Thursday, February 23, 2006
Pitching Stage III
Rear leg bend is a topic of much discussion. Some coaches have disputed the fact that to achieve maximum straight-line momentum, pitchers do not push off the pitching rubber. Rather they pull their front hip toward the catcher. Examining the pictures above, it seems relatively clear that the pitchers rear leg indicates, due to flexion, that force will be applied toward second base trying to accelerate the body forward. If a pitcher moves toward the plate with an extended rear leg, it would seem they are not using all their available muscles to create force toward the plate.
Analyzing pictures are not the only evidence that indicates pitchers use rear leg bend to push toward home. In 1998, Bruce MacWillams conducted a study that examined ground reaction forces during the pitching motion. The studys results indicated that leg drive is a significant factor in pitchers throwing velocity. With the studys data and evidence with pictures, substantial facts back up the claim that leg bend is needed for a effective delivery.
MacWilliams, B, Choi, T., Perezous, M, Chao, E, McFarland, E. Characteristic Ground Reaction Forces in Baseball Pitching. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 26(1): 66-71, 1998.
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