then have him throw from there. When you are observing,(from the back) make sure his lead arm starts down before you see any movement of his throwing arm. He is not letting his trunk pull his arm through. Thus why he starts to cock his arm early.
Then he needs to pull the glove arm down…not to the side.
If you have a 1st base angle I can sink him up with Mariano Rivera so he can see the timing.
You have to work on this from the mound while pitching for the reasons I have given.
I can say it’s great on flat ground at playing catch intensity but if you want feedback it must be from the mound at a much higher intensity.
This is OK but not the same as mound pitching and practicing since everything changes from throwing off a slope.
To give you accurate feedback, the only way is to see what you are doing a high level of intensity from the mound.
Are you not throwing from the mound right now?
Is Troy starting by lifting his hands from the belt up to his chest as his leg is lifted up. That will give him more time to lean his hip toward the plate so that weight shift occurs prior to handbreak.
The video from the rehab center showed that his head had basically not moved by the time he took the ball out of his glove. So there is little weight shift prior to hand break
In that video he is moving much too slow thus why his arm will get up early.
When somebody tells you or your boys something always ask why and then ask them to demonstrate what they mean.
Also one thing I learned back around 2005 from Dr. Rushall is to – “show me the evidence”.
Yes…you had better take control or suffer the consequences of all the misinformation and beliefs out there.
Nearly every pitcher who comes to us for one-on-one lessons from all over the country and Canada all have instructors. Not one instructor over the past 5 years has done any videotaping of those pitchers…and it shows.
Nearly every pitcher has 4 major faults that are killing their velocity and adding stress to their arms.
It also matters little at what level any instructor has pitched…even those who have pitched 10 years or more at the MLB level. If they are not videotaping regularly you can bet they have scant knowledge of mechanics, how to recognize problems and how to improve.
Baseball fields and schools are like a minefield. Pitchers can get blown up at any time and not recover.
Pitching is largely a linear movement…not rotational.
We are looking for efficiency of movement…or the best way to move the body the most efficient way possible from point A to point B. That best way is a straight line.
If I want to fly from Boston to Miami…does it make sense to go toward Chicago first? It takes longer and uses more fuel.
Lateral movements of either the lead leg or trunk (tilting back or forward) produce more rotational and slowing actions. Swinging the leg is a lateral movement that slows down a linear action.
Big league pitchers make errors even though they may be successful. But could they be more successful and consistent without those errors.
Errors in movement do not improve but take away from efficiency.
When you copy the mechanics of a professional athlete you get the bad with the good. The bad can be what prevents the amateur from maximizing his potential…for a number of reasons.
You are mentioning two MLB pitchers out of the 350 as well as leaving out all the minor league pitchers who are struggling to get to the big leagues.
What if Chapman could have even better control and throw consistently faster for a longer period because he did not move his body toward the first base dugout first? The hitter would have less time.
I do not see anything beneficial with swinging the leg or fully extending the lead leg into landing. Much tougher to repeat and be consistent.
I would be more than happy to comment but you must post game speed video. I can comment on your analysis if you want but I can’t analyze with slow motion or video that is stopped.
Please post the appropriate video and I would be happy to provide feedback. Need at least glove side and back and front if at all possible.
I would not by the way be happy with the back leg. If the back leg is locked out with no flexion then there will be little possibility of leg drive. All movements going forward will then have to be corrected later on.
Pitchers either have the functional strength or they do not.
If your boy cannot sit over a bent back leg with his hands at chest height prior to weight shift without his back ankle or knee quivering then I would wonder about his neuromuscular system and his functional strength.
Can you give us some details about your son. Age, size, velocity and overall performance. What performance problems is he having?
I plan to use him as a video analysis lesson for members over the next couple of days.
I have been out of the office since Wed at a conference. A bit behind.
I will get to this ASAP.
No pitcher with good mechanics could throw faster from side-arm. The amount of lateral trunk tilt creates too much of a slowing action of the body.
You could throw a slider from the side but not much of a curveball based on position of fingers on the ball at release.
What is the speed difference between the two?
As soon as I get a chance I will compare them.
Is the pitcher able to get his arm into a good throwing position at touchdown, landing, and maximum external rotation?