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Pitching - Hips Open or Closed

fanboi22

on the journey
Nov 9, 2015
823
43
SE Wisconsin
I'm confused, because we have a friend who is a D-1 pitcher who says she's not staying open so her hip is closing before her hand gets through. Is what she saying correct?
Probably an example of a talented pitcher who was taught old school HE and doesn’t really know what she does so try’s to explain it how she was taught. Incorrectly would be my guess.
 

fanboi22

on the journey
Nov 9, 2015
823
43
SE Wisconsin
Her actual pitching coach throws more in a hybrid fashion, finishing across the body (maybe more like Hillhouse in that respect). It's not HE where the elbow is straight and to the catcher, but it's not IR either. The focus has been more keeping the arm loose and following through. She's about 8 weeks into pitching. Not sure if that helps.

I didn't really want to post a video as 8 weeks in I'm sure there are numerous issues (and it's not IR or HE), but here is a recent one.


www.flickr.com/photos/43444487@N00/49244666928/in/album-72157712281862253/
From the video, IMO she needs to get brush interference. There is a sticky for it and numerous other posts. To me it is one of the most important aspects of the pitch if not the most important. If your DD is anything like mine was at that age, she heard slam the door as the arm flies by the hips. Completely incorrect IMHO.

If you focus on getting the brush interference, and she ingrains that in her pitching a lot of the posture issues will come more naturally and it will help improve the accuracy issues. I have the holes in the side of my garage siding as a reminder of how my DD started.

There are some great Rick Pauly videos showing what needs to be done for brush interference/brush assisted whip. I've always heard that at least 80% of the pitch speed is from the arm/IR/brush, so to focus on that gets you most of the way there, especially at this age. I would have her get the feel of BI with drills before even pushing full pitches(learn how to throw underhand before trying to pitch). She should understand when she does or doesn't BI.

One cue that I used with my DD was throw from pocket. Almost literally. i was trying to have her peg most of her upper and lower arm against her body as it came down to release and have her try to feel as if though she was throwing from her pocket.
 

fanboi22

on the journey
Nov 9, 2015
823
43
SE Wisconsin
Just remembered seeing this video similar to what is being talked about. Check out the brush interference and 'throwing from pocket'.

 
May 9, 2019
290
43
I like the basement setup! It looks very similar to ours!
Only took a quick glance at a couple of pitches.
As far as style, that looks very much like HE and not IR. I agree with what others said, you want to have hips about 45 degrees, like half open/closed.
If I could just make one suggestion for now, please have her try to keep that drive foot straight before the stride. If you notice, she turns her right foot before the pitch everytime. It's something my DD had to work on for weeks and weeks, still does it sometimes. It will greatly improve overall mechanics and drive if you can have her squash that habit early on. Good luck to you and your DD!
 
May 15, 2008
815
43
Cape Cod Mass.
I typically use a lot of slingshot with beginners, it allows them to start from an open position. It also isolates the arm action and takes the circle out of the process. I stress the flexed arm with the elbow leading the downswing. We start with a step then progress to a leap. If done correctly this sets up the transition to the full circle. Having the correct arm action is the key to getting off to a fast start learning to pitch, so I always begin with slingshot.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
6,372
113
Dallas, Texas
The hips open and closed concept confuses me a bit. On these screen shots, does my 9-year-old DD have her hips open in any of them or are they all closed in the screen shots? Thanks for any input.
To understand "hips open vs. hips closed", you have to understand the teaching process.

Almost always, newbie pitchers close far too much. Newbies close completely, so that the hips are in line with 1B and 3B (90 degree hip closing). This has to be fixed immediately. So, the PC tells the kid to "stay open".

But, staying open is not completely accurate. In fact, the hips need to close about 45 degrees during the pitch. Among other things, the hips close so that the throwing arm brushes the body to get "brush interference".

As to the college pitcher...she probably never really examined her pitching motion. College pitchers don't think about pitching mechanics....they think about pitching (hitting spots, moving the ball. etc.). It takes a few years after they quit pitching to really develop an understanding of the pitching motion.
 
Last edited:
Jul 31, 2019
235
28
To understand "hips open vs. hips closed", you have to understand the teaching process.

Almost always, newbie pitchers close far too much. Newbies close completely, so that the hips are in line with 1B and 3B (90 degree hip closing). This has to be fixed immediately. So, the PC tells the kid to "stay open".

But, staying open is not completely accurate. In fact, the hips need to close about 45 degrees during the pitch. Among other things, the hips close so that the throwing arm brushes the body to get "brush interference".

As to the college pitcher...she probably never really examined her pitching motion. College pitchers don't think about pitching mechanics....they think about pitching (hitting spots, moving the ball. etc.). It takes a few years after they quit pitching to really develop an understanding of the pitching motion.
And early on many are taught to open the hips too much by swinging the butt out
 
Jul 31, 2019
235
28
Squeezing the butt checks is an interesting key that I will try

when teaching a pitcher to reverse posture, it is CRITICAL that they understand and use their hip hinge correctly, as well as proper use of the toes in both feet.
Once they are loaded in their glutes with proper hip hinge, I tell them to explode off and lead with their belly button. Getting the belly button out in front brings the head back
 
Last edited:
Feb 8, 2019
101
18
There’s lots of good info here- Rick Pauley’s stuff is great.
Your DD reminds me of mine when she was young and would start closing the hips too early- resulting with the pitches going into the batters box rather than over the plate. Closing hip would tend to deflect arm motion.
I find it very difficult to read about this stuff and understand.
One thing I am going to do this year is start the young pitchers out keeping the stride foot sideways to the target. Have the younger ones concentrate on the arm motion and shifting the weight - feeling the roles that weight and “frontside resistance” play in the pitch. When DD used to run clinics, she always stressed getting them to “feel it” before teaching them to incorporate the drive. Then when it came time to teach them how to drive, you could see the lightbulbs going on all over the place!
Good luck- it’ll be over before you know it!
 

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