Baseball players place a tremendous amount of stress on their arms and the ligaments which control how the arms and shoulders move. By practicing pitching drills which focus on developing and loosening these muscles athletes will be taking a step to avoid costly injuries. By adding core work into the pitching drill athletes will further protect their bodies by building a strong base at the center of their body.
The drill is used to develop great pitcher control by having the pitcher throw strikes at varying distances. The drill has a catcher set at a stationary plate. The plate never moves. The pitcher should begin throwing at a distance 1/2 of his normal pitching distance. You should have 6-8 distance markers with the first being at his starting point and the longest being twice his normal pitching distance. The markers should be at 10 foot intervals and in a straight line with the plate. The object of the drill is to develop control by gradually moving toward and away from the targeted strike zone. The pitcher is required to throw 1-3 strikes from each marker before moving to the next. The catcher serves as the umpire. Variations of this drill may be to have 1-3 pitchers working and competing against each other. The drill teaches them to work fast, concentrate, and execute a perfect pitch. Make sure your pitchers are in condition for this drill. They will find that throwing strikes from longer distance requires great mechanics and builds arm strength. Make sure your players stretch and warm-up first.
The most fundamental property of any pitch is its speed. In the graph below, the speed is shown on the vertical axis. Looking at pitches thrown by Zack Greinke of the Arizona Diamondbacks in a game against the Dodgers last year, we see that there are some leisurely ones (curveballs, denoted by pink symbols) and some electric ones (fastballs, marked by red and green symbols):
Another property of pitches is their break. Most commonly, that is the difference between their trajectory and that of a ball thrown with the same initial velocity, but no spin. As you may recall from earlier articles in this series, a basic fastball breaks up, while a basic curveball breaks down. A pitcher’s arm angle can modify these motions, so that a righthanded pitcher’s (RHP’s) fastball moves tends to move toward third base, as well as up.
Launching a great pitch requires good timing, and lots of control during the leg kick. New pitchers tend to fall forward too soon on follow-through, rather than staying on top of the baseball. This balance drill gets pitchers to practice holding their leg kick before full delivery. It keeps the pitcher in a position to maintain control, rather than rushing the follow-through. Slowing down the leg kick will ultimately help a pitcher to deliver straighter, faster balls, with more power and poise.
You may already know about the risk of sustaining an overuse injury to the pitching arm, from repeated movements. For that reason, upper body drills shouldn't place excess stress on the shoulders. This is a very simple exercise that gently stretches the rotator cuff, and doesn't require any special equipment. This a great exercise for loosening up the shoulders before practices and games!
“Dick’s Scientific Formula For Big League Pitching Mechanics Package has given me the knowledge I need as a pitching coach to help young people succeed. I highly recommend it to any pitcher Little League through college. From mechanics to conditioning to the mental aspect, everything he does is top notch. His program helped our pitchers go 29-1, have a 0.80 ERA last season, and win a State Championship.”
Simply place your fingers the same way you would a curve using your index and middle fingers putting them close together. Thumb and middle finger split the baseball in half as you should do with most pitches.. Keep your ring finger and your pinkie off to the side as they shouldn’t make any real contact with the ball. Place a little more pressure with your thumb and middle finger as your index finger puts little to no pressure on the baseball.
For the second phase of this shoulder prevention pitching drill one athlete will continue facing forward while the opposite athlete turns to face their partner. Athlete facing their partner will be performing the should prevention portion of this phase of the pitching drill while partner the facing forward will be focused on strengthening their core.
Step 2: This grip provides maximum rotation movement, more than any breaking pitch. However, many pitchers who are learning this pitch for the first time aren’t comfortable with the ‘tuck’. It’s not natural at first to tuck your index finger into the baseball. I recommend, preferably during the off-season, to practice tucking your index finger into the baseball. Do it while you’re watching TV!
Your next indoor baseball practice is a great place to train your accuracy with a helpful and effective drill from the mound. To run this drill, you’ll need a catcher and an additional teammate to stand in the batter’s box. Your teammate should be carrying a bat and wearing a batting helmet, but they won’t be swinging at any pitches. Instead, they’re serving as a point of reference for your aim.
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