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Harold Mozingo is a former pitcher in the Royals and Blue Jays organizations. He is the inventor of the TorqueScrew training device for training pitchers on how to use ground force effectively. He is the author of Young Guns Eguide, a 90 page complete guide to training youth pitchers. It includes Velocity Development, Mechanics, Strength Training, Workload, Training for Control, How-To Guide’s for each pitch type (including pictures of grips), Training Guides by Age, Sample Routines and more! He also offersbaseball lessons and training near Tappahannock, VA.
You can find Harold on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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Hi, everybody, it’s Bryan Eisenberg. I am joined today by Harold Mozingo. Harold play professionally for the Kansas city Royals and the Blue Jays for six years. Harold, and you now own something Mozingo baseball where you train young athletes. You have also the author of the “Young Guns” series, which is, an amazing ebook and videos included.
But I want to jump right in and ask you a very quick question. Cause you, you finished professional ball little over a decade ago, knowing what you know now and how you train your athletes today. What do you wish you could have done differently in your training as you were developing through high school and beyond?
First of all, thanks for having me on the answer to that may or may not be an answer you want. The one thing that I’ll always tell people I I don’t know what the best way to describe this is, but I think everything happens for a reason. And I don’t know that I would do anything differently because it all led me to where I am today.
So it’s what I mean by that is because I didn’t have some of the advantages that are out there today. It’s really made me dive in and get a better understanding of all this stuff to better help my athletes to do. If so, I hope that makes sense. Because we didn’t have all of this stuff at the disposal of the athletes today, it just forced me to really study and get a better understanding.
So just to the best way to put this, when I first started working with athletes, the only thing I really had to go off of was the things that worked for me. And then you quickly realize that doesn’t work. So how do you get through to the athletes? And of course, and that leads down this rabbit hole of this information, and because of the rapid changes that have occurred over the last decade you’ve had to really dive in. And study, if you will, I’m going to be back in school to understand all this stuff. So I don’t know that I would have done things. Let me say that back. There’s one thing I would’ve done differently.
I dealt with a lot of injuries and so that being said, the one thing that I wish I would have been able to do differently was take better care of myself. And by that understand just how important the role of strength on the posterior side of the.
That’s perfect. It’s interesting. I listened to that answer.
And one of the things that strikes me is that obviously this is part of what we see in the old, a lot of these Twitter debates among these, former professionals who go on and say, okay you’ve got to do it like me, but they haven’t necessarily gone on to be teachers. And, there’s a big difference.
It seems. Doing what you’ve known and will work for you as an athlete, because you were had whatever gifts you had versus how do you communicate to more people who may have different gifts and different parts of it and, develop differently than you have. Is that what we’re seeing in so many of these Twitter debates?
Yeah I really do believe that in a sort of understand where everyone’s coming from with that, for the most part, the athletes that have. Then better athletes than their peers. They get left to do the things they’ve always been doing. So they don’t really fully, always understand what it is that they’re actually doing.
They know what works for them internally, but they don’t really, they can’t really explain what it is they’re doing other than what they’re feeling. So the athletes that aren’t quite up to par are the ones that usually get more of the coaching right. From the coaches. So yeah, it is very different because.
I’ve had success doing it this way. If you just do it like I did, you’ll be fine. But that doesn’t work when you start really diving in and getting in the trenches with guys.
So I want to bring it back into it. Now we really want to focus in on one big area. And it’s a funny story. I don’t go into a lot of detail in the book in, in the book committee, we talked a little bit about crown forces, but one of the funnier stories behind this is it’s not fun, but a few years ago Sammy broke his head.
He was in the gym and he rolled over and instead of full ligaments going, he was, the bone is not a pretty sight. He ended up walking across the gym on a broken bone. We didn’t know, but when he finally got back into throwing and pitching, we didn’t realize that some of the mobility in his ankle, wasn’t quite where it used to be.
He could bend it forward. But that e-version inversion, right? The turning in and turning out was an issue. And I’m sitting at the gym and I’m watching one of the MLB pitchers throw a bullpen and I’m sitting seated behind the mound at an angle. And I get it to where I can really see his face.
And I can watch what is his foot and his ankle and the whole way his leg is working, going into his landing. And we analyze that and we’re looking at it and we realize, okay, I see where we’re Sammy is, losing some of this. And we ended up doing a whole bunch of mobility work and ended up doing some work with the road, text motion.
I think I’ve mentioned to you beforehand to help correct some of that mobility. And of course that that helped him cause he’s not working. Naturally gifted athletes who just feel it and do it. And especially after the break, it was a whole different thing. But here’s my question for you. Why, is it so important and why have you spent so much time trying to understand ground force?
And you get to the point where you’ve dug up a whiteboard to try to understand it better. Can you explain to parents why it’s so important?
Yeah. So just to better understand why I wanted to get into that. I knew for me personally, Yeah. I had to really feel my back leg a lot.
That was one of the things that I wanted to feel. And when you start looking out there, there really wasn’t a whole lot of studies or experiments done with ground force other than the raw data. And some of the stuff that was starting to come out was that the back leg really isn’t important. And I.
From what I felt, I was like, man, this can’t be right. There has to be more to it than this. So that’s what we did. Just dove in as much as we could with no clear direction. Like I said, we were using a whiteboard. There’s nothing really there. It’s all just blind flying blind.
And you’re trying to correlate everything to make something of the data and nothing’s working, but then you start as time went on, I started to realize, and when you see. Looking at different things than just the raw data itself. There are things there that matter, and it’s exactly what I would venture to guess.
Most good pitchers will tell you that they feel when they’re trying to get down into their legs. Anyways. It’s all there. So the way we use the grounds is a vital to set up. Really talked about the system because the ground is what we’re holding on to, to deliver the ball. That’s what if we were to throw the ball by jumping in the air, we’re never going to throw the ball at the same velocity is when we had the ground.
So we have to maximize how we, so I don’t know if using the ground or using our bodies down into the ground is a better terminology. I don’t know. But we have to create this sort of torque in the system to have resistance, to throw against.
Yeah. A couple of things. So one for parents to understand it would be different trying to throw on sand versus on a mattress versus on a, water bed or, typical
Absolutely. Or like ice, like you, you don’t have much there to put into the ground to resist against, so that’s what we’re trying to maximize. We’re out there on the mound is maximize that torque in the system to create resistance, to throw against. And there’s, a couple of things that
There’s, a couple of things that parents hear all the time, but it’s probably confusing.
And you said so many coaches will tell kids get in their lives. They, see they’re not using their legs effectively, but that cue doesn’t seem to necessarily get people to be like, oh yeah. You’re I know exactly what you mean. So what, do we need to do?
Okay. So look like I said there’s, different sort of layers and phases to all the stuff with ground force. And I don’t know this particularly ground force, but ground force data will show you this stuff. So the first thing that we want to do is set up that good load into the rear hip.
And the way I described that to people. Everything that the whole entire sequence of pitching is a series of loading and unloading joints. That’s what it is while retaining torque in the system and other places at the same time. So the first move is that loading of the rear hip. And we want to use that as a springboard into the rest of the delivery, if you will.
So in order to set up that rear hip. If pictures weren’t and you probably saw this, if you were looking at the pictures and the bullpen, if pitchers didn’t have cleats on at least pictures, what you would see is their foot with spin big Tom on the mouth. But because they have the cleats on it, it doesn’t quite do it as much.
They’re just this gradual shift. And that’s the first thing that has to happen. We have. Externally rotated before we can internally rotate that back leg. So we, rotate that, not rotate that hip, but we load into that rear hip to create torque and stretching that system to be able to unload it.
And we have to be able to maintain that throughout the sitting process as late as possible. And then from there, we want to get into a very powerful unloading, which is internal rotation. But before that occurs is actually something very important that does happen as well. And that is that. Pushing off the rubber or driving off the rubber, there is that little teeny incidence where that occurs. We just want to make sure it happens late and at the right time and very forcefully, and that is the big time springboard into internal rotation. So we have that setting up, going down the mouth. Of setting up that rear hip and there’s that springboard is what we push off and drive into internal rotation very rapidly and very forcefully.
And then from there, it’s just a matter of making sure we have enough momentum going down the mound, which is where people look into front leg ground for. And they think the front leg data means so much and that’s due to momentum. So we do want to put force into the ground on the front leg, but it’s not just the forest by itself.
Either. The big thing there is the front leg is probably the most misunderstood thing out there. The front legs job is to resist and that’s really, its only role is to resist that forward momentum that we’re talking about and the rotational components. The pitching, we want to be linear to rotational and we have to on the front legs resist both of those movements at the same time.
Very, quickly while maintaining resistance on the back leg, which is where that talks to your comes in. And the throw the ball at maximum velocity. Yeah.
I like to explain in the book, we talk about it either a bow and arrow where you know that, that bow it’s at the front, it’s gotta be.
You’re not going to get the resistance from pulling back or riding a bicycle. If you hit that break real quickly, you should go forward. So it’s that same concept.
Yeah. So look, I’ll just say this, the easiest illustration I try to give to the young players is that, and these are made up numbers.
So don’t take the numbers for granted, but if we create a hundred pounds of force on the back of. And we’re only able to receive 60 pounds of those force on the front leg. We only get to throw with 60 pounds of force. We lost the other 40. Now that’s still better than only creating 40 pounds of force and receiving all 40 pounds, if that makes any sense.
So it’s not as simple as just the data itself, if that makes sense.
Now, this is the, this is also similar for hitters as well. This is not just pictures, right there. There is that same kind of load into that back leg..
Yeah. So I stay away from the hitting nonsense that’s out there, but yeah, it’s hitting and pitching.
The deliveries are essentially the same. They’re just happening on different planes. Whereas pitching we’re moving down.
Yeah, they’re very similar. The difference will be one at one point, the pelvis has to go down because we’re throwing a ball down the slope, and the other is going to sound hopefully slightly uphill to match that plane. That’s really the only difference. Now
I’ve heard you describe this torque action.
And I think parents will get this. And it’s interesting. Cause I asked my kids and they’re different ages whether they’ve opened up and actually have one here like a childproof pill bottle. And you describe it that pushing down and that, that slight twist explain that for parents and maybe, that’s a way that they can help their kids
Understand that as well.
Yeah. That’s, been the simplest way for me to get through to the younger athletes, not just the younger athletes, the college guys. We don’t want to just spin off the back. We don’t want to just push, we don’t want to just spend, we have to push down, like when you’re got the childproof bottle.
And you have to push down and hold on to that force while you’re trying to open in the bottle. That’s exactly what we’re trying to do with the ground. We’re trying to push down into the ground and maintain that. Push down as we go to turn, we don’t want to just spin. You have to maintain force while you’re turning.
That’s what we’re trying to do.
Because you’ve recognized that there’s a need and it’s not an easy necessarily feel every time for athletes to do this. You developed something called a Torque screw. Just cause you didn’t see something in the market for it. Can you tell people like what it is and, how you primarily use.
— Harold Mozingo (@MozingoBaseball) February 1, 2022
Yeah. So the, torque screw is this almost many pitching rubber, if you will, just for the back leg. And it’s slides it’s meant to slide. So you would put it on like a turf mound or just, turf in general to work on two very important components that we’re talking about off of the back leg of one being that initial load.
And if your video along with it, you can see the timing of different. Oh, everything that we’re talking about here with the back leg, but that initial load of getting it, setting up the rear hip, if you will. So you will see if I’m a right-handed pitcher, the third base side of the board, we set it up about a half inch away.
And the third base side of the board is going to hit the mound. Whereas the first base side is going to slide finally towards home plate. And that’s how we set it up. And that’s what it would look like. If pitchers didn’t have cleats in the, in. Mound, that’s what it would look like, but it doesn’t because we have cleats driving down into the ground.
So that’s the initial setup that we want to have. We want to maintain that as we go through the city process. And then from there, you’ll see that, pushback where the first day side is going to push back into the mound, that’s our drive. And then you’ll see that rotation occur. But the one thing that happens with the rotation and I’ll try to illustrate this for a right-handed pickup.
This is all from the whiteboard stuff. We would see the board slide rotate towards the first base dugout for right-handed pitcher. And I thought that was extremely wild. At first. I had no idea what was going on. It made no sense to me. And then of course, that led me to study in that a little bit more and you start to see the resistance move.
I know reciprocal movements and all that have a big name today, but it’s just the resistance move. And what happens is that back leg, everyone gets caught up in how it comes up and over. And it does come up and over or before it does that, it has one vital role for power. And that is to resist that movement.
And by resisting that movement is where it kicks out towards the first base side. So that’s what we want. That’s everything there really is the back leg, other than how much actual force you’re putting into the board. All right there. So if you drive down. Open a childproof bottle, right? Like you’re going to get all three of those things, as long as you can maintain that as you move out with
the Torx screw.
I obviously I’ve heard you, you’ve used it for for, college and, pitches, but what’s the youngest age that you should have used it for, them to
feel it. Yeah. So we use it all the way down. I’ve had as young as eight nine-year-olds use it. They have a little bit harder time and mostly because they don’t have enough mass yet.
So they can do the first part, but they have a really hard time with that second part, creating that resistance because they’re just really, they don’t have enough resistance yet. That’s why they don’t throw very hard yet. Their body’s still have a lot of developing still to do, and that’s fine.
But we do work on it with the first part, a lot with the younger guy,
a big proponent. Teaching movement early so that it becomes a common pattern. And then obviously as, more strengthened and force are able to be generated, if the movements correct, you’re only going to get better through the movement,
No, absolutely. And look, so just, to make sure I’m very clear on this. Typically what we’re talking about with the lower half is not messing things up for the upper half, right? Like the upper half is the driver let’s make no mistake about it. How quickly you can accelerate the ball towards home plate.
From external rotation to ball release is going to be the key to how hard you throw the lower half just has to stay out of the way, if you will, by doing these things right. And creating that resistance to throw against that’s, really what we’re trying to do there with the low half, create that resistance to throw against, but the arm, or I shouldn’t say the arm, but the upper body as it goes from external rotation, Towards home plate is the driver for the lawsuit.
Yeah. Again, just to bring it all home. It’s a lot like a whip, right? The handle is not going to do much. That’s our legs. It’s as the width comes out, that’s where the velocity and that Sonic boom from the wit
would show up. But if we mess up that handle part, good luck getting the whip to have.
Exactly Harold is people want to find out more about you, the young gun series, as well as the torture for can they find out about
all? So I’m, on social media. It’s, Emma’s Ingo baseball for everything. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram biggest is going to be Twitter and then go baseball.com.
And you can find the link on that on the website for the young guns and the, young guns he got in the. Awesome. And
Maybe, one of these days, we’ll see you dancing on Tik TOK with with people torques
ruing in there. I don’t know. Yeah. Probably not. I appreciate your time today.
No problem. Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it. Okay.