Starting Stance Eyes on target (catcher’s glove) Heel of your feet on the rubber Elbows close to the body and relaxed Feet no more than 8 inches apart
Rocker Step Take SHORT rocker step, if rocker step is too long than balance is lost. Weight on the ball of the rocker foot
Pivot As the foot pivots the shoulders turn Weight should be transferring back to pivot foot (for righties right foot, for lefties left foot). Back leg should be SLIGHTLY bent, this means not locked out.
Leg Lift or Balance Position Leg lift should be in a shape of an “h”, common mistake kids make is there foot is under there butt which forms from the waist down a “p” As leg is lifting the eyes should be towards home plate. The leg lift must not be rushed, but nice and controlled. Often kids rush to and through this point loosing balance The pitcher must be balanced at this position If the pitcher is not in control (balanced) of his body than he will not be in control of the ball
Hands Seperation The hands separate a SPLIT SECOND after the leg starts going down If the pitcher is too late breaking his hands than this can create arm drag which creates injury (a late hand break results in the pitcher missing high) The hands should separate between the belt and chest Once ball is taken out of glove do not let ball go below the back hip After hands separate the leg lifted goes DOWN THEN OUT. A lot of kids leg lift goes out towards home then down and that’s backwards.
Power T Position Fingers should remain On top of ball Ball should not be facing pitcher Distance between 2 feet is called stride. The stride length should be no less than 80% of your height. If possible 100% of your height Front glove should be up (like fence). The arms should be flat (looking like a table)
Power T (front) Front glove up looking over front arm (looks like your looking over fence) Weight still on back leg Front foot, knee, hip, and shoulder are all closed. From this position we are ready To throw. If glove is low than most likely your front shoulder will open early (causing your shoulders to move side to side)
Weight Transfer After our glove is up we transfer our weight from our back leg to our front leg. We should land on the ball of our foot. To get maximum velocity our back leg should push off the rubber and our back hip should turn (pop) towards our target We start to tuck our glove to our chest. We do this by bringing our elbow to our hip. Front leg should be bent, which will allow our weight to keep moving forward. Back foot should start rotating around. Basically our laces should be pointing towards ground
Throw Front chest should be over our front knee Glove tucked to chest Front foot slightly open. The front foot will open on its own. Don’t tell pitcher to open his front foot because this will cause the foot to open prematurely. The foot opening is the last thing to happen before ball is thrown. Laces should start to point down (sorry there not in this photo)
Throw (Front) The elbow is as high as the shoulder. The front foot and back foot are on a straight line towards the target Face is going towards target.
Throw The ball should be released in front of the body (out front)
Follow Through Once ball is thrown and the laces are pointing down the back leg will come up. The arm is long out front going down towards the knee, not to the side towards the glove.
Follow Through Position On the follow through the back is bent and we are low to the ground. We are now in what you would call a fielding position.
Summary All though I broke the pitching steps down step by step we should not throw robotically going step by step The pitching delivery should be smooth and in control. Once we start to throw our arm should be fast out front.
The Stretch The stretch position is used in leagues where there are leadoffs. The stretch position is an art. Our goal out of the stretch is to disrupt the runners timing, but more importantly to throw strikes We want to be quick out of the stretch. We want to be a 1.35 (seconds) or better to home We can time a pitcher from his first movement (his foot lift) to when the ball hits the catchers glove. Although time is important its not as important as the pitchers ability to throw a strike.
Before we step on the rubber… Before we even step in front of the rubber We must put the ball in our hand. The reason for this is in case we need to make a throw we have the ball in our hand and we are ready to. DO NOT take signs from catcher unless in front of the rubber. If you take the signs from behind the rubber it is a balk (against the rules). If a balk is called on the pitcher than the runner is rewarded the next base (runner on 1se is awarded 2nd, etc.)
Stretch This is the position where the pitcher gets the signs from the catcher. Lefties are facing 1st baseman, righties Have there back toward 1st baseman.
Set Position When we get to the set position there must be a pause. If we don’t pause its a balk. As we come set we load the back hip over our back foot. Our back leg is bent and our weight is over our back foot. Now were ready to lift our leg and throw. (last slide on stretch shows a set position where the pitcher’s weight is not loaded over back foot. To disrupt the runners timing we Must change how long we hold the ball before we lift our leg to throw (1, 4,7,10 seconds). One time we hold for 1 Sec next time we hold for 7 sec and we keep changing so the runner can time our leg kick. If a runner times our leg kick than he can steal the base easier.
Leg Kick Our leg kick out of the stretch is half the height of our leg kick out of the windup. We cut our leg kick down so we can be faster to the plate. Our leg still goes down and out. Our thought process on our leg kick is to pinch the knee.
Mechanics from break to throw are the same as the windup Back shoe laces should be facing dirt
Wrong Set Position This is the wrong set position. As you notice, in this set position the weight is centered evenly between the two feet. This is wrong because when we start our throwing motion we will have to go back (our weight) over our back foot, which is slower than if we were to start over our back foot. If we come set like this and our weight doesn’t go back than we are Creating arm drag which leads to injury
Balance Drill The player will start without a ball in his hand. A parent or coach will stand directly behind the mound with the ball. The player will go through his delivery from start position, to pivot, to balance point. Once he reaches the balance point he will hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Once he has held his balance point he will look at the coach and the coach will toss him the ball. Once he catches the ball he will put back in his glove (while he is still in balance point) look to home plate or target and throw. Remember when he throws his lifted leg should go down and out and his glove should go up. Good direction on straight line towards target and good follow through.
Balance Position for 5 to 10 seconds The pitcher should hold this position for 5 to 10 seconds.
Coach Toss Once he has completed the balance point he will look at coach or parent. he will catch the ball with his bare pitching hand and put it back in his glove.
Balance Point after catch Once he catches the ball he will put it back in his glove and look at his target (still in balance position) Next he will throw Remember the leg lifted goes down and out.
Board drill Go get a 2x6 board. Put the board on flat ground (in yard, or outfield) Pitcher stands on the board and gets in the balance position. Then he throws. The front leg goes up down and out. If the pitcher is throwing on a straight line than he will land (front foot) on the board. If he opens early or throw against his body than he will not land on the board. I like to use the board drill as a direction drill Some people use it as a balance drill. You can do that. If doing so nail a 2x4 board on top of the 2x6 board making a balance beam. Do the same drill.
Balance Point Get in your balance point. Remember good “h”.
Throw Remember the lifted leg goes down and out on a straight line (board) towards our target.
Throw I know it looks like I stopped in this slide. Once the pitcher is in his balance point he should go down and out with lifted leg and throw without stopping.
Hat drill This drill is good to do after warming up or just simply playing catch with a friend. Set up two hats at proper pitching distance (high school, college, and MLB this would be 60 ft 6 inches), Myers this would be 50 ft. Levy between 46 and 48 ft. Go through your pitching wind up and try to hit the hat in front of your partner. The players should be standing at least 15 ft behind the hats. You and your partner take turns trying to hit the hat. You can make a game of this. This drill is good because it teaches the pitcher to throw a ball on a downward angle.
Knee drill This drill is good to do before warming up. This drill will teach the player a proper follow through without him having to worry about his legs. You can do this drill like the power T drill and go from the ready position to the break position to the throw position. Or you can simply start in the ready position and throw. Righties will start on there right knee and lefties on there left knee.
Follow Through Follow through with chest to knee. Not literally
Change-up The change up should not have a hump in it. The changeup should be slightly slower than the fast ball. The only difference from a changeup and a fast ball is the grip. The ball should not be in the back of the palm nor should it be on the finger tips. The thumb should be directly under the baseball. Not on the side (very common mistake) When we throw the changeup we throw with a LOOSE wrist and we turn the ball at the very end (not behind our head) Righties should turn the ball to 10 oclock Lefties should turn the ball to 2 oclock Do not over rotate on this pitch. If thrown properly the ball should spin slightly side ways.