STOP Making Your Pitchers "Stand Tall"
April 7, 2016
This is the third in my "STOP" series of newsletters. Here are the first 2 (click on them to go to the newsletter):
Today I address the concept of "standing tall" when pitching, which is taught with the belief that this gets pitchers to "throw downhill."
The problem is that asking a pitcher to "stand tall" causes them to assume an un-athletic posture, with their feet together, knees straight:
In hitting and EVERY other sport, we teach athletes to assume athletic postures:
Why are coaches having their pitchers do the opposite,
thereby making their pitchers LESS athletic?
Having pitchers "stand tall" is detrimental because it increases head movement. In a 2004 study:
pitchers with balance points during their leg kick, which caused them "stand tall":
had more head movement, leading to decreased velocity AND accuracy.
The results were so compelling the researches concluded:
The goal should be for a pitcher to start in a posture where his head stays steady to the plate, with minimal up-and-down and side-to-side movement.
If you have a pitcher who starts tall and stays tall, then leave them alone. But if you see a lot of head movement, get them in a more athletic position to make them more consistent.
Let's take a look at video...
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