Sean McCourt, our Director of Pitching, explains the top three mechanical issues that can improve your velocity and command.
1.Back Leg Disconnection
One of the most common problems that I encounter watching young pitchers throw is an early disconnection of the back leg. After your back leg loses contact with the ground, you have lost the ability to continue to rotate your hips. If you can’t fully rotate your hips, you have no shot at completing rotation of your shoulders further up the chain. You also lose your base and ability to drive the baseball towards your target. I like to say it’s like shooting a cannon out of a row boat. Without a strong base, you won’t have the power or ability to accurately throw the baseball, throwing solely off of your front leg.
2. Uphill Angle for your Hips and Shoulders
Building a solid base with your hips and shoulders set uphill when moving towards the plate is crucial in order to put yourself in the powerful position at foot strike. Setting this angle helps you build momentum towards the plate and helps you keep your top half back so you can utilize your legs, maximize your hip-shoulder separation, and land with the proper shoulder angle. I see many flat shoulder angles on pitchers here in Colorado due to the fact that players aren’t really throwing off mounds until they reach the high school level. Players can get away with flat shoulders throwing off flat ground, although it’s not ideal and will cost them energy and velocity. But if this is not fixed once they get to a mound, it will cause serious command issues in addition to a loss of velocity.
3. Postural Disconnection
Postural disconnections can be caused by numerous disconnections throughout your mechanics and lead to many more down the kinetic chain. Some come from your weight being unbalanced, some from your glove or other body parts rerouting your energy in different directions. They all generally result in an early release of the baseball, not allowing you to generate your full power and making it near impossible to consistently throw strikes. Pitchers that can stay balanced, connected, and directional will have much more success being able to consistently reach a late launch position resulting in much higher velocity and command.
Now, I want to make one thing clear. There are always exceptions to the rule. Are there players out there who have these “flaws” in their mechanics and are still successful? Of course. If you are one of these people and you are happy with your velocity, can throw the ball where you want to, are pain free, and having success, then I am extremely happy for you and hope that you continue to have success in your career. But if you feel you can or need to improve in one of these areas, take a look at your film and see what you can do better. I hope this helps you become a better pitcher. If you would like any more info or if I can help you in any way, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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