Drills for Better Pitching
Pitching in baseball is all about using the proper technique and mastering the basic mechanics. Do both of these things and you will greatly improve as a pitcher and a baseball player.
The best way to improve your pitching mechanics is through practice. While practicing your actual pitching is obviously helpful, a number of pitching specific training exercises can help you master pitching mechanics.
Below are five great baseball drills that will help pitchers of all ages and ability levels improve their pitching mechanics.
1. One Knee Drill
The “one knee drill” is a pitching drill that aims to develop proper arm action by isolating the lower body.
Set up for the drill by kneeling on your posting leg. This is the leg on the same side of your body as your throwing arm (right-hander right leg on ground, left-hander left leg on ground). Line up about 50 feet away from a partner (also kneeling on their posting leg). Rotate your shoulder and throw the ball to your partner. Focus on using a good circular arm motion and on your follow through while throwing.
2. Bucket Drill
The “bucket drill” is a pitching drill that aims to encourage a proper follow through by teaching you to brace up over your front leg after the pitch is released.
Kneel on your posting leg with a partner doing the same about 50 feet from you. Place the foot of the leg that is kneeling (on the ground) onto the top of an upside down 10-gallon bucket. Throw the ball by rotating your shoulder. Focus on using a good circular arm motion, popping up and over your bent leg. Strive to bend your elbow and follow through until your elbow is past your opposite knee.
3. High-Cock Position Drill
The “high-cock position drill” is a pitching drill that aims to teach pitchers how to “get on top” of the ball. It addresses how to throw the ball from a high-3/4 arm angle.
Spread your feet apart into a permanent throwing position. Keep them planted here throughout the drill. Make sure they are slightly wider than should-width apart. Your back foot should always remain planted though you can turn it over onto your toes when you release the ball. Start the drill with your throwing elbow level with your shoulders (the “high-cock” position). Your other arm (glove arm) should start by pointing at your target. Pull your glove into your body, rotate your hips, and pivot on your back foot. Release the baseball and follow through across your body.
4. Quick Hands Drill
The “quick hands drill” is a pitching drill that aims to work on your muscle memory so that pitching takes place in your subconscious mind. It attempts to “imprint” the mechanics of a perfect baseball pitch into your muscle-memory.
Keep your hands together inside of your glove. Your legs should be in a permanent-position, the same as the high-cock drill. Keep your feet planted throughout the drill although you can pivot your back foot. Do not step while making a fast, controlled pitch by opening your hands, turning your hips, and throwing the baseball. Do so as fast and controlled as possible.
5. Pause and Balance Drill
The “pause and balance drill” is a pitching drill that aims to get the pitcher into a controlled and balanced pitching position. It is most effective for those that rush through the motion without being “on top of” the baseball.
A coach, teammate, or friend is needed for the drill. Start by going through your full wind-up without holding a baseball. When you get to the balance position (throwing arm at high-3/4 cock and lead leg in the air), stop. Have your coach hand you a baseball. As soon as you receive the ball, throw it to the target and focus on a good follow-through.
6. Pitching Mechanics Drills
Pitching mechanics drills are essential to improving your pitching technique and skills. In short, they are essential to becoming a better pitcher. Use the 5 drills above to start improving your pitching mechanics today.
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