ACCELERATION PHASE 1
The first, and the most important phase begins with Acceleration Phase 1. The pitcher will learn how to start creating the "stretch effect" which entails the pelvis getting in front of the torso as the pitcher begins his movement towards the plate. Drills will focus on integration of how to initiate the back leg forward, delay of upper torso and arms, and blending the two energies together into a rhythmic manner.
LESSON 1: WHAT IS THIS?
LESSON 2: THE STRETCH EFFECT
LESSON 3: CREATING ENERGY
LESSON 4: THE ARM SWING
To to initiate the proper forward movement of the rear leg. Focus on driving the ankle into the ground; your body may feel like it's falling if done properly. The more energy driven into the ground will optimally result in the pelvis moving further to create a greater stretch.
Hold & Drive
To feel the entire pelvis move as far as possible away from the back shoulder. Want to simulate the feel of the ultimate stretch between the upper and lower body as a pitcher begins his movement forward. Head should remain looking directly over the front shoulder; no obstruction of view. Front leg should be relaxed and remain off the ground.
Walking Ankle Drives
The ankle drive is placed into a forward "fall". Feel the stretch occur as the pelvis moves forward in space. Head position remains locked on rear hip; simulating the hold & drive.
When the front leg/foot passes in front of lead hip, stop movement.
Wall Sit-In (Coming Soon)
Designed to practice the initial move forward and test if the pelvis and shoulders remained aligned to the point of the ultimate stretch.
Avoid looking down during drill, keep head forward as if looking at a target/catcher.
Base Stance with Shift
First movement designed to focus on the trunk and arms working together to create the flow of energy in a backwards manner.
Arms should remain loose. Avoid controlling or placing the arms, let the flow with upper body.
Walking Ankle Drives with Separation
Now that the forward energy has been integrated, the release of throwing hand out of the glove will be introduced. Feel the ankle drive begin the movement forward and as the pelvis starts to inch forward, the hand should fall out of the glove in a down to circular swing. The throwing hand should never venture above the elbow during the drill.
Ankle Drives with Lift
The leg lift is now incorporated into the ankle drive. The pitcher should start with a leg lift that he will most likely be using in a game situation.
Let the lead leg relax as the rear leg drives forward. The bottom of the shoe should reveal forwards.
Walking Ankle Drives with Lift
Pitcher will start at top of knee lift. The ankle drives forward, the front leg relaxes, and the pitcher strives to create the ultimate stretch between the upper and lower body.
Start slow and work to increase tempo between reps.
Walking Ankle Drives with Lift & Separation
The timing of the rear leg moving forward with knee lift, separation of hand and arm swing blend together into this drill. Mastery of this movement will directly result in sustainable consistency in games.
Be sure to start the drill from the same desired position that will occur in games.
The heisman is a pure "feel" drill but tests the pitcher's ability to activate his core to stabilize in the outer limits of the stretch. Ideally, a pitcher should be able to hold the heisman pose for 1 to 2 seconds before releasing.
Arm Swing Test (Coming Soon)
To maintain a consistent and proper path of the arm during the arm swing, the arm swing test can be utilized to prevent the arm from wrapping behind the back, maintain a loose path in front of the shoulder, and monitor wrist position over the baseball.
The second half of Acceleration Phase 1 can be positively influenced with the gateway drill. The gateway drill builds the connective relationship between the rear hip, torso, and throwing arm as the pitcher prepares to land in the Transfer Phase.
Skipping Ankle Drives
Drill primarily used for position players to focus on getting the energy of the rear leg moving forward quickly.
Start slow, find the rhythm, and work to repeat as quickly as possible.
Zombie Walks (Coming Soon)
Coordination drill aimed to enhance the ability of the rear hip to turn the pelvis open prior to foot strike. Head should remain situated on the rear hip for the entire duration of the drill.