Baseball Coaching Tips | Pitching Mechanics
| Pitching Video Analysis
Free Baseball Article- HowTo Control The Running Game FromThe Mound
Most pitchers I know don't enjoy guys stealing on them. Too many pitchers get rattled by a
speedy runner on first or a team built around bunting and running. Once a pitcher gets rattled on
the mound, he is done. Even in the big leagues, we often see pitchers become so consumed with
trying to keep the runner close at first that they ultimately walk the batter or give him a meatball
The most obvious way to control the running game is to work on the pick off move. There really
isn't any excuse for a left handed pitcher to not have a good move to first base. However, too
many lefties have predictable moves to first and are easy to pick up. Left handed pitchers need to
utilize all of the 45 degrees that is given to him when stepping towards first. I would even
suggest, going beyond the 45 degree angle because most amateur games will not have an umpire
in position to really make a judgment call on the angle taken. The lefty needs to work on making
that move as similar as possible to the delivery to the plate. Most good left handed pickoff moves
are balks, but they really aren't unless they are called balks by the umpire. In most cases they
don't make that call.
The right handed pitcher needs to work on two things: quick footwork and changing the timing
in the set position. Without the quick feet the right handed pitcher doesn't have a chance to pick
anyone off. Along with the quickness, the pitcher needs to keep the throw to first short and quick
as well. Too many pitchers throw to first base like they are throwing to the plate with a long arm
motion, this extra split second makes it more difficult to catch the runner and gives him another
step on the lead.
Probably more important for the right handed pitcher is to change their timing on the set position
in order to keep the runner from picking up on a pattern and getting a great jump. Quick pitch,
hold until someone calls time, step off the rubber after a few seconds; these are all things the
pitcher can do to disrupt the runners timing. The key is to be able to do this without losing the
focus on the batter.
The slide step (delivering the ball without lifting the leg) is another way to disrupt the running
game; however, I only recommend using a slide step on either a pitchout or when you feel the
runner is stealing. Too often young pitchers screw up their timing on the pitch from utilizing the
slide step, in addition, velocity is lost on the fastball.
Baseball Coaching Tips
Pitchers can implement all of these techniques to slow down the running game and remember,
pitchers don't need to pick off runners to prevent baserunners from stealing. To shorten a lead by
a step or cause the runner to wait ½ second longer on his break, is enough to keep runners at bay
or give the catcher a chance.
Free Baseball Article- Slow Runners Can Be Great Baserunners
Some baseball peoplebelievethata playerneedstohave blazingspeedtobe a great baserunner.
Thisis a total misconceptionamongplayersandcoaches.Baserunningisall aboutinstincts.Ilove
coachingthose playerswhoalwaysknow whentotake the extrabase or what's the opportune time to
take a risk.Don'tget me wrong,pure speedcan be extremelyvaluable toyourteamandverydisruptive
to the opposition,butusuallythe notsofast,instinctive baserunnersare the guyswhocan make the
How does a player become an instinctive baserunner? The answer is the same as to how one
becomes an instinctive baseball player; study the game. Great baserunners know the situations
and variables that go into, not only each game, but also each play.
Here's a list of items instinctive baserunners consider on the base paths:
Speed of the outfielders
Arm strength of all fielders
Range of the infielders
Weather conditions (wind, rain, sun, etc.)
Your own speed
Flight of the ball
Speed of the ball
Length of the grass
Grass infield vs. dirt infield
Right-handed vs. left-handed (ball fades or hooks differently)
Direction fielder is going to field the ball
Score of the game
Inning of the game
Outs in the inning
Batter on deck
I may have overlooked a few, but you get the picture. It's not all about speed; slow runners can
also be great baserunners, but they'll need to study the game.
Free Baseball Article- Choose the Right Baseball Camp
All over the country baseball camps and clinics are popping up. These events can be as
small as a dozen or so players, to as large as a few hundred kids. Camps could be of the daytime
variety or may involve staying over night at a college dorm. Whatever the size or type of
camp/clinic you may be seeking; there are a few things you want to be aware of before you open
up your checkbook.
The following camp features will guide you as a parent in making a decision about what is the
right baseball camp or clinic for your child.
6:1 player to coach ratio; anything less does not give the campers enough individual
At least one adult baseball coach for every college or high school player working the
camp. Most camps will hire college or high school level ballplayers to help the lead
Make sure the camp has some form of insurance coverage. Injuries are inevitable; don't
let those costs come out your pocket if your child happens to get injured.
Check out the facilities. Is the facility adequate in size for the number of campers
Make sure you know what the camp will do in the event of rain.
Be wary of out of town organizations. There are scams out there.
Video analysis. Does the camp do any type of video analysis for its participants? This is a
feature that is extremely valuable to the learning experience of the player.
Stay away from camps that have more than 100 campers. These camps often emphasize
quantity over quality. Your ballplayer will receive much more individual instruction in a
Baseball camps are great for kids. A well run camp will teach ballplayers, not only the necessary
skills, but also how to respect the game. Hopefully, after your child attends a baseball camp or
clinic, he'll leave as a better ballplayer and develop a greater love for the game.
Free Baseball Article- ConditioningMusts for Pitchers
By Coach Steve Rau, Pitching Video Analysis
Back in the Bob GibsonandSandyKoufax dayspitcherswere toldtostay awayfromthe weightroom
due to the fearof becomingtoomuscle boundandlosingflexibility.Todaypitchersare encouragedto
pumpingironandcome out of the off-seasonlookinglike Arnold,butpitchersdoneedtoincorporate a
The legs are the starting point for generating power and durability. Both weight training and
running offer a way to build strength in the legs. Some common lifts are squats, lunges, toe
raises, leg extensions, leg curls, and the leg press. These six lifts hit all of the key muscle groups
in the legs. Running hills and/or steps is another way to strengthen the legs. If a player doesn't
have the opportunity to go to a gym and use a treadmill or stair climber, the nearest hill or steps
would accomplish the same results at no cost.
Next, the abdominal region creates the maximum external rotation that transfers the energy into
the arm. The abdominal muscles are very easy to develop through crunches and medicine ball
rotations. You don't need any fancy equipment. Fill up a volleyball with sand and you have a
medicine ball; hit the carpet in the living room to perform sets of crunches. Abs can be worked
everyday, at any time in the day.
Finally, it is crucial for pitchers to develop some sort of cardio routine both in season and off
season. For young ballplayers, the off season conditioning can be that of playing another sport
like soccer, football, or wrestling. As far as in season conditioning goes, a steady dose of sprints,
comfortable jogging, and cardio-based drills would be valuable for pitchers.
Pitchers need to be in shape. Losing just a couple mph's late in the game on the fastball can mean
the difference between a win and a loss for the team. When a pitcher's body breaks down from
exhaustion, injuries are more likely to occur, therefore, youth baseball coaches need to be very
much aware of pitcher conditioning and prepare their players for the increased pitch counts that
are to follow as they grow older.