April 2015 - Tip of the Month

"Who Kneeds to Stand Up?"

Hello there everyone!

I certainly hope you all have enjoyed the start of the season! No that's not a typo at the top of the page. For April's Tip of the Month, we'll be taking a look at the realistic benefits of throwing to 2B from your knees.

It's a question I get asked pretty often. "Isn't throwing from your knees faster than standing up?".

For so long, people have assumed that the act of simply standing up takes too much time. I mean let's face it, you could be spending that time actually throwing the ball. Throwing from your knees has to be faster, right? WRONG.

Let's take a look at the one guy who "made a career" doing it. Yes, the quotations were necessary, because I would have loved to have seen just how fast Benito Santiago's throws could have been if he stood up. Just imagine if he fully understood how to use his body to move more efficiently through a throw while standing up, avoiding the loss in velocity that he suffered while throwing from his knees.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5WiDl-LOjs[/embed] Here's a screen shot with time stamps for Benito's release:

You'll notice that it took him exactly .67 seconds to get rid of the ball. Now that might seem like a fast release, and for all intents and purposes, it is. But it is by no means exceptional, and certainly not anything that can't be done standing up. The entire throw took 1.9 to get from his glove to the glove of the infielder waiting at 2B. That is a very good throw, but only slightly below the MLB average. That would be the MLB average where most catchers stand up.

There is just as much body movement that needs to happen when throwing from the knees as needs to happen while standing up. You can either make those movements while also standing up, allowing yourself to take full advantage of your lower body, or you can lose some velocity by staying on your knees.

For instance, here is one of my pro clients getting rid of the ball faster while standing up:

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOZ04NpshKo&feature=youtu.be[/embed] He's able to get up out of his crouch and get rid of the ball in less time than Benito did and there was no loss in velocity. He got rid of the ball in .64 seconds and this throw was under 1.9 seconds to 2B.

Now does this mean that there isn't any value to throwing to 2B from your knees? Yes, that is exactly what it means. But to other bases? Sure there's value.

There's a certain need for deception in pick-offs to the corner bases from the catching position. Even though the primary goal should be to keep the runner closer to the bag, the next goal is to steal an out. So, the more deceptive the throw, the better chance you have of catching a runner sleeping.

However, you must be sure that your throwing motion is indeed flawless before attempting these throws in a game. The pattern that your arm moves throw during a throw is so important, and the use of a sub-efficient pattern can result in injury. Just ask C.S.C.S Austin Wasserman from Wassermanstrength.com.

At the end of the day we need to spend time on things that are going to give us the biggest advantages in the game. Throwing to 2B from your knees is not one of them. It just does not produce a faster release and the loss of velocity every catcher will suffer will decrease their possible pop-time.

So, who needs to stand up? Everyone.

Thanks for reading this month's Tip of the Month!

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