Stance To Leg Lift

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Hey guys, welcome to the D one pitching mechanics website. So excited that you're here. My name is Wayne Missoni. And this is the first in our five part series about how to use your mechanics to maximize your velocity. No, no tricks, just real mechanics backed up by video, which will be partly me in the video and then partly analyzing big leaguers and what they do according to the principles that I'm teaching here, I want to start off with the point that sort of unrelated to this particular mechanical piece, which is anytime you do any drills, any bullpens, any type of throwing, you got to get your body fully fully loose. I'm talking about a dynamic warm up on your body and then a static warm up on your body and then fully get your shoulder loose.

I've been doing this a long time guys and I see lots of people come in and do a couple of toe touches pick up a baseball and start going. Your body is your weapon in pitching. You don't have a bat like a hitter or something. Like a hockey player or lacrosse player, you don't have a golf club or a tennis racquet, your body delivers all the power. It should take you at least 10 if not 15 minutes of getting warm before you ever pick up a baseball and start throwing it. Okay, so it's very, very important.

And what we're going to talk about in this first part is from our stance to our leg lift, okay, from the balance mostly, but also will cover the stretch. And ultimately, what we're trying to do when we pitch is be maximized in our position in our velocity, at release point, everything we do is all built up to release point that is the last instance we have control over the baseball and for a hitter. Everything we do is designed to get ourselves in the right position at contact. Okay, contact is the only time as a hitter you have control over the ball. However, in pitching everything that we get to here is all determined by what happens prior And the first part of our delivery, from our stance to our leg lift is by far the most crucial, and by far the most improperly coached. And if you saw the first intro segment, you realize that I did not do this right as a young pitcher, I did not throw very hard I got by on smarts in a changeup, and for years, I taught the same philosophies I'm about to go over that are improper.

And I taught a lot of people to throw slower than they were capable. Hopefully they didn't listen to me. Analyzing video, you realize that all maximum velocity pitchers all pros, all hard throwers, do this basic principle and we're going to go over it now. We're talking about getting some early momentum at leg lift. So the balance point does not happen. Okay.

And we're going to refer to a few things now. So I'm going to go from this side to show you most of these things. Most people are taught get to the balance point where they turn and lift and as At the top of their leg kick, their head is over their foot over the rubber. So it looks something like this step turn lift, and they get balanced. balanced, kills your velocity. Balanced is comfortable.

But balanced is not powerful. And here's a great little thing to refer to. Here's a chair, four legs on the ground. It's balanced. How much power does this chair now possess? And the answer, as you know, is zero.

If I want this chair to get power, what do I do? I put this chair on two legs, I start to tilt it and now the chair has power. Okay. Pitching philosophy is much the same way. And if you think about it, once our foot comes off the ground, so right now I have zero velocity Justin Verlander has zero velocity. Anyone with two feet on the ground has zero velocity.

If you think about velocity, like a speedometer on On a car, when my foot comes off the ground, I start building up zero 1020 3040 5060. So as soon as my foot comes off the ground, I start to build my power. If I get to a balanced position, I still at the top of my leg lift, have absolutely no velocity, no power built up. And then my velocity becomes determined on how strong my legs are, and how much I can basically squat or push off of my leg. I am not using gravity, I am not using momentum in my favor. So later after this very video is finished, you'll be referred to three links on a website where I analyze professional pictures on this early momentum at leg lift, and I'm going to give you a look at it from this angle.

For a wind up, we want to step turn and slightly move forward as our leg lifts crucial, crucial, crucial From when my foot comes off the ground, my head should constantly be going towards the catcher. So if you film yourself on slow motion video, you analyze a pitcher on slow motion video, every click of the mouse, or every turn of the dial to move the pitcher forward, the head should constantly be going forward. Now, if a coaches watching this or a players watching this, you're going to think, well, I don't want to rush my delivery, you do not. We're not talking about getting tremendously out forward. We're not talking about leaning ourselves forward. We're very simply thinking about if we were a tree in the forest, and we were to cut the bottom of that tree with a saw at the last cut, the entire unit would start to fall forward.

That's exactly the principle that we're trying to get here. And we'll talk about three or four drills that you can do to practice this. A great drill is the walk in drill. So what I do is instead of being On the pitching rubber, I just get a step back behind it. And alls I do is my regular delivery, where I step into the rubber and use that momentum to continue to pitch. So think about that, guys, if I if the rules of pitching changed, and hitters started hitting too well and they said you know what pitchers need help, we need to give them a little moving start, you would not walk into the rubber and get completely balanced and go, it would make no sense.

What you would do is you would walk in, use that momentum and then continue on in your delivery. So definitely try some throw some pitches, walking into the rubber and then you're going to eventually when you get comfortable with that movement. Now from a locked in position, you want to get that same principle that movement in there. Another drill that you can do is take a wall, any wall in your house, don't go through the wall in your house, your mom will be pleased cement wall, any wall and literally basically get clean. Enough to it so that your glove in this position is that the wall, maybe six inches, step, turn lift, and we want our shoulder to go into the wall, not our hip, and not even really our whole front side, just our shoulder into that wall, okay? And you can just do that, just to get comfortable with the idea of getting a little momentum going forward.

Now, when people do this wrong as their first learning, they go into a wall or they try to do this with a shoulder push down. No, we want to keep our height at leg lift. So if I'm 510 when I lift my leg, I'm still 510. I do not want to crunch in any way I can. I will then lose velocity. In addition, even though we're talking about momentum, I want to be complete and thorough here.

My back leg at leg lift is not completely locked out. It's just slightly ever so slightly bent but it's not crunched. If I'm crunched it leg lift I've now lost my power. And I've now lost my height, my leverage my momentum. So it's very simple step, turn, lift, with momentum going forward, step turn lift with momentum going forward. So here's a couple of the drills that you can use to start getting comfortable with this momentum, early momentum feeling.

Get a partner get a coach standing right in front of you kind of where that wall would be. So very close, not too far away, really, six inches away, and all you do is you step turn, you lift and you fall into their hands, and they would catch you and I'll refer you to a video online to show you this with a partner to get the idea. Step turn, lift and fall into that partner. Now what you can also do after you get comfortable with that is the partner can sort of play a little nut trick on you but do the following. They can stay in front of you and you either fall into their hands, or if they jump out of the way you deliver the pitch. So now this time the partner moves you're using your momentum Do you go through and finish the delivery.

So you don't know whether they're going to catch you and stop you, or whether you have to make the full pitch and the idea of that drill is it'll teach you to do it while you're actually doing your delivery and not just doing a drill Well, you're falling into the pitchers arms. Now, before I go to the next drill, I want to make this emphasize this point. Guys, we are on offense. We have the ball. The ball is the most important thing in baseball pitchers hold it. We are in charge of the game, our body language, our tempo, everything.

Everyone's looking at us. Okay, in that regard. We want to attack hitters. We are on offense, we want to attack hitters, so your posture and this whole delivery, I'm moving forward because I can't wait to get the ball to you. It's not just a mechanical piece of momentum. It's a mental piece.

I'm not back here balanced and then delivering the ball to you. I'm constantly moving the ball to you. And again, I cannot emphasize how strongly I say this every pitcher The history of baseball from Sandy Koufax to sigh young, to Roger Clemens, Andy Pettit, David Price Justin Verlander, every one of them. When I say every, I mean all 99% all use this philosophy. Okay, the next drill you can do and here's a med ball 10 pounder, depending on your age 10s good eight, six. Any one of these to learn to pitch this is crucial.

Because when we hold a five ounce baseball, things can go wrong in our body because you can do things improperly and still get a five ounce object out of your hand, take a 10 pound med ball, and all of a sudden this teaches your body how to do things because if you do something improperly, the ball will let you know. Okay, so how do you learn a little bit about your mechanics and the early momentum with a med ball? Very simply, you can pitch with it. Now we're not talking about throwing it. This is 10 pounds. If I throw it above my shoulder, I'll have a direct path to an emergency room.

So we're going to push it okay and I'm not going to throw all the way through. I'm just going to show you That you would step, turn, use momentum, land and drive this ball out. And very simply, either with a radar gun or distance measurement, you can do it balanced and see how far or hard you can throw this med ball and then use momentum. And you'll see directly how much further you can throw it by using momentum on your side with a with a med ball. Okay. All right.

Our last segment we want to talk about in terms of this momentum is how to manage this from the stretch. Okay, so I'm going to refer to this angle now. Many of you guys can drive me crazy. Okay, I've been doing this 20 years. I'm psyched to bring this video to you guys, because I have a lot to say. Many of you guys have this wide stance with weight loaded back.

And when you pick your leg up, you actually go backwards for two reasons. Is that awful. Reason number one is, if someone's going to run on you while you're picking your leg up and going backwards, they're taken off, you'll give your catcher no shot. Secondly, if I'm trying to teach you to go forward at leg lift in the windup, or even if you're one of those guys, that's very balanced, your body is doing a certain thing when your leg is rising from the windup. Now from the stretch, you're doing something opposite, you're moving back. So think about it from your body's perspective.

One way, I'm balanced or forward and the other way, I'm back, there are two completely different deliveries, which makes no sense from the stretch, which you're going to get less momentum because you don't have your rocker and pivot step. I prefer to see guys a little closer together. And that leg lift, they either stay where they are, or on guys like Mariano Rivera and Clemens and Verlander, in the stretch position, they lift and they immediately go forward. It makes them quicker to the plate, they use momentum, they use gravity and they keep their velocity in the stretch. Okay. And, of course comes to mind is being quick to the plate.

What's philosophies on being quick to the plate and keeping your momentum. Sometimes different for lefties as I am. But for righties, I'd either like to see you do a full left quicker with momentum, a modified kick with momentum or even if you're going to do a knee knock type move, you still can stay tall, get a little momentum and be quick to the plate. The slide step guys, the guys that truly just go forward like this. I believe the person who taught you that never pitched because yes, you will get the ball to the plate quicker. But it won't matter because you're going to throw so much slower, less accurate less stuff on your off speed pitches, and you're going to get hammered into the gap.

So you won't have to worry about keeping a guy close at first base. Because you're going to lose a velocity our main job is to get the hitter out and how do we get a hitter out we throw a quality pitch. So now I'm going to refer you to the links online where you're going to see three different videos of professional pictures from the stretch and from the wind up using this video. Last thing that I talked about, for those of you that are getting this video as a sample, there are four more topics. I hope you've been enticed to continue to see what you need to do in the rest of the delivery to maximize your velocity. Again, this is the one pitching mechanics.

I'm coach Missoni, and thanks for watching.

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