Pitching is a connective chain of movements.  As you put this into action, you will notice the prerequisites of staying behind the ball as they continue on to the next 2 steps as well.  When you can stay behind the baseball, you will be in command of your pitches.  When you see a pitcher falling underneath the baseball as a result of mechanical flaws, you know bad things are going to happen.  Due to this mechanical breakdown, it is easy to foresee this before the ball even gets released.   When you do this step correctly, you will execute #2 correctly.
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):
As a curveball flies through the air, the spin creates an imbalance of air pressure on either side of the ball. According to Bernoulli's principle, this imbalance of air pressure creates lift. When applied to a spinning object, the Magnus Effect holds that the force of lift generated will cause the spinning ball to move in the direction of lower pressure.
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

The slider is a cross between a fastball and a curveball. It’s harder than a curveball, but with less downward action. The slider has a smaller break with a tighter spin. Many times you can see a small dot in the baseball as it’s coming toward you. It’s important for pitchers, parents and coaches to learn a proper slider grip and to learn correct slider throwing technique to ensure and promote good arm health.
6. Arm speed: It is extremely important that you maintain similar arm speed with your curveball that you have with your fastball. A hitter reads arm speed. The matter of arm speed is obviously more important with a changeup than it is with a curveball, but it’s important for other reasons. Another way to get a tight rotation and hard downward movement with a curveball is to throw it with quicker arm speed. If two pitchers have the exact same curveball grip, mechanics, release, etc. but one throws it with quicker arm speed, the one with quicker arm speed will throw the curveball with more break, and thus the harder pitch to hit.

At the end of this corresponding video, you will look at a short clip from the Best of the Best.  Where a Slider thrown by Clayton Kershaw, is featured from a breakdown video/post I recently did of the lefty.  In slow motion, you can see that he has done everything correctly in his mechanics to enable him to Stay Behind the Baseball, Release it ‘Out in Front, and Throw it Downhill.  As for result, well it speaks for itself.


So, when their focus is on adding extension to the delivery and trying to “reach out”, trunk rotation suffers. Because the pitcher is focused on arm extension (the idea of “reaching out”), his body exaggerates that action and forgets that upon landing the trunk must begin rotation followed by flexion in order to maximize all transferred energy so the arm gains maximum velocity.

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.


Armando Galarraga threw sliders 38.9% of the time in 2008, more than any other starting pitcher in the majors, and Ryan Dempster threw them 32.9% of the time, more than any other NL starting pitcher.[2] In 2008 CC Sabathia had the most effective slider, among major league starting pitchers.[3] Zack Greinke won the AL Cy Young award in 2009 in large part because of his slider, one of the better pitches in all of baseball.[4] In 2011, Clayton Kershaw won the Triple Crown by allowing only a .117 average against his slider.[5]
Zito grips the ball with his index and middle fingers straddling the seam. "I want to get on top of the ball," he says. "When I release it, I force those two fingers down hard. That creates the torque on the seams, which causes rotation and spin. I also don't want to get my arm angle too high because that will take away the ball's bite -- I want to maintain a three-quarter arm slot."
A 4 seam fastball is the most common pitch and the ideal grip for a position player as well on the transition from glove to hand. WHY? Because at release point the finger causes backspin on the baseball. The result is the ball does not drop as much as otherwise, without backspin. In other words, a 4 seam fastball is really appearing to defy gravity and travel more in a straight line. A 2 seam fastball is thrown with similar backspin but again on 11 o’clock axis.
As you improve, you can make this drill harder by making it a bull’s-eye practice. Seated as you were at the same distance apart, take turns pitching to each other again, but this time, the catcher will sit with her glove in front of her face, protecting her head. The pitcher should aim for the glove, focusing on proper shoulder rotation and keeping her elbow above the shoulder.
There are several versions of the Slider, but we will illustrate the cut-fastball version (aka a “Cutter”) because it’s the easiest for most people to learn and throw. The Cutter is gripped similarly to a Two-Seam Fastball (index or middle finger along the Blitzball seam), except the two fingers should be closer together and the ball should be held with an off-center grip (towards the outside half of the ball).
Next, place your middle finger along the bottom seam of the baseball and place your thumb on the back seam (as shown in the middle picture above). When this pitch is thrown, your thumb should rotate upward, and your middle finger should snap downward while your index finger points in the direction of your target. This, of course, is the reason this pitch is great for beginners: the ball goes where your index finger points. The beginners curveball helps to align your hand and ball to the target.
Following the tuck jumps athletes will continue the youth pitching drill by performing alternating split jumps. Athletes will begin in a lunging position with one foot out in front of the other while maintaining a high chest. Athletes front leg should stay at around a 90 degree angle throughout the explosive pitching drill. From this starting position athletes will use an explosive upward arm action to help them explosively jump in the air and switch feet, athletes should land with the opposite foot forward. Continue this jumping and switching process for 3-4 resisted sets of 8-12 repetitions followed by 2-3 unresisted set of 8-12 reps.
This drill is a pitching drill in which the young pitcher works at a smooth, rather fast pace, but only throw 50-60%. He should not be allowed to throw full speed. The objective of the drill is to teach concentration and develop great control. The pitcher has to throw 20 strikes before he throws 4 balls. He should be allowed to perform the drill at a shorter distance at first but he should be able to move to his regular pitching distance within a couple of weeks. If he throws 4 balls, he must start over. Be careful to not overwork him. However, keeping the distance short, emphasizing accuracy not speed, and making sure he proper stretches and warms up should prevent any chance of arm injury. With younger players you may want to make the drill a 10-3 drill. He must throw 10 strikes before he throw 3 balls or he must start over.
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!
Grip the outside of the ball along the long seam. Set your index and middle fingers along the inside of the right seam if you are right-handed, and along the inside of the left seam if you are left-handed. Place your thumb under the ball, opposite from your fingers, at a 45-degree angle. Make the ball roll off your index finger as you snap your wrist, creating a spin that takes the ball down and across the plate. Do not twist your elbow or wrist. "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," pitching instructor Steven Ellis wrote on his website, The Complete Pitcher. "This enables a pitcher to apply pressure to the outer-half of the ball with the index finger."
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.
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.
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Practice pitching standing up once you get more comfortable with the throw. After practicing on your knees and getting the hang of throwing a curveball, it's a good idea to try pitching while standing up so you can practice throwing with a fuller motion. This is a more realistic representation of how you will actually be pitching when you play.[11]
Asking if a kid can see that slider spin is occurring is a common question I will bring up in lessons. Having a thought process and feeling with what they are doing is something that he or she can control and fix from throw to throw but it is not often taught. We like to have kids visualize and react to what is being said and into what is being felt. When trying to recognize the slider spin, the catcher should be able to see where the thrower is missing with his fastball. Seeing the ball out of the thrower’s hand and knowing that a slider has clockwise spin on the baseball you will be able to clearly tell that they released the ball wrong.
A well-timed curveball can be highly beneficial to pitchers, but a curveball is pretty useless if the batter knows it's coming so that he or she has time to adjust to the swing. For that reason, it's important that pitchers not only master the grip and motion of the curveball but also the secrecy of the grip itself, which is necessary for fooling the batter.
The pitcher must kick straight up and stay there for a count of 2 and then he has to reach back, while in the middle of his kick, and take a ball out of the hand of the person behind him. This will keep the pitcher from 'slinging' the ball and hurting his elbow, improves his balance point during his windup, and it keeps his hand on top of the ball during his windup.

For all three variations of the preventative youth pitching drills athletes will perform 2-3 sets of 8-10 repetitions per arm. Athletes need to rotate through this pitching drill with their partners moving from the shoulder portion into the abdominal portion. Rotating positions will act as the rest period for the athletes which is why rotating after every set is important to keep athletes arms and abs fresh for the next set of pitching exercises. This pitching drill is a great way to get athletes shoulders and core warmed up before a game or training session and should be utilized before athletic activity is performed.
Players get on one knee about 45 to 55 feet from each other, kneeling foot on upside-down 10-gallon bucket. The pitcher with the ball will rotate his shoulder toward his throwing partner, bring his arm back with his hand on top of the baseball, use a good circular arm motion, and throw the ball, and popping up and over the bent stride leg, making sure the pitcher bends his elbow and finishes throwing elbow past the opposite knee.
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