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Thread: closed hip

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    Checking out the clubhouse barneysdad's Avatar
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    Default closed hip

    Hello

    My 15 year old DD has been pitching for about 5 years now. She has been to many of the pitching instructors in our area. I guess a majority of her instruction is coming from me. She has been somewhat successful. Last year she worked alot on her breaking pitches. Her top speed that I have recorded is around 53 mph.

    I have done some video analysis and believe it is her closing of the hips at the same time as her release that is keeping her from increasing in velocity. every once in a while she will strike her hip at release.

    I have Bill Hillhouse's DVD and am using his drills hoping it will help.

    Any one have any other suggestions/drills for her to work on?

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    Certified softball maniac Mark H's Avatar
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    Compare your ideas to these clips before you start surgery on your DD's motion. Windmill

    Look at what each of these clips have in common with the hips and try to figure out how the arms clear the hips in the two more closed of these clips. I suggest it's not about the degree of closure but rather it's about the kinetic chain.

    As to drills, I believe Ernie had it right when he told my DD to do windmill long toss. I'd suggest the same protocol Jaeger uses in his overhand long toss regimen. You can find a lot on that on youtube and google.

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    Super Moderator sluggers's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what you mean by "closing her hips at the same time she throws". The timing is that the arm goes by the hips, the hips close and the pitch is made.

    Where is the arm when she closes? It is by her hip or in front of her hip? Perhaps you could post a video on YouTube.

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    Certified softball maniac Mark H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sluggers View Post
    I'm not sure what you mean by "closing her hips at the same time she throws". The timing is that the arm goes by the hips, the hips close and the pitch is made.
    Sort of.

    MOV 1 of 3, Windmill

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    rex
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    Default rex

    At the 1996 Olympics, a study/analysis was done on the pitchers (One of the Steadman-Hawkins Reports Softball Pitching at the 1996 Olympic Games).
    It determined that the optimum power position for the hips at release was 45-52 degrees. If you will carefully notice the CatO pitch segment you referenced, it shows her hips closing and stopping at this referenced point. She hardly closes any more than this. In the JenniF video she does not close her hips. In the Ueno video she closes her hips because of the pitch she is throwing but the release is at the 45 degree angle.
    There is nothing wrong with closing the hips but the timing of this mechanic is crucial to prevent shoulder stress and it depends on the pitch being thrown.
    What I use with my students to help cure too much or too quick closure is a drill called Step-Back.
    At about half speed, the student starts a normal pitch but finishes with the whole body aligned straight behind the plant foot in the open position as if they were having to walk sideways between two partitions only a few inches apart. That means the arms have to stay in line with the torso and the legs have to stay in alignment toward the target; no banana drag with the pivot foot. The actual body angle is such that the pitching arm can finish the release but is very tight to the front of the body.
    The step-back portion is accomplished by a slight lean backwards at the plant/release point, pull the pivot foot up to the plant foot then step back to have to catch yourself from falling backwards.
    This will allow the body to get used to less closure. Don't be afraid of the over exaggeration of this mechanic in the opposite direction. After some time of getting used to this drill then pitch normally and monitor the hip closing angle to 45 degrees. It will usually end up right where it should be.
    Also, have her close her eyes at times while doing this drill and make her FEEL where hips are. This is quite effective in the learning process.
    Added caution - striking the hip on a regular basis can cause the forearm muscles to separate from the bone.

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    Super Moderator sluggers's Avatar
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    Notice the hand position and the wrist motion in that video. Osterman is throwing a drop ball. To throw that flavor of drop, the hips close later.

    Here is a capture from Osterman's UnderArmor commercial. She is throwing a fastball. The ball is probably 10 feet out of her hands and her hips still haven't fully closed.

    A woman's hips are wider than her shoulders. If a woman's hips fully close before the arm goes by the hips or at the same time as the arm goes by the hips, the arm will have to go around the hips, resulting in a decrease of speed.

    A decrease of speed is acceptable if you are throwing a breaking pitch. To get the big break on a drop like Osterman gets, you slightly delay closing of the hips. This results in more spin on the ball, and a dramatically better drop.

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    Certified softball maniac Mark H's Avatar
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    Some good stuff guys. Would you say the arm gets around the hip in the clip I posted as a result of the loop turning over?

    On the Finch clip do you see the little hip snap happening at about the same time as the other pitchers albeit of lesser magnitude? Would you say this says something about the hip being part of the kinetic chain? If so, perhaps we could say the information from the study, while valid, doesn't capture the more important role of the hips as a link in the kinetic chain?

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    Administrator Ken Krause's Avatar
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    I doubt that any of these top-level pitchers thinks about purposely closing their hips at all. They get into position to release the ball and drive the back side hard into the front side. Any hip closure that happens is a result of that action, not the cause. It probably has more to do with the whipping action of the arm pulling on the back side than any conscious effort to close or snap the hips.
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    I agree with you...except for Ueno.

    I've been watching a lot of video of her trying to find a good side shot of her. It looks to me that she is always closing her hip either before the ball passes her hip or at the same time. Perhaps that is how she gets that additional 3 or 4 MPHs. Relatively to the other elite pitchers, she does have control problems.

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    BLB
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    Default When it starts and when it stops.

    Check if there is a hip snap or thrust and when it starts. Then check when it comes to a temporary stop. Check what happens from 11 o'clock arm position to 9 o'clock then from there to actual release point. The same thing seems to occur at the Men's elite level.

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