pitcher starting to stack and track shoulders for added pitching velocity
Stack and track your shoulders toward home plate can help improve pitching velocity.

There are many factors that affect pitching velocity. However, the stack and track movement can account for about 20% of velocity. The stack and track is a key part of the kinetic chain in your pitching sequence. Improving it can help boost your pitching velocity. In this article, we explain what stack and track is, why it’s necessary for velocity, and some common mistakes youth pitchers make during this part of the pitching sequence. 

What is Stack and Track? How Does it Affect Pitching Velocity?

Stack and track is part of the kinetic chain in pitching. It occurs between the foot strike and release. There are several steps that occur between foot strike and release and it’s one of the most complex parts of the pitching sequence. The stack and track is one of the last few steps. It involves extending the lower back, bringing the throwing shoulder forward, and squaring your shoulders and chest toward the home plate. This is essential for pitching velocity. 

Squaring the shoulders helps create a stable posture and take all the momentum you created in the earlier parts of the kinetic chain and transfer it to the ball before release. At the same time, it also brings the release point closer to the target, which, as we know, affects perceived velocity. Failing to properly stack and track can make you lose pitching velocity because you transfer less momentum to the ball. 

How to Help Youth Pitching Players who Over Extend the Shoulders

Pitching instruction for stack and track can be difficult, as it happens so quickly. In many cases, motion analysis is required to even diagnose improperly squared shoulders when pitching. However, once identified, typically it’s a problem of strength or flexibility, which our training programs can help players correct. 

Many youth pitching athletes actually tend to over rotate the shoulders, bringing the throwing shoulder further forward. This can also cause the pitcher to lose some velocity. Younger players tend to be quite flexible, but may lack the strength needed to properly stop rotation when the shoulders and chest are square with home. Improving functional strength with our pitching workouts may help pitchers train the muscles needed to properly stack and track. 

Pitching Instruction for Pitchers of All Ages at National Pitching

Optimize pitching performance through our pitching program at National Pitching. Founded by Dr. Tom House, the father of modern pitching mechanics, National Pitching works with pitchers of all ages and skill levels to help you achieve your potential. We offer a program with the tools you need for ongoing improvement, from velocity training to arm care and nutrition. Take part in our health-first, science-backed pitching program specifically designed for rotational athletes. Find a National Pitching coach near you or sign up for a V.I.P. virtual membership today to get started.