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Arm position, 12 to release

Aug 2, 2008
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Newsletter Drop

The above link explains the natural arm position on the downswing, do you agree with this explanation? I read in another post that the Finch and Ueno videos posted in the video forum are not fastballs, does it matter what pitch is being thrown? Does the arm do something different from 12 oclock to release on different pitches, and should this natural motion as seen in the Finch video be emphasized in drills at an early age? I still hear and see people teaching kids to get there hand behind the ball on the downswing and that is not what I see the good pitchers doing.

Mike
 

Mar 18, 2009
131
0
La Crosse WI
I support Upper Deck's discussion of how to work pitchers -- good advice.
In my opinion:
1. A fastball is the fastest pitch, if thrown properly. At the release point off the fingertips, the ball reaches maximum velocity. The spin should be a mostly forward tumble. And it should follow a downward arc greater than gravity-driven.
2. A roll-over drop is a fastball with a fastball grip and delivery that has higher rotational speed to make the down action more dramatic. To accomplish that, the fingers have to have the time to pull over the top of the ball before the release point. Remember that the release point has to be nearly the same in both pitches to keep the pitch in the strike zone. So the hand and fingers need to be cocked back somewhat (opened ?) to give the fingers pulling-over time to keep the release point. And this pitch has to lose some velocity as the action of the fingers is shifted away from driving forward and to imparting spin.
3. The roll-over drop is definitely slower simply because the hand action is diverted from driving the ball forward to passing over and down the front of the ball. No surprise there.
4. I teach the orientation of the hand during the windmill as follows:
First assume a fastball grip with thumb opposite side of ball from fingers.
At 9:00 (arm pointed at plate) palm facing in, thumb pointin to 1st
at 12:00 palm/thumb facing plate
At 3:00 palm/thumb facting 3rd
Drom 3:00 to release point, the thumb/palm rotate to face plate, so the fingers are behind the ball
During the last quarter circle, the arm is still fully extended and driving forward with the elbow leading the lower arm down to the side. The lower arm accelerates thru the release point with a whip-like action.
The above arm orientation gets the hand to a position from which you can throw most pitches (rise, both drops, etc). Remember Hillhouse's theory that you spin the ball with the fingers.
When watching videos of the stars, viewers tend to fixate on the wild arm and hand action post-release. It doesn't help understand the action of the pitcher's hand and arm that creates the ball's movement.
Jim
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
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I agree with looking at clips of the elite to double check advice. Good call. My thought is, how are you going to lead with the elbow so you can whip the arm if the hand is behind the ball on the down swing. :)

Keeping in mind I study hitting much more than pitching, I'd say Red's exposition sounds about right. I know there's a big discussion there to be had about when the roll happens on a roll over drop but I'm unconcerned. The subject is when the hand gets behind the ball on the down swing and I think his explanation there is supported by video and biomechanics.
 
Mar 18, 2009
131
0
La Crosse WI
Mark:
The hand isn't behind the ball at 9:00, but during the sweep down to release point the hand follows a natural path to end up behind the ball. I want the pitcher to drive the arm down hard from 9:00 focusing primarily on the upper arm and elbow. That's what I meant by leading with the elbow.
Jim
 
Aug 2, 2008
553
0
Jim says,
"I want the pitcher to drive the arm down hard from 9:00 focusing primarily on the upper arm and elbow. That's what I meant by leading with the elbow."

Jim, do you mean drive the arm down hard from 3:00?
so basically the arm should follow the natural path from 12 to release for all pitches? movement pitches happen from how you release the ball right?

Does anyone have a video to post of an elite pitcher throwing a simple fastball? my eye is not trained enough yet to tell what they are throwing.

Mike
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
0
Mark:
The hand isn't behind the ball at 9:00, but during the sweep down to release point the hand follows a natural path to end up behind the ball. I want the pitcher to drive the arm down hard from 9:00 focusing primarily on the upper arm and elbow. That's what I meant by leading with the elbow.
Jim
And I agree with you.
 

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