Ryan Armstrong has worked at The Baseball Zone for 8 years. He is the associate head instructor, the head pitching instructor, and the director of high performance programs.
The Half Torque is a great baseball drill for pitchers, but is especially helpful with younger players aged 9-12 who have a hard time getting body parts in the right order when delivering the baseball. What does getting body parts in the right order mean? Well, it is the kinetic chain of events that occur in the body that, when done right, culminate in great velocity and location. The sequence in its simplest form goes like this:
• These movements occur from the ground up
• Typically our hips will start to move forward and then rotate towards the plate
• After the hips begin to rotate and create tension, then the torso will rotate towards the plate
• After the torso rotates and creates tension we must then time the separation of the arm so we are not ahead or behind the rotation of the torso
• Ultimately the sequence results in delivering the ball with a full body throw that simply exits through the arm and hand vs. starting and ending there
• Generally speaking our firing order would be hips, torso, arm
When doing the Half Torque the athlete wants to position themselves facing the target (can be catcher, net, screen, etc.) with their glove foot slightly staggered forward. They will then create some rhythm with their body and when ready, move their hips back and separate their arms as in a delivery. They then want to allow the hips to lead their body and arm forward to the target, delivering the ball and finishing fully with most of their weight on their glove side leg.
When supervising the Half Torque drill you want to watch that players don’t break their hands too early. This will cause the arm to work independent from the body, likely increasing stress and decreasing productivity (accuracy and velocity). Also, make sure athletes are using the hips to move back vs. the torso or upper body. We want this movement to start from the hips and move up through the body from there.
This will help promote more of a total body throw vs. isolating the upper body and arm.
Try it out yourself or with your athletes and let us know how it feels.