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Bent drag knee?

Wanted opinions on bent drag knee from push to plant. I just had a discussion with a couple of guys about this. The purpose of the knee staying bent was to prevent stress on the back according to one of the guys. Obviously, we want it bent out of the sprinters position to get max push but does it stay bent to finish? Most of my kids keep it bent without me telling them. I certainly makes sense to me and if it prevents an injury I want to make sure we all do it if you know what I mean!
 

Aug 21, 2008
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I have been literally on an island for the past week with very little to do except surf the web and find entertainment for myself. Hence the unusual amount of replies by me on this forum. Once I get home and things return to normal, I don't think I'll be around as much but...

Why would you want the back leg to bend? More bend in the back leg would equal more drag of the foot, right? More drag of the foot means more 'anchor' holding the weight back of it's explosion forward? The goal should be to go across the TOP of the ground, not dig a hole along the way. Unless I'm really misunderstanding something here, I would think a conscience effort to bend the back leg is going to really create more 'drag' and slow the pitcher down.

The back pain thing happens, there's little that can be done about it. Some pitchers get it, others do not. It can be a genetic problem rather than mechanical. More often than not, a right handed pitcher gets back pain in their lower LEFT side. A left handed pitcher gets pain in the lower RIGHT side. This is due to the pounding the body takes as the stride foot lands. This is extremely common in pitchers who throw a lot on VERY hard surfaces (gym floors or very hard ground conditions). When the pitcher lands on their front leg, they have up to 8x their body weight going through their joints and this also creates back problems in the discs. Basketball players get this in their knees (called Jumper's Knee) and it's not uncommon in pitching as well. Moreover, when the pitcher lands, the spine has a tendency to take a ton of impact and will actually smush the disc out of place (herniated or bulging disk). Check out "McKenzie method' of back treatments to help maintain back problems and strengthen the potential causes.

No, I'm not a doctor but I did stay at a Holiday Inn express last night.
 
Bill
One of us must have read or interpreted the question wrong.

After reading your post I went back and looked at video of some of the best ever female and male pitchers( Michael White, Peter Meredith, Mark Smith, Finch, Cat, Abbott,etc.)---every one of them has bend in their push leg knee. Merediths is significant. Never did any of them straighten it out even after ball release.

A bent push knee is required the same as it is in hitting----how else are you going to get the proper tilt required to brace into the landing foot? How would you get the required spine angle for a riseball?

Each has a different toe drag----some much "heavier" than others. I guess this heavy drag may be less than optimal so I can't see any disagreement there.

I checked your website to see what your knee does but you must have taken all the "free" video clips off. :)

Rick
 
Aug 21, 2008
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Rick

I've re-read that question and something is not computing in my brain. On top of that I hope I didn't imply the back leg stay "stiff" or locked. I'm not good at explaining things sometimes on message boards and with words, which is why I often avoid these things!

Part of me thinks it can be things like this that are 'over taught'. Like the old saying "if it's not broken, don't fix it or worry about it". Without question i don't want the back leg to be straight or locked. But, I try not to let pitchers have a heavy drag with the back foot. I could very easily see how 'teaching' a bend in the back leg could encourage a HEAVY foot drag. That would severely hamper the leg drive.

Again, it's entirely possible that I've made way too much out of this question and still have it confused.
 
Aug 21, 2008
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Rick

BTW... I didn't remove the video clips on my site. I didn't even know they were gone... I will check into that tomorrow. I wouldn't know how to remove them even if I wanted to... I barely know how to do email. Thanks for the heads up.

By the way, Marty Grant was 2nd team All World this year. Thought you'd want to know.
 
My concern was heavy drag in the conversation as well but he said this wasn't an issue. I guess if they over exaggerate it the huge trench will occur and slow momentum down which is obviously not good. You are right Bill, I have a hard time telling kids to do this but a slight bend is present in most of my kids without me saying. I think if you tell them an overexaggerated drag may be the result. Yes Rick, Cat is a good example of the bent knee. Bill, I checked out your video and your knee does stay bent but the drag stays light which I believe is what we want. As far as this helping the back I don't know. The pitching coach in Michigan that stresses this helped a kid in Kalamazoo who actually had a fracture in her back and since changing no back problems exist. She is the real deal 62-65 mph going into her senior year. I hope to meet with this coach in the next couple weeks and will share the data later. Bill, enjoy the island, I am sure your body needs the break after a long summer of softball. Take care!
 
Bill, Overtaught is a great word! I was talking about the rvp software and how sometimes it makes coaches overteach thus creating the robot pitcher or hitter. Don't worry I won't be yelling at my kids about overbending the drag leg and digging the deep trench. Besides, I have to fill that trench in after, haha!
 
Aug 16, 2008
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Back leg Drag

does anyone have any methods/drills, to help a pitcher who is digging a trench with their drag toe to eliminate or lessen that, as I can see how too much of a good thing can be detrimental.
 
If the pitcher is throwing a change-up the deep ditch can be a benefit---tends to take some of the energy out of the rest of the body.

Two things to suggest but don't really have any drills:
1. Explosion forward off the mound
(heavy emphasis on the word explosion)
2. Strong core to help with the hip snap that causes the toe to drag through
(heavy emphasis on the word snap)

Rick
 
Aug 16, 2008
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I guess that partially explains why this kid has what universally everyone who sees her pitch says: "WOW that is an incredible change up". The other part of that equation of course is the job she does of "selling it". with that said, although she has good velocity we think that there is 1-2 mph hidden in there somewhere. That is the difference right now in being a "Very Good" pitcher & a "Great" Pitcher.
 

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