Key Points in Video #1
Push and Transition to Toe Touch

Item Description Key Principle

First Part of the 3 Part Push (Superman)
Starting Position Hands together in front of waist Alignment
Reach Forward Hands together, reach down near knee and bend forward then circle up to Q1 pushing hips under shoulders Sequencing, Alignment, Posture
At Q1 Palms of hands face down Sequencing
Push Push starts as hands move forward, or even before hands start moving Sequencing
Push Shoe Shoe needs to have a crease in the toe box during push Sequencing
Ankle Extension Happens before Q1, foot must not turn until after ankle extension Alignment, Sequencing
Knee Extension Happens at or before Q1, Knee must travel on power line facing the target Alignment, Sequencing
Toe Drag Happens before feet land, drag should be straight using front tip of shoe Alignment, Sequencing

Second Part of the 3 Part Push
Push Complete When hands reach Q1, shoulders and body must be facing the target Alignment
Path of Throwing Hand, Q1 to Circle Peak Hand comes up in front of face with elbow flexed slightly, upper arm brushes ear Alignment, Sequencing
Turn Sideways After Q1 and before toe touch body must turn COMPLETELY sideways Sequencing
Posture at Toe Touch Hips closer to target than shoulders (leaning back) Posture
Shoulders and Hips at Toe Touch Parallel to power line Spacing
Stride Leg Knee at Toe Touch Slightly flexed to absorb the shock from the landing Sequencing
Stride Leg Foot at Toe Touch Toe lands before heel, foot at 45 degrees, toe touching the power line Alignment, Sequencing
Elbow at Toe Touch Slightly Flexed Sequencing
Arm at Toe Touch Just past straight up Sequencing
Glove at Toe Touch Pointing at target Alignment

Problems Resulting from Not Having Great Technique for the
Push and Transition to Toe Touch

Item How This Causes Problems What it Affects
Foot, Ankle or Knee Turn Before Full Extension The knee and the ankle are most effective at delivering power (speed) to become kinetic energy in the body if they are going forwards instead of at an angle or sideways Loss of pitch velocity
Hands Do Not Come Up Together The hands being together creates a repeatable and stable path on the front side of the circle. This helps keep the pitcher in balance. Loss of pitch accuracy
Hands Separate Before Q1 Once the hands separate the batter or base coach can see the grip. Leaving as little time as possible for the batter to digest what she sees and react accordingly is a good thing. While likely not a big deal for beginners, start practicing that right away. Loss of pitch deception
Throwing hand faces sideways at Q1 The natural motion of the elbow and the shoulder joints will turn the ball from facing down at Q1 to sideways at toe touch and ultimately facing the target at release. There is no twisting of the forearm all the way around the circle. Having to train the arm to twist into position by release if it is sideways at Q1 is an unnecessary task. Pitching is hard enough without adding unnecessary movements. Also some change ups have the hand facing sideways at Q1 and we don't want the pitcher getting confused about what she is throwing. Loss of pitch velocity and circle consistency
Upper Arm Does Not Brush the Ear (or defensive mask) There is repeatable stability by brushing the ear. If it doesn't brush, how far should it be away from the ear and can that be exactly repeated as the pitcher gets tired or is affected by weather? Brushing the ear with a slight flex in the elbow will place the ball directly above the power line at toe touch. Loss of consistency needed for accuracy. Also loss of velocity from potential sequencing issues.
Arm Gets Too Far Around the Circle by Toe Touch The time it takes to get to release from toe touch is pretty much constant for each pitcher. If her arm is too low (pointing back) at toe touch it will not travel as far by release so the arm has to move slower. Arm speed is not the most important factor in throwing fast, but it helps. Loss of Pitch Velocity
Body Not Sideways at Toe Touch (part 1) In the later steps it will be demonstrated that the pitch is thrown will the pitcher is mostly sideways. This is a fast and natural manner for the shoulder to move and trying to throw with the shoulders facing the target creates many problems. Loss of pitch velocity. Also increased risk of shoulder injuries.
Body Not Sideways at Toe Touch (part 2) In the later steps it will be shown that the ball must pass by the hip before the hip rotates and blocks a clear path on the power line. Loss of pitch accuracy
Stride Foot Lands Flat The primary reason to land on the toe is to create a shock absorber for the body as it begins the braking action of the forward movement. Stress fractures in the lower back, especially during the indoor season
Stride Foot Lands Sideways The knee functions best when it flexes in a forward manner, not sideways. Landing sideways causes unnecessary stress on the knee as the leg begins slowing down the forward motion of the body. Knee injuries
Elbow Not Flexed at Toe Touch Keeping some flex in the elbow all the way around the circle sets the pitcher up for arriving at elbow connection with some flex. This will be explained in Step 3. Loss of pitch velocity. Also shoulder injuries.
Too Much Elbow Flex at Toe Touch As will be seen in videos 3 - 6 the optimal angle of hand lag at elbow connection is 30 - 45 degrees. If the elbow flex has more hand lag that that at toe touch some will have to be removed before elbow connection. My experience has shown that once pitchers start reducing the elbow flex it tends to disappear entirely by toe touch. Potential significant loss of pitch velocity.