As young players develop, they are eager to try new positions, and pitching is one of those exciting positions that most little leaguers want to try. It’s important when young players are starting out to focus on mechanics early, and then continue to refine those mechanics as players grow and advance. The drills below can help new pitchers work on pitching mechanics and refine their skills as they advance.
Pitcher Control Drill
This drill is to help pitchers develop awareness of the strike zone, which is pretty important when just starting out. Have your catcher and pitcher on the mound and a batter stand in. The batter is not swinging, but needs to be in a ready stance before every pitch. Have your catcher alternate between inside and outside and have your batter alternate between the left and right- hand batter’s box. Have your pitchers focus on hitting their spots, it is important to do this with a hitter stand in to simulate a game-like scenario.
Balance Point Drill
This drill is important as the pitcher goes through the wind up to ensure they have proper balance and momentum. As the pitcher goes through his wind up, tell him to freeze at his balance point and hold for at least two seconds before continuing his pitch. The coach needs to check the position to make sure that the pitcher’s front leg is at the waist or higher and he is balanced.
Sit and Throw Drill
This drill is important to focus on good throwing mechanics and eliminate lower body movement. Have a pitcher and his partner sit with their legs crossed about 20-30 ft away. The receiver of the ball sets up as a target with his glove and the thrower must hit the target without the ball bouncing and with minimal rocking or full body movement. This requires the elbow to be above the shoulder and have good shoulder rotation to get the ball to their partner, without using their lower half.
The Bullseye Drill
This drill focuses on pitchers hitting their spots. Coaches tape off a square bullseye into either a padded wall or the batting cage. Inside each square, create smaller squares. The size of the squares depends on the age and the skill level of the pitcher you are working with. Players then must throw three to five balls back-back in one square, before moving on to the next square. This drill will help pitchers pin point location and have consistency hitting their spots.
The drills above will help challenge your pitchers as they continue to improve and advance in their pitching career.