Should Pitchers Pull The Glove?
Pulling the glove is one of the most misunderstood conventional wisdoms out there. Our eyes only see at 32 frames a second, so what we really see in a pitchers delivery and what is really happening can be confusing. It sure looks like pitchers pull their glove, but in actuality, the best of the best are actually taking their chest to their glove.
Most young kids have a problem dropping their glove because of the weight of the glove is fifteen times heavier than the ball. So these kids lack the functional strength to keep it up. If you are dropping your glove it will also have an effect on your balance and posture at release point. We like to call this a soft glove.
What your glove should be doing is what we call, swivel and stabilize. At foot strike you should be in your opposite and equal with the glove pointing down. But when your shoulders start to square up to your target, your glove should swivel up and firm up. Having a firm glove helps the pitcher track his body towards his target. Which will allow the pitcher to be as close as possible at release point.
What do Pitchers & Discus Throwers have in Common?
I like to think of it this way, a discus thrower and pitcher are both rotational athletes who are trying to use every ounce of energy into their implements they are trying to throw. Discus throwers are spinning as fast as they can and then they let the discus go. If a pitcher didn’t use their glove side arm to stop the energy and redirect the energy towards home plate, pitchers would end up just like a discus thrower. Pitchers would just keep spinning and have a very difficult time to have a consistent repeatable delivery.
I have students who have taken lessons from a minor league pitching coach who instructs his kids to pull their gloves. It’s not by coincidence that this organization has been one the worst in baseball in developing pitchers. Can you believe with all the technology and research today they’re still teaching the wrong stuff??
Most importantly, when you pull your glove, this causes your hips from going/moving forward to making your front leg lock out way too early. This will also cause your release point to be further away from home plate. From the side, you will be able to see at release point, that the ball is being released right around the front foot. If you don’t pull your glove but swivel and stabilize it, you will be releasing the ball 8-12 inches in front of the front foot.
Just remember, take your chest to your glove or I like to say, “Take your spine to the glove”. So the next time your watching a game, pay attention to the glove. The players that pull, will miss high or low, the ones that swivel and stabilize will be the most efficient repeatable.
Inform, Instruct & Inspire,
Kevin Beirne, Pitching Coach
©Kevin Beirne 6/2011
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