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Spectrum of hip movement?

Feb 25, 2018
Here's a picture of Monica Abbott.
To me, the letters on her jersey and belt buckle are more oriented to home plate than first base, suggesting that her hips are leading the way into release, not firing or predominantly "closing" after release. Would love to hear pitching coaches take on her movements and others like her.

I'll confess that my own bias towards hip movement is not a binary choice between pre-release or post-release;
I think it's more of a spectrum of movements. What the pitcher does with their hips (can do?) is directly related to their strength/mobility/stability.

Sorry, didn't search for prior threads about this topic.



Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
Dallas, Texas
There isn't any confusion among good PCs about hip closing.

The hips close to 30 to 45 degrees prior to release. The upper arm comes into contact with the hips as part of brush interference. The exactly create amount of hip closing varies from pitcher to pitcher.

Kids usually learn brush interference in two parts. First, they learn "brush fire" where the arm contacts the hips. Advanced pitchers develop "brush block" where the hip slows down the upper arm, resulting in more acceleration of the lower arm.

The confusion about hip closing is due to parents getting the wrong impression due to "how to teach" hip closing.

Most newbie pitchers do a complete close before release. So, a PC spends a great deal of time telling the child "stay open, stay open, stay open". Why? Telling a 9YOA child to close her hips to 30 degrees is an exercise in futility.

Parents here this and think the PC is telling the child to "stay completely open". (I made that mistake.)

After the child learns to stays open, then the PC starts teaching how to close correctly. Many times, the PC needs simply to emphasize good posture for the child to pick up brush contact.
Last edited:
Feb 25, 2018

So, would Abbott be at the 45 degree end of the range and someone like R. Garcia be at the 30 degree range?
Oct 4, 2018
I like the way sluggers describes it.

We (the PC and I) tell DD to stay open all the time. But we don't mean completely open. And we don't tell her we don't mean completely open. Because some closing will happen regardless.

Lots of cues for this:

Point logo to third base
Hide back shoulder from catcher
May 15, 2008
Cape Cod Mass.
The jury is still out for me on hips closing. I think that hip action is not understood very well and it's importance is generally overestimated because of this. I would say that it is more of a result, or a symptom, than a cause. It is easy to equate the hip/shoulder action of pitching to that of hitting and this is a mistake, they are very different.

In hitting the drive off of the back foot powers the hip turn which transfers energy up to the shoulder turn. In pitching the pitcher drives off the mound to a very open hip set at the 12 o'clock position. At this point the pushoff foot is off the ground and in the air, so how do the hips close? The hips can't begin any type of movement until the stride foot plants. Then they rotate around the plant leg. So the idea that the hips are forcefully turned or propelled is false. The hips cannot generate any force from 'behind', they merely transfer the inertia of the leap.

The idea that the hips rotate and this causes the shoulders to close (a little) and this transfers energy to the arm/hand/ball also seems suspect to me. Look closely at this video of Ueno and you can see that from the 9 o'clock position to release her shoulders hardly turn at all until after release.

Feb 3, 2010
Pac NW
Think “drive forward squarely” and allow extension of the arms and legs to open the torso naturally.

Adduction of the limbs begins the closing rotation of the torso and this continues until FSR stops everything. The hips lead the shoulders in many cases. Hip rotation itself is a no-teach.
Last edited:
Dec 5, 2017
Nothing of substance to add, only anecdotal about coaches that teach HE not knowing what my dd does. The team we joined this fall has a guy coaching, good guy btw, whose daughter is very fast but inaccurate-HE style. He's warming my dd up between innings the other day and comes over to me and says she's closing too soon and everything is going inside, or something very similar. Asks me to tell her how to fix it before the next inning. I did what I've taught her to do, smiled and said ok but didn't tell her anything except have fun and good luck!

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