Short of time, but want to tune up your top pitchers for this weekend’s tournament? Grab a catcher and a bucket of balls for this drill. By adding one extra element, you give your entire battery a quick “tune up” for game time.
Quick Pitcher Tune-up (and catchers too)
Need a catcher and bucket of baseballs-count the balls (say 30+, depending on age).
Now start bringing your pitchers in, one at a time. Making sure your pitcher is warmed up, have him work through the bucket, dividing up the pitches by what you expect him to throw in the game:
Ex: Got a young fellow who works fastball, change-up, and a “show-me” curve? He can throw something like 15 fastballs, 10 change-ups and 5 curves. It’s not perfect, but you can keep the skills somewhat sharp on 6 pitchers within a 2 hour practice, and still have time to “fine tune” a point or two with each one.
Don’t let your catcher’s time be wasted. Don’t just let him work on signs and hitting those knees to block balls in the dirt. You can also help him control the running game.
Have another player (or coach, or dad, or you can do it) stand at about shortstop positioning with a glove. (If you’re using a bullpen mound, put a practice base about as far from the plate as second base should be.
Now, here’s the fun part: Every few pitches, at random intervals, you yell “Going!” or “Stealing!” when the pitcher releases the ball. That’s the catcher’s cue to make a good catch, hop out of his crouch in a good throwing position,