“JUST ASK EARL” What are “Pitching mechanics”?


Q:  What does it mean when they say “his mechanics broke down?”  And, why does a pitcher’s mechanics break down?  [Francine, Millinocket, Maine]

1 ask earl BIG copyA:  When a pitcher’s “mechanics break down” it means one, or more, of the parts of his windup and delivery are out of synch.  Pitching coaches like to use the chain metaphor; they say that the windup and delivery are made up of a series of links and, when one becomes weak, it affects the chains function negatively.

You can divide the windup-delivery into segments and one follows the other in a sequence.  If one part is not performed correctly, it usually throws off the balance of the remaining parts in the sequence.

Most pitchers lift their leg and look like a flamingo; then they lean forward and land on the leg that was lifted; it is believed that this puts the weight of the leg behind the pitch and adds to the MPH.

Another part of a pitcher’s windup-delivery is his “reach back”—when he reaches his throwing arm back behind him.

Suppose you watch two videos on a split screen [Left and Right] of a pitcher.  On the Left one, he is throwing well; on to the Right one he is throwing poorly; he is getting wild and can’t control his pitches.

After replaying and contrasting the two videos, you would notice certain differences.  These differences are parts of his windup-delivery that are failing, or “breaking down.”

A classic difference would be that he is not lifting his leg as high in the Right video.

Another classic is that he is not reaching back as far in the Right video.

Pitching coaches and catchers are watching carefully for these signs of a “breakdown in mechanics.”

If they spot them too late, the pitcher remains in the game too long and gives up that crucial hit, too often a HR.

Q:  But, if they know how to repeat the sequence of parts of their windup-delivery, why do they fail?

In almost all cases, it is a sign of fatigue; they just get tired—they “run out of gas.”

This causes them to not life their leg to the

Q:  What does it mean when they say “his mechanics broke down?”  And, why does a pitcher’s mechanics break down?  [Francine, Millinocket, Maine]

A:  When a pitcher’s “mechanics break down” it means one, or more, of the parts of this windup and delivery are out of synch.  Pitching coaches like to use the chain metaphor; they say that the windup and delivery are made up of a series of links and, when one becomes weak, it affects the chains function negatively.

You can divide the windup-delivery into segments and one follows the other in a sequence.  If one part is not performed correctly, it usually throws off the balance of the remaining parts in the sequence.

Most pitchers lift their leg and look like a flamingo; then they lean forward and land on the leg that was lifted; it is believed that this puts the weight of the leg behind the pitch and adds to the MPH.

Another part of a pitcher’s windup-delivery is his “reach back”—when he reaches his throwing arm back behind him.

Suppose you watch two videos on a split screen [Left and Right] of a pitcher.  On the Left one, he is throwing well; on to the Right one he is throwing poorly; he is getting wild and can’t control his pitches.

After replaying and contrasting the two videos, you would notice certain differences.  These differences are parts of his windup-delivery that are failing, or “breaking down.”

A classic difference would be that he is not lifting his leg as high in the Right video.

Another classic is that he is not reaching back as far in the Right video.

Pitching coaches and catchers are watching carefully for these signs of a “breakdown in mechanics.”

If they spot them too late, the pitcher remains in the game too long and gives up that crucial hit, too often a HR.

Q:  But, if they know how to repeat the sequence of parts of their windup-delivery, why do they fail?

In almost all cases, it is a sign of fatigue; they just get tired—they “run out of gas.”

This causes them to not life their leg to the optimal height and not reach back the optional distance and the result is that they “lose control” of their pitches—they can no longer throw them to the location they aim at; they also lose MPH, when any part of their windup-delivery sequence weakens.

Baseball,

Earl

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