Tall and Fall – Truth or Fiction?

I’m sure everyone at some point during their coaching or playing career has heard the saying “Tall and Fall”. Through my whole career my college and professional coaches have told me this. Come to find out that this conventional wisdom is also flawed.

Better Pitching Mechanics with Motion Analysis

I remember sitting in the NPA lab in San Diego going over a presentation when Tom came across the conventional wisdom of pitching. “Tall and Fall” was at the top of the list. He then went on to explain that for every inch of inappropriate head movement, whether it be left, right, up, down, or backward, you will lose two inches at release point.

He then went on to show pictures of some MLB pitchers in an athletic set up with little or no head movement, and some that stood straight up at set up with significant head movement. He then shows a picture of both, from the side view. At release point, the pitcher in an athletic set up with no head movement was releasing the ball 8-12 inches out in front his foot. The pitcher that started standing up with head movement released the ball right around his foot. If I didn’t see it, I wouldn’t have believed it!

Tom went on to explain that if you start standing straight up, you will lose a good 6 inches at release point and stride length with be shorter. Just by being in athletic position will get your closer to home plate but will also help keep your head on line.

The “Tall and Fall” theory is said to create more of a downward angle. Like I’ve said in our last article, would you rather be closer to home plate or worry about downward angle? Hitting is all about timing! The less they have of it, the better!

Research from the RDRBI 3-D motion analysis, shows there’s only one degree of downward plane of difference at release point. So the advantages of being to closer to home plate, or one degree of difference higher but 8-12 inches further away from home? It’s a no brainer!! If you don’t believe it, try it yourself.

“Tall and Fall” also shortens your stride length. By not having a nice long stride length puts added stress on the arm. The Research confirms this!! So just get in an athletic position and stay there. There’s less room for error, also your getting closer to home plate. It’s a Win, Win!!

Inform, Instruct & Inspire,

Kevin Beirne, Pitching Coach
NPA Certified
Tall and Fall or NPA Certified Coach Pitching Mechanics




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Kevin Beirne Pitching & Research Center

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