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One of the most commonly used verbal pitching cues is for an instructor to say “chest to glove”. The cue is designed to promote proper shoulder and trunk rotation into the release of the pitch. Many young throwers struggle with maintaining a firm front side throughout the entire throw and when the mind decides to fire the baseball forward, the front side leaks open, and command issues arise. The glove (front side) needs to be strong and remain in proper position until the chest drives the front arm out of the way and back into the body. The idea is: If I think about driving my chest to my front glove, the front arm will naturally fold back into the body, the shoulders will rotate properly, and I will be able to develop a consistent release point out in front of my body. I’ve used the term before when working with younger throwers but I DO NOT have my students keep the glove out in front of the body after the ball has been released. The emphasis on keeping the glove out in front of the body develops a fundamentally wrong approach in pitching. I will go into more details as to why this is wrong but first watch the videos below to gain a better understanding of how this drill exists within the development of pitchers.
Now, lets explore the fundamental issues associated with keeping the glove out in front of the body through release:
“Justin, you forgot number 6. Hitters LOVE how the ball looks when it comes out of a pitcher’s hand like that. If the pitcher stabilizes the glove out in front and brings his chest forward to it, the fastball is going to come out super flat and mostly elevated in the hitter’s wheelhouse. If you give good hitters flat fastballs that are up in the zone…those TREES better watch out!” –Chas Pippitt
Over the course of my professional playing and teaching career I have come across numerous pitchers who have been taught to keep the glove out in front of the chest. Honestly, they look ridiculous playing catch and it’s a position that looks forced and overly mechanical. They are all tall through the finish and the baseball is flat as a pancake as it approaches the target. Stressing certain technical elements within the delivery are ok, but not this one. Let the body and arm continue it’s natural course back into the body after the extension point. Let the front arm and particularly the glove be strong, but don’t force it to an unnatural position. If the mind is allowing the torso to fully rotate, the glove will get where it needs to be.
Justin Orenduff, Leader of the Baseball Pitching Rebellion
Look at the picture of Trevor Bauer and Hiroki Kuroda below. There is absolutely no way Trevor would be able to get to his explosive finish if he were trained to keep his glove out in front of his body. His glove position falls into his back hip. Notice Kuroda, the finish position can also have the glove continue behind the body to promote a healthy and repeatable finish.