I Do Nothing!… NOTHING!! (The Lead Leg) | Randy Sullivan
When I was a kid, I used to love to watch a TV show called Hogan’s Heroes.
My favorite character was a bumbling, overweight prison guard named Sgt. Schultz.
I think of him often when I consider the role of the stride leg in the pitching delivery (weird, huh?)
See, around here the only time we talk about stride is to say that we never talk about stride.
Guys manage their stride legs in different ways, and honestly, we don’t care. In an efficient delivery, the only thing the stride leg does until it hits the ground is NOTHING! We have to lift it to get it out of the way, but beyond that it has no role until the front foot lands.
Trying to manipulate the stride leg can only create inhibitory disconnections.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, a group of pitching gurus concluded that the hardest throwers in the world demonstrated stride lengths greater than 120% of they’re body height. The concept was recycled, regurgitated, and passed around until the pervasive message was that EVERY pitcher achieve it.
“If you want to throw hard, you have to have a long stride.”
Soon we had pitchers all over the planet reaching with their lead legs, losing velocity, destroying their command, and getting hurt.
As is turns out, the length of the stride has very little to do with velocity. In truth, the guys with long strides are just way better at riding their glutes, defying gravity with their center of mass until front foot finally has to land. The length of the stride is simply product of the duration of the ride. They stride long because they ride long.
Ok, so that explains the stride length dilemma. What about the direction of the stride? Have you noticed those guys that stride toward their arm sides and “throw across their body”?
For years coaches have attempted to manipulate the directional leg landing point by drawing that infernal line down the center of the mound.
Here’s the problem… the lead leg is not the problem. The lead leg is the runny nose and the cough.
The trail leg is the virus.
The direction of the stride is the product of the quality of the ride. If you’re quad dominant and on the ball of your foot, you’ll stride toward your arm side. If You’re glute dominant, you’ll stride directly toward home plate.
For more on this concept, see my recent article on The Inverted Iron Pyramid.
So here’s an idea. Let’s stop talking about the stride leg.
As long as is braces up for rotation at landing it’s fine. Leave it alone.
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A head-to-toe physical assessment by a licensed physical therapist
A high speed video analysis of your pitching movement patterns
Hands on instruction on all corrective throwing drills
Hands on instruction on all corrective mobility and stability exercises
One Scaptivation Session
2 Superhuman Power Building Workouts
2 ARMory Strong Customized Weight Training Sessions
1 Broga (Yoga for dudes) session
Other Rocket Launchers Training Camp Principles:
Rejecting Common Assumptions and Shattering Mental Barriers
Dr. Frans Bosch’s Differential Learning: The Words Get in The Way
Paul Nyman’s Bernstein Principle
The Physiology of Baseball: Training The Right Energy System
The Invention, Application, and Success of the Durathro TM Training Sock
The 0.038% Formula for Success
Ice Is for Cocktails: Why We Don’t Ice
Myelination and the Neurophysiology of Learning
Emotion As The Throttle for Learning
Mechanical and Physical Contributors to Arm Pain
The role of the Biceps and the “First Responders” in Reducing Injury Risk
Maximizing Spin Rate, Approach Angle and Release Point To Deceive Hitters
Pitcher’s Kevlar:Bulletproofing Your Pitch Sequencing
The Truth About Weighted Balls
And the Essence of Command
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Executing an Effective Pre-Throwing Warmup
In-Season Arm Care
Corrective Exercises for Hip mobility, Thoracic mobility, Shoulder mobility, Scapular Stability, and Ankle Mobility
The 3 T-s of In-Game Adjustments
The Most Common Weight Lifting Mistakes Made By Pitchers,
How to Teach and Learn a World Class Breaking Ball in Less Than 15 Minutes
And 9 Innings of Truth: Dispelling Baseball’s Most Pervasive Myths About Pitching and Mechanics
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