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STOP Making Your Pitchers "Stand Tall"

April 7, 2016

(Click here to view a .pdf of this newsletter)

This is the third in my "STOP" series of newsletters. Here are the first 2 (click on them to go to the newsletter):

STOP doing this throwing drill

STOP focusing on the throwing arm

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:

Stretch potision

In hitting and EVERY other sport, we teach athletes to assume athletic postures:

batting stancebasketball defender


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:

NSCA Title

pitchers with balance points during their leg kick, which caused them "stand tall":

little league balance point

had more head movement, leading to decreased velocity AND accuracy.

NSCA head movement statement

The results were so compelling the researches concluded:

NSCA conclusion

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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Contact ([email protected] / 631-352-7654) Dr. Arnold!