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

wrestler

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...

Have Questions About This Newsletter?

Contact (PitchingDoc@msn.com / 631-352-7654) Dr. Arnold!