If you’re coaching a pitcher who sometimes struggles with his control, then this is a pitching drill you should definitely try out.
It comes straight from the Essential Pitching Drills collection.
Protector Screen Drill
A huge number of pitching control problems stem from poor alignment.
This drill is designed to eliminate any excessive movement in the throwing arm and the legs in front of the pitcher, and to force the pitcher to align his stride properly.
The pitcher will need his glove and a ball. If you can, place a protector screen across the mound as shown in the picture below.
Otherwise, the pitcher can complete this drill while standing against a fence, wall, or even using the coach as the barrier.
With the pitcher up on the rubber, set up the screen roughly 6-12 inches from the pitchers toes. From here the drill is fairly simple, and versatile.
The pitcher can work from whatever position they choose; whether that’s the balance, stretch or even the windup – the focus of the drill is just getting reps in, focusing on keeping the alignment of the stride directly toward the plate, and eliminating any contact with the screen.
1) This drill can help fix any number of errors, but is especially effective at helping pitchers who have trouble with their horizontal control – missing pitches to the left and right.
2) This can also be a great drill for pitchers that struggle staying vertical on the breaking ball, or even for those that put too much weight on his back heel, resulting in a front leg that kicks up into the air.
3) The emphasis is on efficiency of locomotion – remind them to focus on moving up and forward and avoid any side to side movement that would make contact with the screen.
4) Before working on alignment, I always recommend practicing the basic mechanics using the “Basic Seven” drill.
It’s the best drill I’ve seen for developing the proper delivery, and kids of all ages tend to pick it up quickly.
That drill, and many more are included with the Essential Pitching Drills collection.
Go here to download the complete resource in PDF format.