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Stride

Jul 17, 2008
65
0
in the dugout
okay, one thing i have heard over and over, as well as being taught, is for a pitcher to use a big stride... more stride = more speed. well this summer i have observed some of the faster throwing pitchers actually have a shorter but quicker stride. i first noticed this a couple of years ago with pitcher that trained at the same facility as my dd. she went on to lead her team to a third place finish in the state and become one of the top pitchers in her colleges conference as a freshman. relative to many pitchers, her stride was short yet very compact and quick. i've noticed other pitchers this summer with very similar mechanics in their stride and they were easily the fastest that we came across.

just curious as to what everyone's thoughts are on stride length and speed. i know that the stride has to be quick, so are some of the longer striders slowing down their arms to compensate for the time it takes to make a longer stride?
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,744
38
Dallas, Texas
I've never heard that "more stride = more speed". Since male fastpitch pitchers throw around 80 mph, do they take a 7 or 8 feet long stride?

Throwing a pitch as fast as possible is primarily timing. That is why pitchers practice, practice and practice. A pitcher is trying to get the tips of her fingers to travel at 60-70 mph. So, the stride is one component of the whole delivery that has to be synchronized with the rest of the pitching motion.

We know we want the weight transfer to occur almost simultaneously with the release of the ball. This is no different than throwing a baseball, football, shot, javelin, or hitting a golf ball, baseball, etc. So, that means that the front foot has to land just before release.

One huge problem for underhand throwing is the tendency to land the front foot long before the arm is in position to release the ball. One remedy is to take a longer stride, meaning that the foot is in the air longer, giving the arm more time to get in position for release.

To refer to someone having a "slow arm" or "quick arm" in this context is confusing. The arm really functions as a whip with different parts of the arm moving at different speeds.
 
Jul 17, 2008
65
0
in the dugout
One huge problem for underhand throwing is the tendency to land the front foot long before the arm is in position to release the ball. One remedy is to take a longer stride, meaning that the foot is in the air longer, giving the arm more time to get in position for release.
this makes perfect sense. my dd would lazily shorten up her stride and throw high. i would tell to use her legs and she would get her pitches down.

I've never heard that "more stride = more speed". Since male fastpitch pitchers throw around 80 mph, do they take a 7 or 8 feet long stride?
don't know about male pitchers because men's fastpitch isn't played around here. i do know jenny finch, monica abbott have close to an 8' stride.


here is a link For More Speed - Finish the Pitch PITCH SOFTBALL: Valuable softball pitching advice for girl softball pitchers look at tip #2 in blue... i see this often in many coaches teachings. just curious as to what others teach.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,744
38
Dallas, Texas
I should have said, "then male pitchers take a 12 foot stride since they throw 80 mph".

Abbott and Finch take an 8 foot stride. They throw 70 mph. Osterman, who is slower than the other two, takes an 8 foot stride also. Fernandez takes about a 6 foot stride and she throws around 67 mph. So, I don't think just because you have a long stride means you will be fast. You do need an aggressive push-off, and that may result in a longer stride.

On the web site you cite, Fernandez is picture 1 and Osterman is picture 3. Fernandez clearly has a shorter stride, and Osterman throws slower than Fernandez.
 
Best not to vary the stride length based on the type of pitch being thrown. I think it is a common misconception that a dropball stride length should be shorter---I see kids that have been taught this. They typically have slower speeds and a slower break on the movement (less RPS on the ball). Stride length should be virtually identical for all pitches.
Here's a good general rule of thumb for stride length: the length should be about 6--18 inches longer than the pitcher is tall. Beginning pitchers may not achieve these distances---it takes lots of hard work.
Relative to an earlier post; the ball is no where near release when the stride foot has planted. The ball still has more than 30% of its travel arch remaining at "heel plant".
Partially it is this heel plant or front side resistance that causes the forward linear momentum to become rotational ---both in the hips/torso and in the arms rotational whip.
 
Jun 16, 2008
43
0
Best not to vary the stride length based on the type of pitch being thrown. I think it is a common misconception that a dropball stride length should be shorter---I see kids that have been taught this. They typically have slower speeds and a slower break on the movement (less RPS on the ball). Stride length should be virtually identical for all pitches.
Rick,
Which drop are you talking about?
How do you teach the drop?
Cheri Kemp teaches that a pitcher learning the turnover drop should shorten the stride so they can learn the correct position on the front side. The pitcher can lengthen the stride as she learns the pitch, but she states the stride will usually not be as long.
It's been a while since I watched them, but I believe Michelle Smith also teaches a shorter stride on her pitching videos to affect the weight shift forward.
I'm not an expert. I'm just relaying information and trying to learn.
 
May 7, 2008
8,489
0
Tucson
I know that some coaches teach to vary the stride length. My students are all beginners, so we are not addressing that, yet.

But, the top pitchers that I see here at U of AZ. don't throw the fastball enough, for me to see there full stride (if they are changing it.)

Which leads me to ask, why don't they throw the fastball more? In MLB, those guys really rely on their FB.
 
Jul 16, 2008
1,415
38
Oregon
Which leads me to ask, why don't they throw the fastball more? In MLB, those guys really rely on their FB.
Movement is the key. The MLB pitchers throw a 4 seam FB, a 2 seam FB, a Cutter, ect. All these fastballs have some type of lateral movement.
 

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