One of the Baseball greats, Casey Stengel opined that “Good pitching will always stop good hitting and vice-versa.” Come to think of it, just like in cricket you have bowling which is the key to a team winning a game, pitching is the factor which can make a baseball team win a game. That is where the pitching drills come in the picture. Pitching drills help would be Babe Ruths to excel and improve in that art. Therefore I am dedicating this article to all those of the pitching fraternity!
Drill to Improve Pitching
On Your Knees
The aim of this drill is to separate the lower body from coming in the way of proper arm action. The drill begins with a player going down on one knee, the side of his pitching arm. The other leg has to be raised. The player stations himself around 50 feet away from another player who is his partner. The player who is pitching will then rotate his shoulder in the direction of his partner, bringing the arm back, hand on top of the baseball. The elbow has to be bent and the action should come to an end with the throwing elbow past the opposite knee. Read more on Baseball drills for high school.
The Fast and Furious
This is one of those pitching drills to increase velocity and a good one at that! It is called the quick hands drill. The player has the ball in his glove, with hands together in the normal pitching style. The toes of the lead leg of the player are in the direction of the target. The legs of the player remain in this position, shoulder width apart all through the drill. The backfoot, though will have to pivot on the toes once the ball is released. This pivoting is similar to what is done during a baseball bat swing or a golf swing. The distance between the feet has to be the same. The mantra followed by the player is not to step. This is then followed by the player breaking the hands in as fast and controlled manner as possible. Turning his hips he throws the ball from a high arm slot and does a follow through by getting the elbow of the throwing arm to the opposite knee.
When it comes to pitching drills for high school pitchers, this is the perfect one. This drill helps the pitchers learn to get on top of the ball. Here the pitcher spreads his feet in a throwing position, a bit wider than shoulder width. The toes here again point in the direction of the target. The back foot has to be on the ground all the while and should only move to turn over onto the toes while the baseball is released. At the same time, the elbow of the throwing arm has to be level with the shoulders, that is what gets the entire arm in the high cock position. This is amongst those very effective baseball pitching drills for pitchers.
A Child’s Play
Count this one as one of the pitching drills for kids, recommended by experts. This drill’s name is What’s the number. The drill is basically meant to help the children focus on the mechanics. The focus is on the fact that the kids should keep an eye on the catcher all the time. The coach here asks the catcher to hold his hand up after the pitch and show 1, 2 or 3 fingers. The pitcher has to tell the number to the coach, standing behind the pitcher. The trick is that the coach himself indicates the catcher about the number of fingers to hold up. This makes the children quickly get used to looking at the home base once the ball is released and setting themselves up to field the ball.
These were some of the useful pitching drills. If you are looking for more, well, going to a baseball coach would not be a bad idea if you are serious about baseball training.
At the end of the day, just 4 or 5 pitching drills would not be helpful unless they are practiced and improved upon! So keep pitching! All the best!