Today, we’re going to talk about a handful of youth baseball tips that are specifically designed to help your pitcher become a more improved player.
Hiding the Ball & Transfer Step
When your pitcher hides the ball and gets the signal from his catcher, he’s got the ball deep into his glove. He’s got the back of the glove to the catcher and the hitter.
He acknowledges by shaking his head that he’s ready for the pitch for the catcher. Let’s say we’re going to throw a fastball. Once he’s ready to go, he’s going to take a deep breath, kind of exhale, and then he’s going to transfer step. We want the hips, everything aligned. When he transfer steps, he steps directly behind just a little bit off center.
And now he’s going to pivot. Pick the foot up, put it in the hole. And as he comes to the gather position, he’s not going to kick the leg, he’s going to lift it nice, slow and controlled. He’s ready to go, and he’s going to separate, T-tuck, throw, finish, and follow through.
Baseball tip: While he’s doing this, he needs to focus on the target he’s throwing at, maintain visual contact.
Gather Position Baseball Tips
When your pitcher is in the gather position, where he gathers all his energy, there are certain checkpoints for you to look at to ensure everything’s being done correctly.
- Make sure that his hands and center of his body.
- Minimum height we want is the front leg at least waist-high, foot relaxed under the knee.
- He should concentrate his balance on the inside part of his back leg, or maybe over the inside part of his back foot.
From this point on he’s going to separate, T-tuck, throw, follow through.
Working on the Set Position
Regardless of what the age is, eventually the pitcher’s going to get to the age where he’s got to work on his stretch. My philosophy is, that’s a very important transition he’s going to make going from Little League to Babe Ruth. So let’s introduce it to him now, get him comfortable with the stretch position. Then he’s going to make that transition a lot easier.
First, talk your pitcher through some things that we check on.
He’s going to straddle the rubber. He’s got the ball in his hand, he can look around, do anything he’d like to do. Now he can check first base. He can check second. He can check third. Once everybody’s set, position, defense is set by the coach, now he’s going to step onto the rubber. He’s going to step on, then he’s going to step out just a little bit.
He’s got the glove up. He’s peering over the top, trying to look intimidating. He’s got the ball hid beside him. Now when the catcher gives him the signal for the fastball, he’s going to acknowledge yes.
When he comes set, he’s going to bring his left leg in, his hands come together, and they come to the center of his body. There should be a slight bend in both of your pitcher’s knees, and both of his feet are parallel.
That enables him to not give the runner the advantage. If he’s too far open, he can see the runner better at first, but the disadvantage is now he’s got to lift that leg when he gets ready to go home.
What we prefer to do is have him come set with the feet parallel, slight bend in the knees, and he’s in a set position.
When he’s in a set position, what he’s going to say to his self, at least to himself and not moving his lips, is “one-thousand-and-one.” Because he’s got to come set for at least a full second and hold it. He can hold it longer if he likes.
If he’s going to step off, if the runner starts to leave early, the teammates are going to yell break or step off. Once he steps off, now he’s free to go to any position or any bag. He can throw to even an unoccupied base.
If you think your pitchers will benefit from these baseball tips, head over to my YouTube channel for videos that provide even more pitching tips and pointers!