Drop and Drive

When I was a little kid my first pitching coach was my Dad. Dad didn’t have any professional baseball experience but he was a fan of the game and the art of pitching. So when I was little league age, Dad taught me the drop and drive.

The term drop and drive for those not familiar is a pitching style where after winding up you direct your body to home plate dropping down as low as you can as you stretch forward toward home plate, driving off the leg that was making contact with the pitching rubber. The other leg points toward home plate and is firmly planted forward in the stretch. With hip rotation you fire the ball across your body and not over the top. Once you release, you will find yourself in a position parallel to home plate, ready to field. The end result is a knee that drags over the top of the mound and little to no pressure on the arm and shoulder. The power is generated from the lower trunk. In other words good reason to have strong legs and gluteus.

I was taught this way to pitch cause Dad didn’t want me to hurt my arm or else Mom would kill him. His main reason to teach me how to pitch this way was that one of his pitching idols, Tom Seaver, threw with that motion. Now baseball was never going to be my career. I was slightly built, had an average arm and not a fireballer. Still, he wanted me to enjoy playing the sport with leaving battle scars on my body. So I pitched this way through little league, high school, college, grad and law school. Now, in the lawyer league I play in from time to time and my company’s softball team, I use a modified version of it. People are not surprised by my pitching but more to why I pitch the way I do.

This brings me to my point. Why isn’t the drop and drive taught anymore? Everyone wants to go over the top and then you hear of all these shoulder and arm issues. Sure it looks flashy, someone firing a baseball from that height but the drop and drive is what I equate to a bus bearing down on you. That too strikes fear in hearts of hitters and makes you become a better fielder. Seaver had a 20 year career where he never had arm problems. Even his DL time came towards end of his career when wear and tear sets in. So I make a plea to baseball instructors, bring back the golden age of pitching. Bring back the drop and drive!

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