PRESEASON PITCHING WORKOUT: WEEK 3
This week we’re turning our focus to the back leg, the proverbial engine of a powerful pitch. We start off by developing the power position, the position you want your body to be in when your front foot lands. We call it the power position because it’s designed to isolate the mechanics that allow you to get maximum velocity from every pitch type, while maintaining arm safety with good form. One thing we like to incorporate in this drill, as well as the others discussed this week, is the weighted ball in the glove hand, which gives our pitchers an exaggerated sense of the glove hand, and keeps them focused on placement.
Rock Back & Push
This drill is all about creating timing between the lower and the upper body, with, as the title implies, a rock backwards, and then a push. This drill sets a pitcher up to get into the power position. One thing to be aware of: as the pitcher pushes, his/her right heel will come up and cause early rotation. The longer that pitcher stays flat footed, the longer his/her direction stays in line the target.
Rock Back & Push Uphill
An excellent way to get more out of the Rock Back and Push drill is to do the same motion uphill, which forces pitchers to consider how to create more power with the back leg, while keeping the front leg from straightening out upon release.
Rock Back & Push w/ Power Drive
Lastly, consider utilizing the pitcher’s Power Drive, a great tool for giving pitchers a tactile sense of how their back leg is performing, as well as an auditory cue to reinforce good habits. You can visit powerdriveperformance.com for more information on this tool.
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Matt whiteside is the owner of All-Star Performance Baseball Camps and Clinics, and directory, pitching instructor, and coach of the St. Louis Gamers. He previously played in the MLB for six years. Additional resources for players, coches, and parents are available at gamersacademy.net.