Growing up I was instructed by some of the best pitching coaches in the world. I was always told to “pitch in to win.” I think we have all heard it before, but most coaches never teach this important technique. The fact is, great pitcher’s find success throwing on the inside part of the plate. I think throwing inside gives the pitcher more of an advantage simply because of the psychological game we play with hitters. We show them we are not afraid to come inside to set ourselves up for our strikeout pitch.
If you have plans to play at a more competitive level as a pitcher, it is time to step it up and learn better mechanics. Proper mechanics will help you during the course of your pitching career because they will help you avoid injury. Proper mechanics have also helped pitchers experience less fatigue in a game because they are using more of their body to get the explosive power it takes to generate a good fastball. Here are just a few mechanical tips that will help point you in the right direction.
There is not a pitcher out there who doesn’t want to add some velocity to his fastball. Even Major League pitchers who have been known to hit 3 digits on the radar gun wish they could throw a couple of miles an hour faster. There is no doubt that pitchers are throwing faster as time goes on. What is contributing to this? More pitchers have the ability to throw in the high nineties now and one pitcher who just got drafted from Fresno state has been clocked at over 100 several times. I think his changeup goes faster than some Major League fastballs.
It is important through little league that pitchers play other positions aside from just merely pitching. This allows them to obtain other skills other than throwing. They will get the opportunity to work on fielding and developing good hand eye coordination. It is important however to consider the obstacles that can effect a pitchers arm if coaches, parents are not carefully monitoring their pitchers when they play other positions.
One of the first steps to becoming successful in pitching is to ensure you have optimal balance. First and foremost, you want all momentum going toward home plate. If there is any inappropriate head movement up or down, left or right or any momentum going away from home plate, it needs to be taken care of. Most pitchers at any level have problems maintaining proper balance throughout their delivery.
Holding runners close to the bag can be a challenge for many pitchers at all levels. A lot of pitchers throw to the bag too much as others rarely do it at all. Some people think that in order to keep someone from stealing, you have to be consistent throwing to first base. There are many ways to keep runners close to the bag and limit their chances of stealing on you if you follow some of these pitching tips. Most of these tips don’t require you throwing to the bag at all.
One of the biggest frustrations many parents and coaches share is the lack of teaching talent and many philosophies pitching instructors seem to have these days. There are many theories out there that are not yet proven. Can you teach each pitcher the same way and clone them? The answer is no, you cannot.
How long should my stride be? That is a question that I get from many coaches, parents and pitchers. Many experts give their opinion of how long a stride should be; some say as long as you are tall, some say longer and some say 75% of your height. The answer is as far as your body will allow you to while maintaining proper pitching mechanics.