Today, we’re going to focus on some technicalities when it comes to working with your pitcher during baseball practice. Read on to find out specific things to talk to your pitcher about that will help him improve his game.
Going Over Your Pitcher’s Positioning During Baseball Practice
The first thing we want to cover is your pitcher’s positioning on the mound. If your pitcher is right-handed, he should stand on the right-handed side of the mound. It gives him a better angle for the outside pitch and throwing to all of the plate. However, if he’s left-handed, he would stand on the left side.
Your pitcher should stand with his feet shoulder-width apart, basically parallel. It’s best if he holds the ball in his hand, down by his side.
We want the back of the glove to face the batter and the catcher. This is because if your pitcher exposes the ball to the right, the third base coach can pick up the pitch he’s going to throw. It also helps your pitcher look a little bit more intimidating.
Going Over the Various Grips
There are a number of grips that your pitcher can work on during baseball practice. He can grip the ball either four seams, or he can grip it going with the two short seams.
With the younger ball players, there may be some who require gripping the ball with three fingers or even with four. But what we like to teach is to grip with two fingers and a thumb underneath. The thumb is placed there for balance. We want about a pencil-width of space between the fingers.
When your pitcher hides the ball, getting the signal from his catcher, he’s got the ball deep into his glove.
Going Over Pitching Mechanics During Baseball Practice
Once he’s ready to throw the pitch, he’s going to take a deep breath, exhale, and then he’s going to transfer step, and he’ll stop right there. When he transfer steps, he steps directly behind, just a little bit off center. Everything in his body should be aligned. Now he’s going to pivot–pick the foot up and put it in the hole. As he comes to the gather position, he’s not going to kick the leg; instead, he’s going to lift it nice, slow, and controlled. He’s here, ready to go, and he’s going to separate, T-tuck, throw, finish, and follow through.
While he’s doing this, your pitcher needs to focus on the target he’s throwing at, always maintaining visual contact.
Here are a few things for you to remind your pitcher of while he practices throwing his pitch:
- The minimum height we want is the front leg at least waist-high
- The foot should be relaxed under the knee
- The balance should be concentrated on the inside part of the back leg, or over the inside part of the back foot
- Stay tall
- Keep the shoulders level
- Keep the knees slightly bent, and keep those feet parallel
While these may seem like very basic things to go over with your pitcher during baseball practice, they’re necessary when it comes to building your pitcher up to be the best he can be. Do you spend enough time going over pitching mechanics with your pitcher?