Another common struggle with getting full-foot activation on the take-off of a pitch, is ankle mobility. If the ankle is stiff the athlete won’t be able push off as effectively, therefore reducing power and velocity. One way to gain mobility in the foot is to use the toe splays and a super band wrapped around the top of the foot to increase range of motion through the foot/ankle.
If you missed the first parts of this workout, check out my first blog post here: Part 1: Mobility
Place the foot on top of the wedge so the heels is below the toes in a downward angle. Make sure to continue wearing the toe splays. Wrap a large superband (1″ thick), to the end of the squat rack or a post and wrap the other end of the band around your foot. It should NOT be up around the ankle bone but over the area where the tongue of your shoe would be (talus bone). The band should be pulling back on the foot.
Press the toes down into the floor with the heel. Make sure the ankle and knee is stacked up over the middle of the foot. The knee and ankle should NOT be pointed inward or outward. (the key point of this stretch is to work alignment of the big toes with the ankle, knee and hip-so make sure we do this when we stretch too) Slowly rock back and forth working to keep the heel down letting the ankle relax back against the stretch of the band. Hold this rocking position on each foot :30 seconds, repeat 2-3x.
You should feel this stretch in the ankle, calf, and heel, mostly.
One way to see if anything changed with this stretch is to squat down in a low squat and see if your knees can come forward over your toes better.