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Drive Mechanics

Oct 1, 2014
922
28
USA
The center-to-push slide is a good example of utilizing SSC... so long as centering is part of the push, not just a move someone does for sh!+$ and giggles...
This just came up yesterday as we were reminding DD to keep feeling the rubber slightly with her toes/foot and to keep the muscles "triggered" and ready for the push as she centers. Not sure if I explained that right, seems like you have cues that work so much better for DD!!
 
Aug 25, 2017
5
0
O-H! I-O!
Hello all,

Great thread. My DD is just beginning her journey, based on her drive and discovery that she can pitch and her new 10U travel team and fall ball team want her to pitch. DD has limited drive mechanics. DD steps mostly, with some stride, though DD has correct "stride" foot placement upon landing, even with step motion. She also had good presentation and plate mechanics.

SO my question is - Is there a compilation of all the information in the thread, in one easy place? If, not, that's OK, just figured that I would ask first. I plan on starting DD off with the information on the first page, and work from there.

Many thanks,
Mongo
 
Aug 25, 2017
5
0
O-H! I-O!
Shaker1, OMG. Thank you very much!! For an OCD, technical, AND mechanical guy like me this is 1,000,000 % AEWSOME! I was just going to post to see if there was a fix to some of the gifs not registering....lol

Now, to the studying.....again, thanks a ton!

Mongo
 

shaker1

Softball Junkie
Dec 4, 2014
894
0
On a bucket
Shaker1, OMG. Thank you very much!! For an OCD, technical, AND mechanical guy like me this is 1,000,000 % AEWSOME! I was just going to post to see if there was a fix to some of the gifs not registering....lol

Now, to the studying.....again, thanks a ton!

Mongo
I believe Ken B posted that some time ago, I just saved it.
 

javasource

6-4-3 = 2
May 6, 2013
1,343
38
Western NY
The Stand Tall, Fall, Go Drill (STFG)

For those of you stumbling on this post that are unfamiliar with FRONTSIDE TIMING (FST)... it is a reference to what the stride leg does immediately after the pitching arm reaches 3 O'clock.

If FST is correct, the stride leg (and body) will start to DESCEND (fall) on the next frame in the video... as the arm ASCENDS above 3 O'clock.

Looks like this:



This is a very important aspect in developing the efficiency of STABILITY, FRONTSIDE RESISTANCE (FSR), and WHIP. If the arm is too far UP the clock - BEFORE the stride leg (foot) starts heading downward - the athlete won't have OPTIMAL time to develop the aforementioned critical fundamentals.

Although there are a million ways to Sunday to fix this issue... like:

  1. shooting the stride leg out super-fast
  2. offsetting the onset of the backswing
  3. improving the rate of drive-leg extension
  4. 2-Steps, Jumpbacks, Pushbacks
  5. etc.
... the key is to get student-athletes to repeat a well-synchronized series of pitching movements... thousands of 'em... so they develop the AWARENESS to self-correct when FST is askew!

To do this, the most fail-safe way, is to strip ALL unnecessary movement out and do only what is needed to fix the issue.

First, the legs are attached to the hips. 9 times out of 10... the athlete is slow to activate the hip... despite identifying the issue with the legs.

Second, the short-stretch in the drive knee is often times over-stretched or held too long to actually create a ballistic response.

Third, the arms are so comfortable in their motion, the athlete reverts to this comfort.

Before I begin telling you what to do... it's important to know the definition of "cracking the walnut". It's simple... it's an expression that refers to placing a walnut between the butt-cheeks... and trying to crack it. Got it?

Here's the drill:

Assuming she's right-handed (if not simply switch the word "right" to "left")...

The Set-Up

  1. Standing on the RIGHT leg... the KNEE CANNOT BE BENT. LEG IS STRAIGHT. 100% of weight is on this leg.
  2. Left leg is slightly flexed, toe is on "pointe", staggered behind the right. (Bearing NO weight).
  3. Arms are extended a la Frankenstein out in front... or "zombie-style" if you prefer...
  4. Butt cheeks are "cracking a walnut"... and do not stop doing so THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE PITCH!!! (the glutes will "let go" on the drive extension... but you don't need to tell the athlete this...)
  5. The hips should be lightly out in front of the shoulders... sort of like you're thrusting them in the direction of the catcher. (spine LIGHTLY hyper-extended)
Here is a GIF that breaks down The Setup and The Motion. Reference the NUMBERS and LETTERS as they correspond to each section.



The Motion

From the set-up position.. the athlete is instructed to:

A) Remain standing tall & cracking a walnut... RIGHT KNEE CANNOT BEND... they start to fall in a face-plant fashion.​

B) Once they start falling (NOT BEFORE & NOT AT THE SAME TIME), they need to tear into a backswing... and I mean fast. They MUST pass the hip, BUT THEY WILL FEEL LIKE THEY CANNOT. If they comfortably backswing (beyond 8 o'clock) they either: bent the knee too soon or started backswinging too soon.​

C) They will then push from the rubber... this is not a teach, it will need to happen... and it's ok if the push happens around the same time as the beginning of the backswing (sorta preferred, actually). In the gif below, note how the knee remains straight until the lean and backswing have already begun. This means that when the knee does push, the bend (lengthening) will be delayed, ensuring we use the Stretch Shortening Cycle (quick bend like you would do before a high jump).​

D) Triple extension will occur in the drive leg. Triple refers to the hip, then knee, then foot extending (straightening). We've aided this by not allowing hip flexion (bend)... as we were instructed to fall forward with our hips out. For those of you thinking that you can't push as hard in this drill... that is not true, the SSC will allow you to push just as forceful, once you develop the coordination of the drill.​

E) FSR = FrontSide Resistance. Now that the athlete's legs are "in front" of their circle... THEY COME DOWN SOONER. This gives them the opportunity to create FSR... as they now have more circle time to leverage the ground. It's at this point we can form a reasonable expectation that they exhibit good release posture, stability, & resistance.​

B & C Are interchangeable... the push from the rubber will be a protection reflex... as they will not want to face-plant... BUT THEY MUST BE INTO THE LEAN.

Depending on the degree of timing correction needed they will feel anywhere from uncomfortable to terrible doing this drill (the backswing will really mess the feel up).

Here's a GIF of the motion, without interruption.



WHY THIS WORKS:

  1. Athletes that have bad timing are ARM DOMINANT... this makes them DRIVE DOMINANT.
  2. Many athletes post on their drive leg UNTIL THEIR CENTER OF GRAVITY is forward enough for the drive muscles to activate. Displaced hips (behind shoulders) is the number 1 killer of proper arm-leg timing... and often the weakness lies in the spine/lower-extremity linkage.
  3. By SLIGHTLY hyper-extending the spine (hips thrust forward a bit), cracking the walnut, and DELAYING THE STRETCH REFLEX in the knee (bending it)... the displacement never occurs, the link between core/lower-body remains intact, and the knee actually fires in response to the fall (forward momentum).
  4. By delaying the onset of the backswing, BUT REQUIRING A BACKSWING TO OCCUR, the lower body gets ahead of the arm circle.
This is a drill I created that works 100% of the time... WHEN UNDERSTOOD AND IMPLEMENTED CORRECTLY.

This is the most effective timing related drill I ever created... and I'll gladly accept gifts for sharing it with you all. Just remember where you heard it first!!!

Rinse & Repeat 100 times a night 6 days a week. No ball required, but it does help. After 2-months (5,000 reps), she'll be so comfortable with this new timing, she'll be able to sense when it is off... which is the most important skill-type we can teach these young ladies (self-awareness).

When referencing video, be sure to record & review at 30 fps.

Lastly, this is a legal drill (for some reason, many complained the others were not...) and you can easily adapt it to game situations. Here is the same young lady 1-week later in a LIVE situation, smoking batters...



Best,
~JS

(Any college coaches reading this thread? Put this young lady on your radar! Just entered 7th grade, throws between 53-56 mph, AND throws a TRUE rise (real backspin... over 32 revs per second), perfect 12-6 drop, and a change-up that rivals Delaney Gourley's! Second coming of Cat Osterman.... SPEED, SPIN, & SPOT!!!)
 
Last edited:
Jun 7, 2016
106
18
Java,
Thank you for posting the original drill and more importantly, following up with the above. The value of your contributions to us regular folk is incalculable.

PS keep us posted on the progess of your pupil.
 

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