Great baseball pitching is your team's first defense. So it's important your pitcher be their best. But while you may think good pitching involves natural talent, think again! There's no question that a laser lob calls for lots of balance, strength, agility, speed, and accuracy. With the right drills, any pitcher can accomplish that. Effective pitching is a learned art. Understanding the mechanics of pitching from the ground up, and choosing drills that fine-tune both the lower and upper parts of the body are sure to take your pitcher from average to ace!
A right-handed pitcher snaps his wrists in clockwise rotation when delivering a curveball (he grips the ball with his middle finger near the top of the ball and his thumb on the bottom---but releases the pitch with his thumb near the top).  A pitcher throws a slider with smaller wrist-break.  He imparts spin by gripping the ball "off-center" (that is, he grips the ball with his middle finger at "2 o'clock"-- instead of 12 o'clock)

Why does a curveball curve? How does a pitcher throw a changeup with the same arm speed as a fastball? Baseball is filled with buzzwords that are often used imprecisely. In this series of articles, Mike Richmond explores the baseball’s motion as it travels through the air: How does it behave, and what can a pitcher do to control it? This article looks at the slider to see what causes its very distinctive break.


The arm action on this pitch is a little abbreviated at the end. Instead of getting a nice long arc of deceleration and finishing throwing elbow outside of your opposite knee (as with your fastball), you'll want to bring your throwing-hand elbow to the opposite hip. This, of course, shortens your follow through, but allows you to really snap off the pitch.
The Curveball is generally a more advanced pitch to learn and throw because of the unique mechanics involved. Many coaches feel that younger players (below the age of 15) should not practice throwing the Curveball with real baseballs because it might place too much stress on a young arm. Although it is likely much safer to throw curveballs with a Blitzball because of its light weight, younger players should still ask parents' for their approval before trying to learn it (you might want to learn a hard Knuckleball instead to get a similar dropping action without having to throw actual Curveballs). The Curveball is unusual because it is the only pitch that involves "topspin" (think of it as the opposite of a fastball's backspin).
A slider is meant to be slightly more deceptive than a curveball because it is thrown harder and has spin that more closely resembles a fastball — although it doesn't create as much overall movement. Many power relief pitchers possess only a fastball and a slider in their arsenals — with one pitch setting up the other because of the late deception created by the slider.
Jeff Gordon has been reporting and writing since 1977. His most recent work has appeared on websites such as eHow, GolfLink, Ask Men, Open Sports, Fox Sports and MSN. He has previously written for publications such as "The Sporting News" and "The Hockey News." He graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism in 1979 with a bachelor's degree.
In order to master the curveball, you must start by gripping the ball with your middle and index fingers together, with the fingers across the seams of the ball at the widest part (the widest distance between the seams). Keeping a tight grip on the ball, especially with the middle finger, don’t let the ball touch the palm of your hand, or you won’t generate enough topspin, which is what allows the ball to drop when it gets close to home plate.
There’s really just one curveball grip, with a number of different, slight variations. Basically, the curveball a 12-year old throws is the same as most Major Leaguers, but the main difference is execution. As we discussed already, this execution is in the type of spin we apply. Major Leaguers apply topspin, little leaguers apply a sloppy mixture of slow sidespin and topspin.
Later that summer, the kid would commit to Vanderbilt University, better known as “Pitching U’ because of the plethora of first-round draft picks they were pumping out under the tutelage of pitching coach, Derek Johnson. (Derek Johnson is a member of the BaseballThinkTank Advisory Board and author of the best selling book, “The Complete Guide To Pitching.”)
This is also important for throwing a fastball and other pitches as well.  What do I mean when I say stay behind the ball?   It means don’t be under the ball, too much to the side of it, or overdoing it with your wrist or elbow. Regardless of your arm slot, you will properly get to this point in your delivery by doing everything correctly with your mechanics from the ground up.  From the time your feet first move to deliver the pitch.  
Whether you're in the middle of a season, practicing in the off-season, or getting warmed up for another year, baseball pitching drills are an excellent way to perfect your technique, work on new pitches, and keep your muscles active and ready. But when you’re juggling school, hobbies, and other activities, you don’t always have time to hit the baseball diamond to practice on your own, and that’s when baseball pitching drills like these three can come in handy.

This simple drill keeps the weight back while in the wind-up. Once the pitcher gets used to it, he can develop a nice natural flow, rock, turn, raise, drop, raise and pitch. Then alternate the drill every other pitch. Pitchers who are comfortable with it, can even do it between innings for a pitch or two just to reinforce their proper piece and keep from rushing.

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!
Great baseball pitching is your team's first defense. So it's important your pitcher be their best. But while you may think good pitching involves natural talent, think again! There's no question that a laser lob calls for lots of balance, strength, agility, speed, and accuracy. With the right drills, any pitcher can accomplish that. Effective pitching is a learned art. Understanding the mechanics of pitching from the ground up, and choosing drills that fine-tune both the lower and upper parts of the body are sure to take your pitcher from average to ace!
To throw start with your dominant hand facing away from the catcher facing sideways.  Bring up your front leg.  When you do this at the same time bring up your throwing arm with the ball facing away from the catcher 90 degrees to your shoulder like an L shape.  Then bring your arm down to your knee and release at the time necessary.  It should look something like the video.  He doesn't bring his arm and leg up at the same time but everyone's throw is a little different.
Great baseball pitching is your team's first defense. So it's important your pitcher be their best. But while you may think good pitching involves natural talent, think again! There's no question that a laser lob calls for lots of balance, strength, agility, speed, and accuracy. With the right drills, any pitcher can accomplish that. Effective pitching is a learned art. Understanding the mechanics of pitching from the ground up, and choosing drills that fine-tune both the lower and upper parts of the body are sure to take your pitcher from average to ace!

Any baseball pitch begins with how the pitcher grips the ball. To throw a curveball, a pitcher must hold the baseball between his thumb and his index and middle fingers, with the middle finger resting on the baseball seam. When the pitcher comes through his motion to throw the ball, he snaps his wrist downward as he releases the ball, which gives the ball topspin. If the pitcher throws properly, the back of the his hand will be facing the batter at the end of the motion. The ball will break down and away from a right-handed batter if thrown by a right-handed pitcher.
In the world of sports power is defined as the combination of speed and strength. Adding more strength to an athlete will help increase an athletes ability to produce power. However, the greatest gains in power are made when both speed and strength are improved. For example, one athlete may be able to throw a baseball a certain distance, but the ball does not travel at a high speed. Whereas another athlete may be able to throw a baseball very fast, but the ball does not travel a great distance.

Arm Care Assessment Baseball Baseball Swing changeup Coaching Conditioning Curveball Elbow Exercise GIRD Hitting In-Season Injury Inseason latissimus lats launch angle Long Toss Mechanics Mental Game Offseason Pitch Counts pitch grip Pitching Power Recovery Research Rotation Rotator Cuff scapula Shoulder Program Sleep sprinting strength strength and conditioning Strength Training Throwing Throwing Program Tommy John Training UCL Velocity Warm Up Youth

I just did a search for “baseball pitching drills” and Google came back with 1,080,000 results. I share this to illustrate a point: there’s a lot of garbage out there on the internet. You can waste a lot of time trying to weed through it all. Even worse, if you go with some of the more popular drills, you’ll probably waste even more time performing them! Because the sad reality is that most pitching drills are, at best, great time-wasters and, at worst, totally counterproductive.
It's been said that players pitch with their legs. There are a great deal of lower body mechanics that go into delivering a powerful pitch. According to Dr. John Bagonzi, former pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, and author of The Act of Pitching, good mechanics begin with transferring energy from the lower body to the arm, and to the fingers. Here are a few tips to tap your pitching potential.
In 2004 we developed the first evidence-based pitching program based on sports science research, instead of common coaching beliefs. Through this research we've also learned video analysis is still the best and most accurate way to assess pitching mechanics. We not only show pitchers at all levels their faults and the adjustments, but work with there style in order to improve their velocity and control, all while reducing their risk of arm injuries. The true difference about our coaching methods are simple, our clients will truly feel the difference and that's the only true way towards improvement and development.
When thrown, try to manipulate the pitch to come off of the thumb-side of your index finger – NOT your index- and middle-fingers, as with a two-seam fastball – because a two-finger release will cause the pitch to balance out, which reduces the spin that you are looking for. Most good slider pitchers grip the outer-third of the baseball and cock their wrist slightly, but not stiffly, to their throwing hand's thumb-side upon release of the pitch. This enables a pitcher to apply pressure to the outer-half of the ball with the index finger. Avoid any twisting of the wrist upon release.
Doug Bernier, founder of Pro Baseball Insider.com, debuted in the Major Leagues in 2008 with the Colorado Rockies, and has played professional baseball for 5 organizations (CO Rockies, NY Yankees, PIT Pirates, MN Twins, & TX Rangers) over the past 16 years. He has Major League time at every infield position, and has played every position on the field professionally except for catcher. Where is he now? After 16 years of playing professionally, he is now a professional scout with the Colorado Rockies. You should click to watch this great defensive play by Bernier

The spinning action created when the pitcher releases the ball is the secret behind the curveball. This spinning causes air to flow differently over the top of the ball than it does under the ball. The top of the ball is spinning directly into air and the bottom of the ball is spinning with the air flow. The air under the ball is flowing faster than air on top of the ball creating less pressure, which forces the ball to move down or curve. This imbalance of force is called the Magnus Effect, named for physicist Gustav Magnus, who discovered in 1852 that a spinning object traveling through liquid is forced to move sideways.
In the world of sports power is defined as the combination of speed and strength. Adding more strength to an athlete will help increase an athletes ability to produce power. However, the greatest gains in power are made when both speed and strength are improved. For example, one athlete may be able to throw a baseball a certain distance, but the ball does not travel at a high speed. Whereas another athlete may be able to throw a baseball very fast, but the ball does not travel a great distance.
Whether you're in the middle of a season, practicing in the off-season, or getting warmed up for another year, baseball pitching drills are an excellent way to perfect your technique, work on new pitches, and keep your muscles active and ready. But when you’re juggling school, hobbies, and other activities, you don’t always have time to hit the baseball diamond to practice on your own, and that’s when baseball pitching drills like these three can come in handy.
×