Momentum plays a huge role in the bodies overall acceleration rate. Limited forward momentum could be a breakdown in which you are potentially seeing a velocity breakdown from pulldowns/long toss to the mound. Below you will see a ton of context on this dynamic as well as some visuals as to what it looks like. I am not saying that every pitcher should be doing this in their delivery but I am saying that it could be the missing piece in unlocking velocity gains.
I think if we have the stability, coordination, balance, and overall athleticism we should be able to accelerate our body into our drive phase which in turn will give the arm less independent work to do. Meaning if we accelerate our bodies in connection with our throwing arm then we don’t have to make up any leaked energy with our arm. The arm will truly be “along for the ride” However this doesn’t mean that everyone is equipped to accelerate into their drive phase as you will see Jacob deGrom do in a video below. There’s a lot of things that have to be looked at as prerequisites. We’ll get into all of this below.
But first, if you’re someone interested in developing efficient throwing velocity I’d encourage you to explore my newest ebook option Velocity Development that includes how to best go about optimizing your pitching mechanics to achieve your pitching goals.
If you want personalized 1 on 1 feedback of your pitching mechanics like you will see in the video below I’d encourage you to explore the option of signing up for a Mechanical Analysis.
Register for FREE Content delivered to your email so you don’t miss a beat! Now let’s get into the breakdown!
Now that you have a general idea of this concept I want to preview a Mechanical Analysis client who I believe could benefit from increasing the rate at which he accelerates his body into his drive phase. In this video you will also hear me talk about the importance of Glute Stabilization and compare with a video of Marcus Stroman who does this exceptionally well.
Now I want to preview a breakdown I did on Jacob deGrom in comparison to my buddy Luke Weaver. The difference in the opening move from these studs is pretty fascinating to me. What sticks out to me is they both end up in almost identical front foot strike positions but how they got there is drastically different..
Now let’s take a look at a Mechanical Screen I did for a client who may be leaving potential velocity on the table due to the momentum breakdown on the mound in comparison to the momentum he generates in long toss.
I know it’s unfair to preview some of the games very best but I want to showcase a breakdown I did on Justin Verlander and Jordan Hicks. Both these dudes express extremely high power output so let’s see how they both accelerate their bodies into their drive phase.
Now I want to take a look at another client who I believe can definitely benefit from increasing momentum and accelerating his body into his drive phase.
Been seeing a lot of guys leaving potential velocity on the table by trying to avoid gravity. Remember, once we have the required stability and movement capacity we should be using the slope to our advantage by increasing our acceleration rate down the mound but making sure we are in a good position to control our center of mass throughout our drive phase. Here’s a preview of this concept with a comparison of Gerrit Cole.
Lastly, I need to show you a common breakdown from guys who try to manipulate the Hip Hinge pattern sacrificing potential forward momentum starting from the foot.
Let’s compare throwing a baseball with running on trails shall we.
While running on trails you will face different levels of surface. Some flat, some uphill, and some downhill.
When you’re running on a flat surface your energy expenditure is “X” to go “X MPH”
When you’re running uphill your energy expenditure is “X + X” to go “X MPH”
When you’re downhill everything changes.. To go “X MPH” you don’t have to increase your energy expenditure at all really. But if you want to maximize your speed you will abide by that downhill slope + your body will move faster.
Now this is where we geek out on the level of intelligence of your brain.
Your brain is constantly protecting against any potential threats given the understanding of your own bodies capabilities.
If your body lacks the required stability, coordination, and movement patterns then your brain will send signals to your body to NOT accelerate down the hill at maximum speed. Instead your body will respond by attempting to defy gravity and limit the amount of acceleration potential in attempt to protect against the potential threat that gravity/downhill acceleration poses.
If you DO have the required stability, coordination, and explored movement patterns then the opposite will occur. Your brain will accept the potential threat as not a threat given the bodies preparation towards the opposing terrain.
I believe the same goes for pitching off a mound (slope) with also the addition to the motor skills that need to be obtained as a prerequisite for throwing a baseball at maximum power potential.
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