​Brent Porciau

The Kinetic Chain: How Focusing on The Lower Half Instead of The Arm Will Increase Velocity

Brent Pourciau was born in New Orleans, LA. He grew up in Covington, LA. where he played football and baseball for St. Paul’s High School. Brent had above average velocity in High School which helped him become the ace pitcher as a sophomore. His senior year he helped his team to the Semi-Finals losing to the team, which had won the State Championship the past six years and was ranked 5th in the nation by USA TODAY, 2-1.

Brent was a late bloomer graduating high school at 6’0 165lbs and was offered a full scholarship to Delgado, Junior college, in New Orleans, to have a few more years developing in size and strength. He began the year pitching the opening game of the season. In the fourth inning Brent tore his rotator cuff and immediately had rotator cuff surgery to repair the tear.

This marked the beginning of Brent’s continuous devotion to the athletics of pitching. Brent read every book he could find that would maybe one day allow him to pitch again in college. It took two years until he could actually throw a ball off of the mound. He then soon discovered that his arm wasn’t going to get any stronger. 

He worked with well known physical therapists and two well known doctors before they informed him that they could not do anything to help his condition. The last doctor labeled his condition as chronic tendentious. Brent refused to accept this diagnosis and began to seek out the help of a personal trainer and a massage therapist. He was lucky enough to train under the supervision of the olympic lifting coach Gayle Hatch's protege Kurt Hester.

Olympic Lifting Coach Gayle Hatch’s

 The first year he spent training with the Olympic lifts his fastball increased six mph. What he learned was as he grew stronger, all around, he could throw harder. Brent spent countless hours in the weight room building the elite frame and continued to study proven scientific research on high velocity pitching mechanics which eventually helped him developed the power and technique to throw a 94 mph fastball. This occurred six years later during a Professional Minor League season.

Not only did Brent play college baseball again but he was the winning pitcher in the conference championship game. He moved on to have a professional career playing in Europe and for an independent minor league organization in San Diego, California.

Through hard work, both physically and mentally, Brent learned the secret to velocity and longevity. Not many athletes have the opportunity to start their careers again from the beginning and work their way to the top, with a total understanding of how they did it!




Summary and Action Plan below


Brent tore his rotator cuff at 18 years old (first collegiate appearance!). Doctors told him he’d never pitch again, but he kept fighting. He had always done the mainstream teaching but it just wasn’t working for him. He started learning outside of the box and focused on mechanically and biomechanically and ended up throwing harder than he ever had (mid 90’s) and was able to play professionally.

Brent took his programs and protocol that he used and put them on Topvelocity.net as the internet was taking off (2007) and has been helping players improve their velocity ever since. He’s worked as a biomechanic analyst for several MLB teams and has teams reaching out from across the globe.

Conventional wisdom: having rules based on what a select few pitchers do (put your arm here, foot here) instead of having an understanding of how the kinetic chain works and how each individual can maximize theirs.

If your pitching coach doesn’t understand kinesiology or how the body works, he won’t be able to help let a player maximize his ability.

Brent was one of the first coaches to encourage pitchers to lift at all, let alone lifting heavy with olympic lifts.

Brent is against high intent throwing with weighted balls. Bio mechanics break down when that happens the arm takes the brunt of it.

Using the kinetic chain will improve velocity. It’s like a whip if you want to generate force at the tip of the whip you have to apply the force to the handle. That force moves it’s way up and through the whip. You wouldn’t just grab the end of the whip and try to apply force there. Just like in throwing, we don’t want to focus on the end of the chain (arm and shoulder) because there are small muscles which are obviously weaker than larger muscle areas and more delicate as well.

For kids, the “handle” is the legs, hips and trunk. Focus on those vs the arm.

Using your legs to apply force through the hips (toward the target (lateral) and also in a turning motion (rotational) is the primary generator of velocity. Kids who don’t throw as hard tend to have restrictions in their hips, or weaker legs, so not enough force gets transferred up the chain.

Pitching is complicated (the arm speed at release is the fastest human movement in all of sports), but we can simplify it.

Scap Load: Pulling the shoulder blades back, almost pinching them. You can load the front, back or both arms. Brent isn’t a fan of loading the glove arm scap because it can cause early chest rotation (which is a KILLER of velocity) but likes it with the throwing arm. While this is important, it’s at the tail end of the chain, so if you didn’t do the bottom half correctly - like if your hips aren’t stable, then your upper body movements won’t be stable or very effective. So getting the lower half to move right is vitally important - even more so than the upper half.

Hip to shoulder separation is a huge foundation to Brent’s approach. When foot lands, hips should be open and looking toward home plate BUT the chest still facing third base (or 1st base for a lefty). This separation is using the kinetic chain to transfer energy up and through the arm. If the chest is opening with the hips you’re not generating enough torque and tension (think of a rubber band being pulled back slightly, vs being pulled back far).

When starting with young kids, Brent likes to work on the lower half. He likes the King of the Hill and Velo Pro to teach kids how to stay loaded during the pitching delivery. These are all drills that can be done without throwing the ball.

The legs are creating the movements, and most people focus on the arms and upper half.

Focus on your development, not your present moment success. Kids will compromise their physical development in order to “back off” to try to get a win in the moment. Development is a long process and they have to go through it and it’s not always pretty.


Focus on your leg movements on the mound. Don’t worry so much about your grip, release point etc, *feel* your legs and how they’re moving. Feel the back leg pushing the back hip forward and the front leg pushing the front hip backward...causing rotation.

As Brent said, lack of mobility in joints and lack of strength in the legs will kill a pitcher’s potential. One movement to work on would be to take a broom stick, pvc pipe, or even a bat (something VERY light weight to start) and work on over head squats. Hold the stick above your head and get into the deepest squat you can...all while keeping the chest and eyes up and holding the stick above your head. Pause at the bottom and hold for 5 seconds then come back up. Do a set of 10. Again, don’t use heavy weight to start, we’re just trying to free up the ankles and hips. Do this every day for a week and you’ll begin to see improvement. Oh, and did I mention not using heavy weight? :)

This will free you up and turn you into a better athlete, which makes progress for any specific movement - whether pitching, hitting, or another sport - so much easier.

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