Sunday, April 10, 2016

13 Questions You Should Ask Your Pitching Instructor

Most pitching instructors have good intentions.  However, good intentions will get your son nowhere as a pitcher unless your son's instructor has deep knowledge of mechanics and the ability to videotape and explain to you and your son exactly what is going on with his delivery.

Unfortunately, 95% or more of instructors do not videotape regularly. Most, never. They simply rely on what they have learned or try to pass on to you how they pitched.

That, of course, never works for very long.

If you expect your son to continue to improve his performance, then videotaping must be a large part of his training.  Not only does the instructor need feedback to see what is going on but the student needs feedback as well.

The Most Important Questions

Here are some important questions you should ask your instructor about your son's mechanics. These questions are extremely important if you hope your son to maximize his velocity and his overall performance while reducing the risk of injury:

1.  How is my son's back leg action?  Is he collapsing?

2.  What about his posture?  Does he keep his trunk upright?

3.  How about his weight shift?  Does he let his front hip carry his lead leg out or does he let his lead leg down first?

4.  Is he moving sideways or rotating early?

5.  Does he break his hands at the right time and in the right position?

6.  How's his arm action? Does he make a nice pendulum swing going down, back and up in alignment with his trunk or is he wrapping his arm behind him?

7.  Is his throwing elbow getting to shoulder height at landing? Does he have a low or high elbow?

8.  Does he use his lead arm and glove to help accelerate his trunk rotation?  Does he get his lead arm at the right time while his throwing arm is still down and back?

9.  Does he land at his height and does he brace his front leg and hip or are his hips too low and he continues to drift forward?

10. At landing, is his head in the center of the triangle formed by his two feet?  Or is his head and trunk too far forward? Does he have some trunk tilt toward his glove side or are his shoulders level which means he is not using his lead arm?

11. When his arm lays back into maximum external rotation (arm lays back when ball is facing the sky) are his hips and trunk completely facing home plate? Has his trunk flexed forward?

12.  At ball release, are his head and shoulders positioned out over his landing knee or are they positioned back behind?

13.  Does he finish with a near flat back showing the back of his shoulder to the hitter while his throwing arm finishes down and back behind his landing knee?  Make sure his arm does not finish at waist height when viewed from the back.

You do not have to have him answer all these questions at one time, but pick 4 or 5. That will be enough for you to make a judgment about him.

If your instructor is knowledgeable he should be able to answer all these questions. If he is not he will blow you off saying this is not that important or we'll get to that or some other vague answer.

Always be asking WHY?

Always ask him to demonstrate what he is telling your son to do.

If you want your son to maximize his performance and reduce the risk of injury, then your instructor is responsible as long as you are paying him.

Ask him why he does not videotape the most complex and fastest human motion in all of sports. He will say he doesn't need to because he has experience.

If you want to learn how to help your son maximize his mechanics, his velocity and his overall performance while reducing the risk of injury, then this is all you need to use during the off-season if you want your son to improve.

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