"Pitcher A has a smooth, explosive delivery and Pitcher B has a slow, controlled, drop/drive delivery."
Explosive vs slow. The question is loaded using thos terms but I can survive that.
I agree with the 13 year old. Maintaining momentum, especially from the windup, is more effective. Dropping in itself changes the direction of the momentum and reduces the it.
The problem with the word "explosive" is that it usually results in an arm-y slow, slow, fast delivery that creates timing problems and arm problems as a result (e.g. Brad Penny, Kyle McClellan, Matt Clement).
I'm not a fan of just falling toward the plate, but the build-up has to be continuous, not all of a sudden.
So be continuously "smooth" throughout the motion without any hesitation or slow movements then?
It's a smooth, gradual building up of the pace, not a sudden increase in the pace.
You can find clips of Kyle McLellan on MLB.com. Maybe it's easier for me to see because I see him so much, but what he does is glide/fall down the hill and then, into foot plant, he explodes forward. However, that creates a timing problem and IMO that and his jump in innings explains the dead arm he's been dealing with this year.
In about 12 days from now, I am going to start my son throwing again since his team begins indoor practice for the winter. We are going to start very light and no real pitching from the portable mounds until after New Years.
Last night, I tried both drills with the 13 year old baseball pitcher that I mentioned earlier. He preferred the Hershiser Drill, as opposed to the pushing the hips drill. After feeling the slight drift of the hips move forward just prior to maximum knee lift, he said, "I can really feel myself Driving Forward more than the Drop & Drive; and it feels more natural to keep the momentum constantly moving, rather than stopping a few times in the Drop & Drive." (Stopping - pause at maximum knee lift and pause in the squatting postion when dropping to push)
Excellent. It will take repetitions and tiny adjustments before he finds the best timing for him and makes it repeatable. And that timing will change as he grows older and gains strength.
Try not to let him cheat on his knee lift just because he feels like he needs to catch himself. Get him to move his front leg faster. Again, this will take repetitions to get a feel for everything.
Have not posted in awhile on this. My son went the entire season with his travel team pain free!! He pitched about 44 innings from April to July 2012, and played SS and CF most of the season. He took a break from throwing until around October 2012. From October thru December he did some throwing, but nothing on a consistent basis. During a pitching session in early December, my son compained of some minor pain again in the medial elbow area (was pain free for 13 months up to this point!). He said it was about a 4 or 5 on a pain scale of 10. He did throw quite a bit that day between warm ups and some bullpens. Anyway, he did not throw again for about 3 weeks and resumed the first week in Jan 2013. We have been throwing twice a week since with his team. Last night after throwing right from the beginning during a warm ups, he felt some pain again!! (Just to note, we do a 10-15 dynamic warm-up before throwing all the time) He threw about 10-15 more times then finally told me about it. I shut him down immediately. He again said the pain is about a 5 out of 10 and only hurts when throwing or bending his arm towards his shoulder (like making a bicep muscle). My plan is to ice 3 to 4 times per day for the next 3 days or so and then have him try and throw again. Maybe give him some advil as well. Not sure what the hell happened, but he is very frustrated! One thing to note is, he is now 11 years and I believe in the middle of a growth spurt.
Forgot to add, my wife had taken my son bowling the day before the elbow pain and said he bowled 3 full games in an hour. She said he was using a 10lb ball and was twisting his arm all around (supination and pronation) just before he would let go of the ball. He was also flipping his wrist as well. So I looked up "bowlers elbow" and lo and behold it is very common! I am thinking this help re-aggravate his inner elbow again. He also has been doing a lot of push ups and planks the last several months in his workouts.