Nolan Ryan’s pitching tips

Recently, I read a section from “Nolan Ryan’s Pitching Bible” (published in 1991), and he had the following 8 mechanical tips. I think No. 6 is a good one to keep in mind even as I seek to keep my weight back and generate more power. He encourages a “tall and fall” approach as opposed to a “dip and drive” approach, which can result in arm injuries.

These are helpful guidelines for pitching mechanics. They are the mechanics that I try to focus on in my training.

1-keep head over pivot foot throughout entire delivery

2-Don’t start forward momentum toward home plate until your lift leg reaches its apex

3-Lift-don’t kick-your leg up to its maximum height

4-Hold your hands at the center of gravity—from belly button to upper chest level

5-Maintain the same upper-body posture you achieve in the balance phase of the delivery

6-Always adhere to the “tall and fall” (taking a controlled fall toward home plate in the tall posture you achieved at balance) instead of “dip and drive” (pushing off the rubber as you reach your balance, dipping down, and then releasing the baseball).

7-As you begin to move toward home plate, make sure your entire front side—foot, hip, elbow, knee, and glove—is aligned with home plate. This is what is known as a closed, compact delivery. Hips must stay directional (toward home plate) until the landing leg hits; all hip rotation happens after this point.

8-Land with your front side directional but your landing foot “closed off”—a left-hander’s left big toe should point slightly toward the third-base side of home plate; a left-hander’s right big toe should point slightly toward the first-base side of home plate—blocking off your forward movement. This transfers your forward momentum up through the body and into the arm at your release point, and ultimately ensures a less stressful deceleration of the arm.


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