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Pitching Delivery: Balance Is A Velocity Killer

February 7, 2014

Your Delivery Should Never Be Individual Pieces 

Balance.

It is the ultimate velocity killer and one of the biggest reasons pitchers develop injuries.

I have had the privilege to learn from and study the deliveries of some of the greatest pitchers in the game during my assignments with MLB teams. Mariano Rivera, perhaps the greatest pitcher in our lifetime, has been our pitching model since we filmed and presented our "Calm before the Storm" pitching video with him in 2001. It has become the most watched pitching video on the market.

The next time your son's pitching coach does balance drills such as "stop in the middle of your windup" or "pause to catch a ball while pitching and then throw," please run away quickly. 

The great pitching deliveries - at the Little League level and the Big Leagues - never stop, pause or slow down as the lead leg is raised. This static balance position compares to what really is happening in a sound delivery. Dynamic balance (balance while MOVING) takes away velocity, slows down the arm and interrupts momentum(Google the kinetic chain principle to movement patterns to learn more.)

Mariano Rivera while filming "Calm Before The Storm" with Frozen Ropes.

 

The pitching delivery should be one continuous movement of energy and never stop until ball release. Watch the great arms in the outfield or the shortstop with the canon of an arm. Do they stop, pause or slow down as they prepare to deliver the ball? No.

Pitching instruction has taken the pure throwing element out of your pitchers. Spend more time throwing and less time segregating the parts of a pitching delivery that were never meant to be individual pieces. Watch your son's delivery from the side view. If he stops, pauses and is balanced at the height of his leg kick, something is wrong.

When asked what the secret of pitching was, Mariano Rivera quietly said, "pick your leg up quickly and pretend you are having a catch with your friend who is squatting down at home plate."
 

Tony Abbatine is the Founder and National Director of Instruction for Frozen Ropes. His work in baseball and softball has appeared in the New York Times, Sports Illustrated, USA Today and several other national media outlets. The New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and the New York Mets are a small sampling of the major league teams that have hired him over the years. Frozen Ropes has locations across the US and conducts international skill camps across the world, most recently in Kuwait, Dubai, Verona Italy and Toulouse, France.