Skills and Drills: Baseball

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Setting


Pitching Mechanics


Pitching with proper mechanics means strength and balance. Many similarities exist between the hitting, pitching and fielding mechanics. With all fundamentals, young athletes are learning how to use their body to make a baseball move. With regard to pitching, the goal of an instructor is to teach an athlete to execute a pitch while maintaining strength and balance. The head should remain still while the body maximizes energy transfer to deliver the baseball.

Pitch Types and Grips

2-Seam Fastball

  • Along narrowest part of seams (tracks)
  • Typically thrown to right side of plate
  • Movement = Sinker

4-Seam Fastball

  • Across widest seams (horseshoe)
  • Typically thrown to left side of home plate
  • Straighter = Faster

Change Up

  • Add third finger
  • Spread evenly, push into 'pads'
  • Circle Change relationship
  • Full arm speed

Beginning Throwing Mechanics

Throwing / Power position

  • Pitching #2 vs. Hitting #2 vs. Infield/Outfield/Catching
  • Throwing hand high, behind body
  • Glove extended towards target
  • Lift leg extended towards target (closed)
  • Weight back

Step and Break - Ball to the wall, fingers on top

Fingers behind ball through release

Beginning Pitching Mechanics

Proper pitching fundamentals are necessary to teach athletes an efficient and safe throwing motion. Basic pitching principles are to separate in rhythm, keep the weight back and get the arm up. Executing these three fundamentals assists pitchers to throw on a downward plane:

Stretch Stance

  • Used with runners on base
  • Throwing arm side of rubber
  • Encourage inside fastball
  • Fundamentals of the stretch motion

Wind-Up

  • Used with no runners on or no running threat
  • Throwing arm side of rubber
  • Train analogy
  • Right vs. Left Handed Hitter - Same position
  • Fundamentals of the wind up motion

For more information, check out my book Coaching the Beginning Pitcher.

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