How to Improve Unintentional Cut on a Fastball

cut fastball

Improving an unintentional cut on a 4S fastball can be particularly challenging. It’s a habitual release pattern of the ball with a cut and trying to change years and years of a specific movement pattern moving at high speeds requires dedication and work. In this article, we are going to review many of the methods we’ve have used with some success when addressing excessive and inadvertent cut on a fastball.

However, this article does come with a disclaimer: We’re not necessarily suggesting that you must fix a cut on your 4S fastball. If a cut fastball is an effective pitch for you, and you would like to continue to throw your 4S fastball this way, you should continue throwing it that way. This article is meant for those who have a cut and would like to adjust their fastball to move like a regular 4S fastball with additional back spin and perhaps higher velocity. Continue reading “How to Improve Unintentional Cut on a Fastball”

Single Leg Progressions… Progressing the Step-up

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The anomaly of the step up in is how much it’s used while there is so little research available on its transfer to sport. Other than scattered research from the early 90s involving what the Eastern Bloc countries are doing with the step-up, the research on the exercise is limited (2). This makes it a bit of an “ugly stepchild” to the split squat or s. leg squat. While some coaches such as Mike Boyle believe that it should be avoided for athletes with knee pathologies (1), there are many coaches that have had great success with the exercise in healthy athletes. I myself love them as we train a primarily baseball population. Continue reading “Single Leg Progressions… Progressing the Step-up”

Early Trunk Rotation and Losses in Pitching Velocity

early trunk rotation

While performing hundreds of video analysis and mocaps yearly, “early trunk rotation” rears its ugly heads more than 90% of any other disconnect we see. An early trunk puts the upper body in a more compromised position to accept ground reaction force and effectively block with the lead leg while negatively affecting timing issues and transfer of force up the chain. It can also contribute to a late arm or an arm that “drags”.  All this, of course, can ultimately lead to losses in pitching velocity.  The key is finding what is causing this early rotation, training it and putting the arm in its “sweet spot”. Continue reading “Early Trunk Rotation and Losses in Pitching Velocity”

3 Most Common Kinematic Sequence Flaws in Baseball Swings

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Having assessed hundreds of hitters at RPP, we have been exposed to all types of athletes and swings. As a part of our hitting assessment, one area we focus on is the player’s kinematic sequence and how energy transfers up the chain.  Generally, we look for an efficient transfer of power up the kinetic chain in the following order, pelvis, torso, upper arm and hand.  Although we have observed a large variety of different sequences, here are the 3 most common flawed sequences we observe among young hitters on K-vest: Continue reading “3 Most Common Kinematic Sequence Flaws in Baseball Swings”

Pitching Biomechanics: Hip Shoulder Separation, Closing the Gap

hip and shoulder

We have talked in the past about hip-shoulder separation and its importance in the pitching motion. In this article, we will dive deeper into the idea of “closing the gap” after max separation has occurred. More specifically:

    • When does it occur (timing)
    • How quickly does it close (explosiveness)
    • How completely does it close

We will also review some potential issues and how we may address them.

Continue reading “Pitching Biomechanics: Hip Shoulder Separation, Closing the Gap”

Hip Exercises for Pitchers, Improving Internal Rotation

hip exercises for pitchers

Similar to t-spine mobility, hip IR is absolutely essential to creating a smooth deceleration path. If the hip closes too early upon foot strike, the arm can open up early, causing an early release and cutting the ball. This can be a killer for not only velocity but spin efficiency and vertical break as well. In addition, a poor decel pattern can cause the arm to “slam shut”, creating damaging forces on the shoulder and elbow. Below are several great hip exercises that every pitcher could take advantage of to get some of that IR back.

Continue reading “Hip Exercises for Pitchers, Improving Internal Rotation”

What are the Most Common Pitching Mechanics Issues?

pitching mechanics

When you train as many pitchers as we do, often times common themes begin to emerge. One such theme is the types of baseball pitching mechanics issues that we observe often in pitchers.  Well, here they are, along with some things we do (barring any glaring mobility issues observed in the assessment) from a corrective standpoint both in the tunnel and in the weight room to address them.
Continue reading “What are the Most Common Pitching Mechanics Issues?”

How to Create the Best Prescription for Power

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When I first started training, I like many others believed that if we just keep improving absolute strength our athletes would continue to get bigger, faster, and stronger. Fast forward to many years later, and I can tell you with a great degree of confidence (and experience) that most metrics crucial to sport such as speed, explosive ability, and change of direction can only be improved for about the first year simply by increasing absolute strength, as in getting stronger, by utilizing big compound lifts under high load.  However, Continue reading “How to Create the Best Prescription for Power”