The peel drop — It’s all in the butt

The more I work with pitchers the more it seems like the cues I use revolve around the butt. In an earlier post I talked about how driving the front knee out and up helps pull the butt (or in reality the center of gravity) forward, allowing a more powerful drive off the rubber than simply pushing off the back foot.

I will also explain need to keep the hips open until the arm passes (rather than slamming the door shut) by stating that in the war between butt and ball, butt always wins. It’s a more fun way of making the point that two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time, so if the butt is in the way the arm will have to go round it, causing the pitch to go somewhere it’s not supposed to go.

Now lately for the drop ball I’ve been explaining the release point by stating the hand needs to pass next to the butt rather than down at the thigh. If it comes past the butt (or hip) the pitch starts higher, allowing it to start as a strike rather than getting too low immediately.

Understand that I don’t necessarily teach the peel drop the same way as some other coaches. I’ve never much cared for the “slide the paper out” method. It seems unnatural and potentially dangerous to the shoulder to me. Just one man’s opinion. Instead, I like the elbow to drive down and the hand to flatten out so it’s palm down behind the leg/butt, like you’re trying to slap a hand back there. Then as the hand comes forward it goes somewhat over the ball, and when the wrist snaps it is adding that little extra bit of spin. If you use this method then bringing the hand past the butt makes sense.

Referring to the butt seems to be a good way of making the point and keeping it more fun. Butts are funny. Gotta go with what works.
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