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Wrist Snap

Sep 10, 2009
33
6
Houston
Arm Whip wrote:

Code:
It depends on how you define wrist snap. In the classic sense of how it is defined there is no wrist snap, no cocking back, no snapping forward. Naturally there is a load on the wrist as you come into release, the arm is accelerating the ball, when the ball is released the hand will accelerate further since it has released the weight of the ball and the wrist will bend. What complicates the issue is that when a pitcher throws a spin pitch like a curve or a rise any kind of bulletspin pitch the hand/fingers will often slide under the ball and after the pitch is released the follow through has a palm up look to it, this looks just like the finish that the "wrist snap" is supposed to produce. With a bulletspin fastball you might have a palm up finish, with a topspin fastball (sometimes called a peel drop) the hand will roll over after release
.

I have to disagree. I believe the wrist snap and use of the fingers is a conscious effort that is made easier, more seamless by correct mechanics and timing and the IR. My daughter as well as many others in this area were taught with a conscious powerful wrist snap. It is my feeling that those pitchers had greater spin rate than similar build, athlete pitchers not only in the state but the country at an earlier age. They also pitched with a greater degree of IR. I believe the teaching of the conscious powerful wrist snap for the fastball with a corkscrew spin at the hip across the body resulted in proper IR and not the other way around.

I was going to post a photo that would lead me to believe that a wrist snap is conscious, but I can figure out how to post a photo with this site.
 
May 4, 2009
874
18
Baltimore
The most overrated aspect of pitching a fastpitch softball is the wrist snap. The drill that 99% of girls do to work on it is ridiculous. When the arm is going around full speed what happens at release is nothing like what happens when you do that drill. It would only be relevant on a "peel" drop anyway. A rise or curve ball is released differently and requires a different kind of snap or curling of the wrist. I believe the fingers are what spin the ball at release and not the wrist. This is so fundamentally important that I am surprised it is rarely if ever addressed on this or any site.
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,634
83
Mundelein, IL
I'm with you, CoachFP. That whole thing about a conscious wrist snap is a myth in my opinion. It might pitchers "feel" strong, but it really goes against biomechanics.

Try this experiment: put your fingers together and try to fan yourself with your hand by moving your wrist back and forth as fast as you can. You don't get a whole lot of air that way because your wrist can't move fast enough or powerfully enough. Now loosen the wrist and move your forearm back and forth quickly to fan yourself. You'll get a lot more air.

The muscles that control the wrist are small and weak, which makes sense because muscles get smaller as they move away from the core. If you want power, you want to use the big muscles, not restrict their effect by working the small muscles instead.

Cyfairslam, I suspect that the effect you saw was probably due to some other factor. Perhaps those who were trying to snap the wrist hard were also working the rest of their body harder, or bringing their arms through faster. It's unlikely it was their wrist snap that did it.
 
May 4, 2009
874
18
Baltimore
Ken, thanks. I thought I was missing something. I do know the wrist snap excercises are a waste of time and none of my pitchers do it.
 
Sep 10, 2009
33
6
Houston
I have to disagree

Only relavent to the peel drop??? I don't know where that comes from. You are telling me that turning sideways to the catcher, arm vertical, just let the arm drop and snapping the wrist at the hip to produce rise, curve, drop and bullet spins, feathering the ball with the fingers is a useless drill?

I know what I see with the pitchers in my area.
I know what worked for my daughter and how she works with it now. She still warms up with the wrist snap drills for the curve, rise and bullet spins to get the feel. The wrist has to stay loose, but there is a conscious snap.

Don't tell me golfers and tennis players don't use their hand/wrists in their sport and it is just a product of the use and timing of the bigger muscles.

With all due respect, the reason for boards such as these is to share knowledge and inform people there are differences of opinions concerning various aspects of pitching. People that write on all bulletin boards, me included, are just expressing opinions. My opinion is different than CoachFP ad Ken's, but just as credible.
 
May 4, 2009
874
18
Baltimore
Of course the wrist plays a role and as I mentioned on the rise and curve it is a different kind of snap, more of a curling up or to the side motion. The fingers are most important. What is this bullet spin business? Why would anyone even practice such a thing. It may be your opinion but a bullet spin is not something I would have anyone do let alone practice.
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,634
83
Mundelein, IL
My opinion is different than CoachFP ad Ken's, but just as credible.
Of course it is. Until something can be proved scientifically, under real lab conditions that limit the variables to one, it's all just observation and opinion.

It's up to each of us to see what makes the most sense to him/her. The nice thing is, even if it turns out someday you were doing it wrong, you don't have to give back any of the good stuff you did in spite of it.
 
Sep 29, 2008
1,369
63
Northeast Ohio
Don't tell me golfers and tennis players don't use their hand/wrists in their sport and it is just a product of the use and timing of the bigger muscles.
Interesting in that of course they do but I can think of no sport including golf, tennis, football throwing and baseball pitching where a wrist isolation drill is taught similar to the warm-up popular in many fastpitch circles.
Only relavent to the peel drop??? I don't know where that comes from. You are telling me that turning sideways to the catcher, arm vertical, just let the arm drop and snapping the wrist at the hip to produce rise, curve, drop and bullet spins, feathering the ball with the fingers is a useless drill?
That sounds like a good drill if it is making the player aware of spins at release. It would not however be the key to velocity or a needed isolation fundemental to quality pitching like some teach. I think Armwhip as quoted in your original post is accurately saying that the wrist movement that some believe happens which is practiced in an isolation drill with emphasis (like holding your wrist at the top and snapping the wrist to release the ball in sets of 10 or 20) does not actually occur within the fastpitch motion.
 
May 15, 2008
822
43
Cape Cod Mass.
The classic wrist snap drill that involves cocking the wrist and snapping it forward is not only a waste of time but also promotes faulty mechanics. You will never, ever see a pitcher coming into release with her wrist cocked back and her fingers on top of, then behind the ball (unless,ironically enough, it's a change up). There is already some video posted recently that supports this, I also have video of 2 All Americans that will show the same thing, I'll try to get it posted in the next week. What drives me crazy is that in my area all the pitching coaches that I am familiar with start their students with the wrist snap drill.
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,634
83
Mundelein, IL
I used to do those drills too, because everyone said that was how to start a pitcher. Eventually, though, I figured out that it would be far more effective to keep the wrist relaxed and allow it to snap rather than try to force it to snap. I saw that opinion confirmed later by some folks I figured knew what they were talking about.

The key, for me, is I don't think you could forcibly snap the wrist fast enough to keep up with the arm whip (the technique, not the Forum member). You would likely have to slow the arm down to time it correctly, because it happens too fast at maximum speed. My guess is what people think they're feeling when they think of wrist snaps is actually the hand accelerating through the release zone.
 

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