Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

HATE this pitching drill

January 25, 2013 by  
Filed under Pitching, Video Posts

All day today I will be attending a coaching clinic in New Jersey that is one of the biggest of its kind in the country.  Many top names in the college and pro baseball coaching world come to give seminars to the several hundred coaches who attend.  I guarantee that I will hear the top pitching guys promote a drill with a particular arm action that is taught everywhere by everyone.  They always do.  And I will cringe once again.  Today’s video tries to explain why.  

I fully realize that I am in the minority here so if you disagree with me or can explain what I’m missing, please let me know because I honestly don’t know why this is taught so much.


5 Responses to “HATE this pitching drill”
  1. Kevin says:

    Bob – I think this drill shows just how much dogma there is in baseball instruction – do we really teach what we see? My son had been taught this drill for the past several years at all levels, by several notable area coaches, so of course we bought into it. Last year, however, he was complaining of inner elbow pain, and when I researched it, I ran across an article by a PT showing how showing the ball to 2B puts the arm in tension prior to throwing. The author suggested showing the ball to 3B (for a lefty) instead of 2B, and “Walla”, elbow pain dissappeared. As for holding the ball high, I use it as a fix for players who drop their throwing arm elbow, or who tend to sidearm everything. See you in malvern in a few weeks! KM

  2. Kevin says:

    Sorry folks – lefties show to 1B, righties to 3B.

  3. Thanks for the comment, Kevin! Best of luck to you and your son! Looking forward to Malvern next week!
    – Coach

  4. Coach B says:

    Coach McCreary, it’s about “Foot Strike” …the hand position on the Power Tee is AT FOOT STRIKE. Look at the pitchers’ front foot in the photos you show in your video… In every one (except The Freak), their foot has not yet struck the ground. If you fast-forwarded the photo a few frames, to the point their foot lands, their pitching hand will be on top (as in the Power Position).

    At foot strike, all the gathered energy from the lower half gets transferred to the pitcher’s shoulder/arm. If the hand is in the position you’re proposing (in line w chest), the shoulder/arm is not in the optimal position for handling the energy load; thus, putting the pitcher at risk of injury.

  5. Hi Coach B. and thanks for jumping in! I’m in full agreement with you about the “foot strike” concept. However, I think the two main parts of my argument are still valid.

    1. The L-position/power position is part of the arm path FROM the load position and not THE load position. The L-position occurs just after the pitcher starts to release the stored up energy. Because of this, I don’t think many pitchers store up as much energy as they can because they are emphasizing the L-position instead. I think we as coaches should do more to emphasize the true load position and deal with the L-position later. This is very much like hitting. We emphasize to hitters to properly load up (with the hands at the upper chest area for maximum power) and then explode from there. If the pitcher doesn’t get to the L-position during his arm path, that’s a separate fix like it would be for a hitter who doesn’t take his hands inside the ball. I still think both explosions (pitching & hitting) start at the chest.
    2. When the arm does get to the L-position on its way to the release point, the ball is not facing back to second base. It faces out to the side.

    I enjoy the dialog so feel free to keep going. My mind is still open to alternatives.

    – Coach McCreary

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