- Aug 21, 2008
Mike, In fairness, your post lost me on some of your more technical explanations. I'm a simple guy. But, and please correct me if I'm wrong (which I am undoubtedly wrong), it sounds like you described WHY the hitch happens. Great!! I have never given much thought as to WHY it happens, but it can clearly be seen on every pitcher that has the crow hop: male, female, boy, girl, alien, etc. But it's there on every "hopper". I am not even going to enter the debate with you as to WHY it happens, but it sounds like (again, I could be wrong) that you agree it's there. Where we differ might be a chicken and egg debate, for me it doesn't really matter WHY it happens only that it's there and speeding up the arm, working on keeping shoelaces pointed to catcher is the way to fix it. I still maintain that without that "hitch" in the arm circle, the foot does not have the chance to do the replant or crow hop. And, I have also pitched both ways: with and without the crow hop. The rules in men's fastpitch have always been more lax than in the female game but never as liberal as they are now. So, in my early 20's, while playing internationally, I could not do the crow hop. I had to throw "legally". Ironically, some of my best seasons (statistically) were pitching without a crow hop. And in retrospect, I wish I had just maintained that motion instead of the back and forth.Bill,
You know my respect for you is through the roof... so when I say this... please hear this as merely conversational... that correction you mention, I've heard for years and years... from people that were pitching/coaching before you and I were pulling on our daddy's pant leg... and addition... every one of those that have told me this, made a video about it, or written about it... also say it's a very time-intensive fix... one of the harder ones.
What I am saying is... I was handed the same info you were... and it doesn't work. So... I struggled with my first crowhoppiing for two years. Long story short... she continued to, and moved on from me (played D3).
That never sat well with me... and I started to break it down... teaching myself to crowhop. I immidiately discovered it felt more like a sling shot or step style pitch... with a grab at the top of the circle... so I understood IMMEDIATELY why people were talking about the "hitch".
I also couldn't help but notice the "ninja position"... as my background in biomechanics destroys this as an efficient delivery method... as well as a destroyer of backs, hips, and because of the disconnect, eventually the shoulders. Like H/E and all the ancient concepts that set people back in this sport, just trying to debunk this myth.
Obviously... all of our advice is worth what people on here pay for it, right?
If anyone is interested, the hitch is a result of excessive external rotation of the humerus... in regards to when it occurs during elevation of the arm. It's the same hitch you see when a rhp brings the ball up the circle with palm under the ball or palm to 3rd. The circumduction of the arm is interrupted by the necessity of external rotation in the glenohumeral joint... as you can't pass over top without the arm getting to a partially E/R'd position. Crowhoppiing involves a sharp opening as you described... and when it occurs, it slows the circumduction of the arm when the arm is at 12... the exact moment the humerus is looking for E/R... AND... the exact same moment the right foot (rhp) is pushing the second time. When this happens... if the excessive ER in the shoulder socket is not a problem... we SEE a hitch... but that's really just a grab, from the athlete trying to leverage the ground with the BACK leg. Asking them to stop leveraging... would be the same as asking someone who didn't crowhop (leap & drag style) to stop using frontside resistance. They would be throwing pus. Crowhoppers use that second push as their main powersource... then some FSR. Leap & Draggers only have the FSR... hence no hitch... unless they come up the circle as I mentioned...
Anyway, I'm just glad the O/P tried it, shared it, and after a day... is already experiencing results. Eventually (once the muscle memory has set in... like 6-8 weeks) they can be comfortable with letting the "eye of the knee" point DOWN the 3B line. If it ever starts to look back UP THE 3B line... they know the fix.
I'll end with a quote from our mp3 players:
"You can... blame it on the rain, blame it on the rain, blame it on the rain..."
...and to the OP's DD... "Girl you know it's true..."
(just messing with ya...)
strike3, you asked a great question: why change? I guess because you need to know how to do it both ways in case you run into that one umpire who WILL call it. You never know where that might be. Meaningless pool game or final of a National tournament. The rules are becoming more modern and allowing the pitcher to step back and in some cases even go airborne. This will ultimately lead to crow hopping across the board as pitchers look for an advantage to combat 2019 bats and balls. It's amazing that it doesn't seem to bother more people that pitchers need masks now because bats/balls are so hot, yet they want that pitcher to keep 2 feet on the rubber and be restricted. How about no leaping by the pitcher, 2 feet on the rubber and we go back to cork balls and wooden bats? Unrealistic I know.