Loading
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 21

Thread: Pitching styles

  1. #1
    Checking out the clubhouse donnar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    1
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Pitching styles

    My 16 yr old daughter has been taking pitching lessons for 4 years. her pitching coach is an older man who teaches the closed style. She does very well with the closed style. Her goal is to pitch in college. We've been told by several people that she needs to learn the open style pitch because thats what the colleges want. So we have started going to a a girl who is a pitching coach for the softball team at our local university. She also used to take lessons from the same man who my daughter takes lessons with. She got a softball scholarship and the first thing they did is tell her she was going to have to learn the open style. Which is better,and why?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator sluggers's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    3,988
    Thanks
    385
    Thanked 1,355 Times in 646 Posts

    Default

    There is not a "closed style" and an "open style". A woman, unlike a man, has hips wider than their shoulders. Therefore, the hips have to open to let the arm go by or the arm will hit the hips. All accomplished women pitchers open the hips, let the arm go by, and then close the hips. However, the amount the hips open and how long the hips stay open varies from pitcher to pitcher. In other words, all pitchers get open, some pitchers are just "more" open than others.

    The reason a more open style is preferred is because (1) it keeps the legs and arm in a neat line, allowing a more efficient power transfer, (2) the arm can go in a nice circle without changing planes and (3) the pitcher doesn't have to worry about hitting the hips with her arm.

    Whitney Canion is the poster child for "getting the hips open" and leaving them open.




    Here is Dallas Escobedo of Arizona State. It is clear she opens the hips, lets the arm go by, and then closes the hips. She closes earlier than other pitchers, but is slightly open when the arm goes by the hips.



    Most instructors would say Canion has better form than Escobedo. But, Escobedo has been very successful. IMHO, Canion is slightly better than Escobedo, but obviously both are very, very good.

    The vast majority of successful college pitchers pitch more like Canion than Escobedo. Go to the "Model Pitchers" thread, and you will see lots of different pitchers. All of them, other than Escobedo, open and stay open. Even Uneo stays open longer than Escobedo. So, if your DD is going to play the percentages, you would go with a more open style like Canion.

    I have seen many, many pitchers with a form similar to Escobedo, and they have all failed miserably. I think Escobedo makes it work because she is enormously talented. It would be foolish to assume that anyone's DD is as gifted as Escobedo.

    Perhaps you have heard of Stan Musial. Musial is one of the greatest hitters ever. No one teaches his method of hitting, because only a person with incredible talent can hit that way. People like Escobedo and Musial come around only once or twice a decade. Don't bet your child is one of them.
    Last edited by sluggers; 06-11-2011 at 12:11 AM.
    Ray

    Every softball parent keeps a hockey mask and a butcher knife in their car...

  3. #3
    I eat, sleep and breathe softball FiveFrameSwing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    8,105
    Thanks
    675
    Thanked 2,584 Times in 2,027 Posts

    Default

    Sluggers, you'll often hear Michelle Smith quote the Steadman-Hawkins report and state that the hips should be open 45-52 degrees at ball release.

    Steadman Hawkins - Page 4

    Finally, and possibly the most important factor in reducing shoulder distraction force, the hips should be closed at about a 45 degree angle (half way between completely open and completely closed) at the instant of ball release.


    Steadman Hawkins - Page 8

    Hip Angle at Release (Average = 52 degrees)



    It isn't like Michelle has made this comment once or twice, but over the years I've heard her make this comment many - many times. What are your thoughts on why she might stress the importance of a 45-52 degree hip angle at release?

  4. #4
    I can talk softball all day go4fpsb's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    154
    Thanks
    11
    Thanked 11 Times in 8 Posts

    Default shoulder angle

    Quote Originally Posted by FiveFrameSwing View Post
    Sluggers, you'll often hear Michelle Smith quote the Steadman-Hawkins report and state that the hips should be open 45-52 degrees at ball release.

    Steadman Hawkins - Page 4

    Finally, and possibly the most important factor in reducing shoulder distraction force, the hips should be closed at about a 45 degree angle (half way between completely open and completely closed) at the instant of ball release.


    Steadman Hawkins - Page 8

    Hip Angle at Release (Average = 52 degrees)



    It isn't like Michelle has made this comment once or twice, but over the years I've heard her make this comment many - many times. What are your thoughts on why she might stress the importance of a 45-52 degree hip angle at release?
    FFS, I know this was directed at Sluggers but I'll comment. The shoulder angle for me is determined by the pitcher. I have them just stand in an athletic position, put a ball in their hand and tell them to do arm circles at a moderate pace. I use a power line and have them move their feet until the arm circle is rotating directly over the power line. Then I look at their feet and determine the angle between the power line and the line determined by their feet and that tells me where their arm functions most efficiently and naturally which inevitably is in that 45 -52 degree window. I tell them here is where your arm wants to go naturally, if you allow it to function the way it was built is function you will throw faster and without injury. Does that make sense?

  5. #5
    I can talk softball all day Hillhouse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    434
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 274 Times in 87 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sluggers View Post
    There is not a "closed style" and an "open style". A woman, unlike a man, has hips wider than their shoulders. Therefore, the hips have to open to let the arm go by or the arm will hit the hips. All accomplished women pitchers open the hips, let the arm go by, and then close the hips. However, the amount the hips open and how long the hips stay open varies from pitcher to pitcher. In other words, all pitchers get open, some pitchers are just "more" open than others.

    The reason a more open style is preferred is because (1) it keeps the legs and arm in a neat line, allowing a more efficient power transfer, (2) the arm can go in a nice circle without changing planes and (3) the pitcher doesn't have to worry about hitting the hips with her arm.

    Whitney Canion is the poster child for "getting the hips open" and leaving them open.




    Here is Dallas Escobedo of Arizona State. It is clear she opens the hips, lets the arm go by, and then closes the hips. She closes earlier than other pitchers, but is slightly open when the arm goes by the hips.



    Most instructors would say Canion has better form than Escobedo. But, Escobedo has been very successful. IMHO, Canion is slightly better than Escobedo, but obviously both are very, very good.

    The vast majority of successful college pitchers pitch more like Canion than Escobedo. Go to the "Model Pitchers" thread, and you will see lots of different pitchers. All of them, other than Escobedo, open and stay open. Even Uneo stays open longer than Escobedo. So, if your DD is going to play the percentages, you would go with a more open style like Canion.

    I have seen many, many pitchers with a form similar to Escobedo, and they have all failed miserably. I think Escobedo makes it work because she is enormously talented. It would be foolish to assume that anyone's DD is as gifted as Escobedo.

    Perhaps you have heard of Stan Musial. Musial is one of the greatest hitters ever. No one teaches his method of hitting, because only a person with incredible talent can hit that way. People like Escobedo and Musial come around only once or twice a decade. Don't bet your child is one of them.

    Sluggers, initially I was going to make a smart a$$ comment about your post (in good humor of course). Mostly about knowing plenty of male pitchers with wider hips than their shoulders, mostly due to excessive beer drinking. In fact, a guy that many consider to be the best ever was about 6'3, 280 lbs. A monster for sure and hardly what you'd call a "physical speciman". Lots of beer in that belly, and wings, and pizza, etc. etc. So there are plenty of men with wide 'hips' too.

    But the more I read your post, the more I agreed with most of it. I would disagree that there isn't a closed and open style. Do a clinic somewhere in the US and you will see that there are LOTS of different "styles' being taught. It doesn't make those 'styles' right but they do exist. And I've also found that people confuse the word "style" a lot. Moreover, sooooo many pitching coaches teach their own "style" as though it's "absolute", to coin the Doug Gillis phrases. That is where ppl go wrong, IMHO.

    The girl from ASU was good DESPITE what she did mechanically, not because of it.

    Bill

  6. #6
    I eat, sleep and breathe softball FiveFrameSwing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    8,105
    Thanks
    675
    Thanked 2,584 Times in 2,027 Posts

    Default

    I took the graph, expanded it, added horizontal lines, and extracted the numbers.

    Non-expanded plot shown here (expanded plot didn't fit nicely into a post).



    62.5
    62
    61
    52
    50
    62
    47
    55
    62
    32
    58
    67
    46
    61
    17.5
    48
    20
    70
    65
    40
    18
    74
    33
    96

    The average was 52.4 degrees ... which agrees with what was reported.

    The median was 56.5 degrees.

    IMO the median is more telling. Half of the pitchers had a hip rotation greater than 56.5 degrees at release, and half of the pitchers had a hip rotation less than 56.5 degrees at release.

    Then I thought about this data being a merge of 'styles'. I took note that there were three pitchers with a hip angle of 20-degrees or less at release ... and questioned if these three girls might be using a different style and impacting the database.

    So I recomputed the 'average' and 'median' from a subset of the data in which the 3 lowest hip angles were removed, and also in which the 3 highest hip angles were removed.

    From this subset ...

    The average was 53.5 degrees.

    The median was 56.5 degrees.

    Virtually the same answer ... and in fact the median is the same.

    When you attempt to remove the extremes (in this case the lowest 3 values and highest 3 values), in an attempt to smooth out 'style' differences, the answer remains that the median hip angle was 56.5 degrees at ball release.

  7. #7
    I eat, sleep and breathe softball FiveFrameSwing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    8,105
    Thanks
    675
    Thanked 2,584 Times in 2,027 Posts

    Default

    Several potential conclusions can be made.

    One potential conclusion is that, in terms of the “hip angle at ball release”, that Whitney Canion represents more of an extreme case … at least in terms of being much more closed, relative to the pitchers analyzed in the Steadman-Hawkins report.

    Another potential conclusion is that, wrt to this particular metric, that Dallas Escobedo’s “hip angle at release” is much more typical.

    Do these two pitchers use a different ‘style’? IMO, at least in terms of the “hip angle at release”, these two pitchers are using a different style of pitching.

  8. #8
    I eat, sleep and breathe softball FiveFrameSwing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    8,105
    Thanks
    675
    Thanked 2,584 Times in 2,027 Posts

    Default

    Statistically speaking, Whitney Canion’s “hip angle at ball release” falls outside of the spread of one standard deviation from the median. This represents a significant difference.

    IMO this significant difference represents a difference in pitching style.

    This isn’t to say that Whitney Canion isn’t a very accomplished pitcher … just that her mechanics represent a resulting “hip angle at ball release” that falls outside of the normal distribution.

  9. #9
    I can talk softball all day LAdad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    169
    Thanks
    10
    Thanked 10 Times in 6 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hillhouse View Post
    Sluggers, initially I was going to make a smart a$$ comment about your post (in good humor of course). Mostly about knowing plenty of male pitchers with wider hips than their shoulders, mostly due to excessive beer drinking. In fact, a guy that many consider to be the best ever was about 6'3, 280 lbs. A monster for sure and hardly what you'd call a "physical speciman". Lots of beer in that belly, and wings, and pizza, etc. etc. So there are plenty of men with wide 'hips' too.
    Just as girls use an open style so they don't hit their hips, those men should use a closed style so they don't hit their gut.

  10. #10
    Banned halskinner's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    2,696
    Thanks
    95
    Thanked 487 Times in 365 Posts

    Default

    There are two styles of softball pitching; Step style and Leap and Drag.

    If I see a pitcher throw a pitch and her stride foot touches down BEFORE her pivot foot leaves the rubber, I have just seen a step style pitch.

    If I see a pitcher throw a pitch and the forward momentum is such that it PULLS (drags) the pivot foot forward of the rubber BEFORE the stride foot touches down, I have just seen a Leap and Drag style pitch.

    There are many variations of both those styles and those are typed by;

    1. Open.
    2. Closed.

    Either style can be thrown with either an open or closed finsh.

    3 The type of windup used is also often referred to as a seperate 'Style'.

    As an example; A pitcher can utilize one of several windups, throw with an open or closed type but must do it as either a Step Style or Leap and Drag style.

    Many instructors refer to a 'Signature pitch' that they specialize in as their own 'Style'.

    Please note; Many times a step style pitcher will grow in either strength and aggressiveness that in the act of taking their 'Step', the pivot foot comes forward of the rubber some inches. If their is no push off and the speed of the step creates that forward momentum, it is still a step style pitch that is not being contained with the Step style mechanics.

    I have always referred to a pitcher at that point as being in a pitching style limbo.
    Last edited by halskinner; 06-11-2011 at 01:37 PM.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Segment -- Burn -- Conversion --