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 > Little League Online > Learn More > Newsletters > Coach's Box Newsletter > 2010 > Coach's Box - November > Michele Smith Feature

Michele Smith Feature

Volume 5, No. 8 - November 2010

Using Your Legs Properly When Pitching

By Michele Smith, Two-Time Olympic Champion

As women, the strongest part of our bodies is our legs. Therefore if we want to use our bodies to the fullest of our abilities, we need to use our legs properly when pitching. Leg drive off the pitching rubber is one of the most important parts of the “start” of the pitching motion. The more you use your legs, the more energy and power you will be able to put into the pitch. Let’s take a little time and go over some points to help you use your legs more when pitching.

The start of the pitch is called the “pre-motion.” The pre-motion takes place while both feet are on the rubber. During the pre-motion we use our legs to shift our weight from our front leg to our back leg, and then back to our front leg. When we bring our weight to our front leg the final time, we are in a “loaded” position and ready to “explode” off the pitching rubber.

This loaded position will help us to drive forward, and have a long and explosive leg drive off the rubber.

From the loaded position, our front leg is pushing and driving off the rubber. The back leg is striding out toward home plate on a straight line.

This straight line off the pitching rubber toward home plate is also called our “straight line of force” or our “power line.”

As the back leg strides out on the power line, the knee should be raised as the leg drives off the back of the rubber. See picture #1, below, where my leg is raised at hip level.

Picture #1 - pitching stance example

Try to imagine an imaginary box in front of the rubber that your leg has to stride over. This will help you explode off the rubber, and keep you from “walking” off the rubber. Drive hard with the front leg, and stride out strong with the back leg.

Remember the leg drive is very important; it needs to be long and explosive. But, in order for it to be correct and effective, the stride needs to land on the “power line” with the foot hitting the ground at a 45-degree angle. Striding “across” the power line or “too open” to the power line will take energy away from the pitch. Good Luck with your pitching and remember to “drive hard!”


For more information on base running, sliding skills and drills check out my website at www.MicheleSmith.com and visit the sections on “A Coaches Guide to Game Winning Drills Book”, the Dynamic Training DVD’s and a Year Long Training Guide for help to build speed and agility techniques.


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