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jennie finch analysis and question

Sep 11, 2008
74
0
caifornia
hi, in that FSN sports science video of Jennie Finch posted by "sluggers" (thank you for posting that) in the other thread about how much you open, there are a number of interesting observations:

1. jennie, as do most of us, explode off the mound with our bodies open to 45 degrees already (watch her pivot foot and her torso turn to 45 degrees before she explodes--just about every pitcher i have seen, including myself, do this, with the possible exception of bill hillhouse...although its been a while since i last watched his dvd). but jennie contiunes opening very early, when her arm is at 7:30 AM, and is just about fully open to 80 or 90 degrees by 10:00 AM. most pitchers do not fully open until around noon or even later.

2. at about 10:30 AM,, jennie goes from her ball-hand palm facing 3B to her palm facing 1B. this is earlier than most. she keeps it in that postion until about 5 PM, when she prepares to snap. this is also later than most.

3. jennie's entire left side of her drag foot drags on the ground. most pitchers drag only the left side of the ball of their foot (if right handed). this allows jennie to attain even more "reverse posture".

ok, but something that stood out for me personally was how straight she kept her throwing arm throughout the circle (no or minimal elbow bend), save a little bending on the latter part of the downswing to create elbow whip. in fact, on the upswing, her throwing arm is almost as long as her glove arm as they race into the "X" position, this DESPITE the fact that she is almost completely open, with her belly button facing 3B, which means her throwing-arm shoulder is substantially behind her glove-arm shoulder. wow.

so my question is this: how does she do this? when i get or try to get 100% open to 80 or 90 degrees during the upswing, so my shoulder axis plane is almost pointing directly to the catcher, it is very hard for my UPPER right arm (my throwing arm) to point straight to the catcher, since my belly button is pointing at 3B, and naturally, my upper arm wants to point out perpendicularly from my shoulder socket/torso, and not across my upper body. so what ends up happening is my elbow bends, sometimes alot, so my lower arm (forearm) is able to point at the catcher, but my upper arm points somewhere between C and 3B, with a bend at my elbow. this helps create a funky-looking arm circle, especially as i transition near noon, with my elbow going from pointing to 3B to point behind me for my downswing. sometimes the ball hooks way over my head due to the elbow bend. so how does jennie do it, and how can i learn to keep my arm straight and long, while staying on plane? it is not easy for me when i get fully open and i want my upper arm to brush across my chest.

thanks!
 

Amy in AZ.

Super Moderator
May 7, 2008
8,506
48
Tucson
If you could post some video, maybe we could help.

I suspect that you may be over thinking all of this. We generally don't talk about AM and PMs or in 1/2 hour increments.

Are you successful doing what you are doing? Do you have a good pitching coach?

Just because it works for Finch doesn't mean that it will work for everyone. You can use her style, but your body structure may dictate that you need to use different tools. Are you at least 6 foot tall?

GOOD LUCK and go with what works for you.
 
May 7, 2008
110
0
First, if you are graduating HS in 2012, you are a very impressive young lady! The fact that you can evaluate video and thoughtfully discuss pitching mechanics places you in elite company.

There is no doubt that Jennie has great mechanics BUT...much of her success is directly related to the fact that she's 6'2" tall! You can't teach size. So "copying" her mechanics may be a mistake for average size girls. It's sorta like trying to learn how to dunk a basketball. Would you study someone 7' tall or someone 5'10" tall? Pretty good chance that the tall guy could do ten things wrong and stiil dunk where the little guy needs near perfect mechanics to dunk. I hope that helps. See if you can find video of Taryne Mowatt of U of A or Angela Tincher of Va. Tech. These are average size women with incredible, high-level success.

Keith
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,882
63
Dallas, Texas
You are now asking why or how Jenny Finch can do things with her body that seem impossible. I've got a better one: Look at her right ankle. She is dragging *HER ANKLE* on the ground--not the side of her foot, but her ankle. I can't even do that sitting in a chair.

Jenny is a tremendous athlete. The elite athletes do things that "mere mortals" can't. Watching her pitch is like watching Willie Mays, Michael Jordan, or Peyton Manning. She is in a class by herself.
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
0
Keith has a tremendous point. In any endeavor study the athletes with lesser gifts who excel. Ueno isn't all that tall and yet she beat the US Olympic team. There's another one I'd study. Windmill
 
Sep 11, 2008
74
0
caifornia
First, if you are graduating HS in 2012, you are a very impressive young lady! The fact that you can evaluate video and thoughtfully discuss pitching mechanics places you in elite company.

There is no doubt that Jennie has great mechanics BUT...much of her success is directly related to the fact that she's 6'2" tall! You can't teach size. So "copying" her mechanics may be a mistake for average size girls. It's sorta like trying to learn how to dunk a basketball. Would you study someone 7' tall or someone 5'10" tall? Pretty good chance that the tall guy could do ten things wrong and stiil dunk where the little guy needs near perfect mechanics to dunk. I hope that helps. See if you can find video of Taryne Mowatt of U of A or Angela Tincher of Va. Tech. These are average size women with incredible, high-level success.

Keith
thanks so much keith for ur praise! yes i am in high school. :) i have worked very hard at trying to improve the past few years. for the record, I am 6'0", and probably about 6'1" in rubber cleats, tho i am a bit more bulky than jennie.

i do have a good pitching coach but i am not too successful at pitching. i throw in the low 40's, depsite my size and years of work. that's no joke. i guess i have a funky arm circle.

i'll try to post some video of me when i get a chance :)
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,882
63
Dallas, Texas
How old are you?

The best way to improve your speed is to, believe it or not, try to improve your speed. Get somebody with a radar gun and devote a practice simply to throwing faster. Don't worry about location. Just try to throw as hard as you can.
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
0
How old are you?

The best way to improve your speed is to, believe it or not, try to improve your speed. Get somebody with a radar gun and devote a practice simply to throwing faster. Don't worry about location. Just try to throw as hard as you can.
Assuming reasonable base mechanics, absolutely. INTENT when practicing is huge in producing results. Add in immediate objective feedback with the gun and or long toss as slugger speaks to and you have a good recipe.
 
Sep 11, 2008
74
0
caifornia
hi, i am 14. thanks for the advice sluggers and mark h! i am going to work really hard on my flexibility and hitting the "transition points" faster in my arm circle like my pitching coach wants me too.
 

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