How To Throw Strikes In Baseball

The Pitching Mechanics of Throwing Strikes

Control concerns were discussed before in my piece on kinesiological elements that might contribute to wildness and command difficulty. Specifically, in this post, we’ll discuss the mechanical factors that go into throwing strikes – with a strong emphasis on the actual component of physics and mechanics, rather than the standard coach-speak of “acquiring a target” and other mental factors that have been repeatedad nauseam on the Internet in an effort to gain easy pageviews. “All you have to do is gaze at the object intensely!” No, not at all.

Actual Margin of Error

When I wrote my previous essay on control challenges, I discussed the kinesiological variables that might lead to wildness and command issues. Specifically, in this post, we’ll discuss the mechanical factors that go into throwing strikes – with a strong emphasis on the actual component of physics and mechanics, rather than the standard coach-speak of “acquiring a target” and other mental factors, which have been repeatedad nauseam on the Internet in an effort to gain easy pageviews. “All you have to do is keep your gaze fixed on the target!

All right, let’s get down to business.

  • Among other things, spin rate
  • Release velocity
  • Angle of spin
  • Barometric pressure and relative humidity
  • And so on

You get the gist of it. Although it is well known, I do not believe that it is often realized that big miscues at home plate can be caused by very minor alterations in the release point. Take for example the assumption that your release point only fluctuates by 1° (about 0.01745 radians) in the initial trajectory in all directions. As a result, assuming a radius of 55 feet, the length of an arc is equal to angle * radians, or in this example, 0.96 feet in each direction in each direction. If we use a circle for simplicity, the number is really bigger since we are throwing a projectile into a “absorbent” surface of the front edge of the striking zone, which has increased depth as you travel away from its origin point – but we’ll make it as simple as feasible).

  1. However, in general, the strike zone is around 1.8 feet tall and 1.5 feet broad, which gives the pitcher a little advantage by giving him the benefit of the doubt.
  2. 1.8 foot zone) and wide at either end of the margins (1.92 feet tolerance left/right vs.
  3. Consider, on the other hand, that the striking zone grows diagonally (thanks to the Pythagorean Theorem and everything), and you have greater tolerance for missing to the corners – which is a welcome relief!
  4. 1° is equal to how much?
  5. Rotate your hand such that the thumb is pointing in the opposite direction of the direction of the arrow (to the right for a RHP, to the left for an LHP).

OK. That’s a whole 180 degrees of movement. Do you believe you will be able to intentionally move your hand by 1/180 of that distance more than 100 times during a single game?

How Does ANYONE Throw Strikes?

Actually, this is a reasonable question, since if you completed the exercise above, you should have some skepticism about your ability to regulate your release point within 5° of tolerance, much alone 1° of tolerance. In no way, shape, or form should coaches be shouting at you to change your mechanics on the mound in the middle of a game – or should you even consider thinking that way yourself. You’ve already shown to yourself that you are unable to manage even a single degree of forearm rotation, let alone the angles of your spine, thoracic rotation, internal rotation, and the countless other kinematic factors that go into throwing a ball well!

  1. Despite the fact that coaches and analysts refer to it as “feel” or “sense,” it is significantly more complicated than that.
  2. Proprioception is not limited to throwing objects; rather, it includes a wide range of actions.
  3. Yes, the young athlete is skeletally immature, but he also lacks proprioception, which guides his arm into the correct positions to deliver a hit to the target without thinking.
  4. A more effective model of throwing a baseball at greater velocities was presented by Feltner and Dapena in their landmark work on the biomechanics of throwing a baseball.
  5. Because of the stretching of the internal rotation muscles and the difficulty of the abduction and horizontal adduction torques to elicit significant external rotation when the arm is almost straight, the motion of internal rotation may be inescapable.
  6. Although a high ball speed would result if the elbow joint achieved its maximal speed of extension just before the instant of complete extension, an injury to the posterior half of the elbow joint would be a possibility if the elbow locked straight shortly afterward (Figure 19a).
  7. Injury to the posterior part of the elbow joint can be avoided by employing the pattern actually used by pitchers (Figures 12 and 19b), which is combined with rapid internal rotation at the shoulder joint.
  8. They were ahead of their time, as subsequent research revealed that premature elbow extension and “locking” of the elbow were certainly associated with an increased risk of elbow injuries.

(JJ Putz is a fantastic example of someone who has done this recently.)

Plotting the Map to Improve Control

However, while the information presented above is intriguing, it is not necessarily immediately relevant. We at Driveline Baseball believe that conscious mechanical reformation should be avoided (except in the case of severe injury to the pitching arm and during a post-throwing program), and that ballistic tools should be used to assist in the creation of a better and more detailed “map” for the nervous system to use. The following is our three-step strategy:

  • Getting and keeping pitchers as healthy as possible so that there are as few, if any, misfires due to pain or discomfort is a priority. Weighted implement training (wrist weights, weighted balls, PlyoCare balls, and other similar implements) will help you develop a more precise and clearer proprioceptive map. The use of high-speed video from numerous viewpoints to catalog and reinforce mechanical changes is a technique that is becoming increasingly popular.

This is our strategy for achieving success in our Pitching Program– and it is one that we are confident has not been replicated anywhere!

37 Ways To Improve Accuracy And Control Pitching

Accuracy and Control in the Workplace Discuss ways to improve pitching accuracy when a pitcher is having difficulty delivering strikes and locating the strike zone in his or her delivery. Know what I’m talking about: Cy Young famously stated, “Control is what kept me in the major leagues for 22 years.” That phrase is one of my favorites. Having strong control is one of the most crucial attributes of a successful pitcher, and I believe you’ll agree with me when I say: Pitching control issues are unquestionably a limiting aspect in a pitcher’s long-term ability to perform well.

However, if a pitcher is able to hit his spots and command his pitches consistently, that is the difference between being a pitcher and being a “thrower.” A pitcher with strong control not only has the ability to throw strikes and get the ball over the plate.but he also has the ability to avoid falling behind a hitter on the mound.

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Pitchers need command to advance to the next level

By far and away, the most crucial factor in determining your pitchers’ effectiveness is teaching them how to LOCATE their pitches. It’s also exactly the type of talent that you should be working on if you have a young pitcher at home to help develop. If you look at the big league statistics, MLB pitchers throw an average of 62 percent to 65 percent strikes, or around 2:1 strikes to balls, according to the most recent available figures from 2014. It is estimated that 59 percent to 60 percent of first-pitch strikeouts occur.

  • Knowing where the strike zone is is the first step in increasing the number of strikes you throw.
  • Nonetheless, the strike zone is often defined as the area between a batter’s chest and his knees.
  • The question is, how can younger pitchers in high school and minor league baseball improve their strikeout to walk ratio.
  • There is a good chance that the problem is mechanical in nature; it is extremely difficult to control the ball if you cannot control your body and reach a consistent release point.

If a pitcher has an excellent arm but has difficulty locating his pitches, the problem is most likely mechanical in nature; The bullpen may make tweaks to enhance a pitcher’s mechanics once the problem has been detected, so that when it comes time to play, it is almost like target practice!

4 factors in developing better accuracy

Justin Masterson has excellent control of the sinker when it is low and away in the strike zone. The ability to maintain good ball control is the most critical component of baseball pitching. I’m constantly asked, “How can I become a more accurate pitcher?” This is one of the most commonly asked questions I get. There are four clearly identified aspects that must be addressed in order to correct control issues and improve precision pitching:

  • The technical factors
  • Proper physical conditioning
  • The mental process
  • Proper visualization
  • And the psychological aspects.

Consider the following 37 specific ways in which a pitcher may enhance control pitching to have a better understanding of each component in greater depth. Improving the pitcher’s baseball mechanics is the first and most crucial component in improving his or her performance.

Factor1: The mechanical aspects

A 2-2 fastball by James Shields gets by Jed Lowrie for a strike to escape out of a jam in the ninth inning.

  1. Make sure that the pivot foot alignment is aligned correctly along the front of the rubber. This may have an impact on horizontal control. Pitchers should begin their pitches on the throwing hand side of the rubber, if possible. For right-handed pitchers, this means that they should normally start from the right side of the rubber (and put their pivot foot in front of it). Left-handed people should begin on the left. For left-leaning individuals, the situation is reversed. If a right-handed pitcher notices that his fastball is tailing inside on a right-handed hitter, he can correct this by shifting his starting body position and pivot foot placement to the center of the left side of the rubber
  2. Does the pitcher square up his shoulders to the target? Does the pitcher square up his shoulders? It’s likely that a pitcher will have to change his posture and lean to the glove side in order to assist square up his or her shoulders if he or she starts on the throwing arm side of the rubber and strides too close. Control concerns and a non-repeatable delivery result as a result of this late posture change. During the leg lift, look for any signs of poor balance. Instead of placing all of his weight on his heel, a pitcher’s weight should be properly dispersed on his back pivot foot as the knee rises up. Verify that the pitcher does not spin the upper body excessively before coming out of maximum knee height and does not end up in bad stride foot contact landing position. As the hands break, look for any signs of inadequate arm movement. There is excessive arm extension or drawing the arm behind the body
  3. Does the pitcher break his hands too far away from the body, too low or too high, or not in the middle
  4. Do the pitcher’s fingers get beneath the ball? Does the pitcher fail to get his pitching arm into a decent cocked posture as he steps on the rubber? Does he hook his wrist when his pitching arm circles down back and up into the cocking position? Keep an eye out for improper timing of the leg coming down and out and the arm coming up throughout the stride. Look for signs of inadequate weight transfer, such as the body moving out in front of the arm, before proceeding. In order to begin his stride, the pitcher should lead with his front hip after reaching maximum knee height during his first movement toward home plate. Is the pitcher’s lead arm motion excessively forceful, resulting in the shoulder opening prematurely? Alternatively, does the pitcher drop or remove the glove? These can result in early shoulder rotation, sometimes known as “flying open,” and frequently result in a miss to the throwing arm side of the field. In order to ensure that the lead leg follows the maximum knee height, it should travel down and out rather than out and down. The pitcher’s leg is swinging out to landing
  5. Does he land on his heel, on a stiff front leg, or does he land too open or too closed
  6. And so on. Does the pitcher’s stride appear to be too long or too brief? Or are you heading in the wrong direction? The pitcher’s landing on his heel can be excessive in certain situations, startling him out of the fluid action that leads to control. a. You should keep in mind that the striding foot should land just to one side of the imaginary line that runs from center of rubber to midline of plate (sometimes referred to as “the midline”). In either case, if the pitcher is wild-high, his stride may be too lengthy, and if the pitcher is wild-low, his stride may be too short. It is essential for pitchers to have a clear objective in mind when throwing, and to stride directly toward that aim. Is it more common for the pitcher to lead from the front hip or the front shoulder? Using his front hip as a springboard, the pitcher should maintain his head center over an extending sideways triangle. Is the pitcher over-flexing his back leg, pushing out, and over-striding throughout his delivery? Is the pitcher’s front knee braced up when he hits the ground? For many pitchers who struggle to maintain control, the knee continues to creep forward. The pitcher’s arm angle appears to be too high, and his head appears to be out of alignment, or does he lean to one side? Higher arm slots often result in flatter pitches, and if the pitcher tilts his shoulders more than the allowed 10°, he will lose control of his pitches. The throwing hand is too close to the head during the acceleration phase of the arm. Is the pitcher’s hip rotation, backside, and back foot pull away from the rubber, or all of the above? Is the pitcher’s finish too erect, cuts off the arm into the body, and doesn’t finish with a flat back as a result of his bad finish? Of course, once the ball has left his grasp, there is nothing that can be done to alter its speed, trajectory, or direction. A proper follow-through, on the other hand, implies that the final touch the pitcher’s hand makes with the ball was proper. He is releasing it in the appropriate manner. as a result, his chances of maintaining excellent control rise
  7. Is there a cutting movement (horizontal break) to the ball because the pitcher is moving on the side of the ball rather than staying on top and behind the ball
  8. Examine the pitcher’s grip to see if it is constant. Normally, the fingers of the four-seam fastball grip should be 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch apart when holding the ball. Increase the width of the wheel a little to increase control. Control issues are common in the change up grip and are indicative of decreased arm speed, lifting fingers too early, a low cocked position, and an arm slot that is too wide. Problems with control on the inside are indicative of an arm slot that is too wide, inadequate hip and trunk rotation, and early pronation of the hand.

Factor2: Good physical conditioning

  1. The pivot foot’s alignment at the front of the rubber should be checked for accuracy. Vertical control may be hampered as a result of this situation. When starting a pitch, pitchers should position themselves on the throwing side of the rubber. For right-handed pitchers, this means that they should normally start from (and position their pivot foot in front of) the right side of the rubber. For lefties, it is best to begin on the left side of the table. For left-leaning individuals, the situation is the exact reverse. For example, if a right-handed pitcher notices that his fastball is tailing inside too much on a right-handed hitter, he can correct this by shifting his starting body position and pivot foot placement closer to the center of the left side of the rubber
  2. Does he square up his shoulders to the target when throwing? It’s likely that a pitcher will have to change his posture and lean to the glove side in order to assist square up his or her shoulders if he or she begins on the throwing arm side of the rubber and steps too close. Control concerns and a non-repeatable delivery result as a result of this late posture shift. During the leg lift, look for signs of poor balance. Instead of placing all of his weight on his heel, a pitcher’s weight should be fairly dispersed on his back pivot foot as the knee comes up
  3. Verify that the pitcher does not spin the upper body excessively before coming out of maximum knee height and does not end up in bad stride foot contact landing posture
  4. As the hands break, look for sloppy arm movement. Is there an excessive amount of arm extension or drawing the arm back behind the body
  5. Does the pitcher break his hands too far away from the body, too low or too high, or not in the center
  6. Do the pitcher’s fingers get underneath the ball? Does the pitcher’s throwing arm fail to get into a properly cocked posture at foot plant, or does he hook his wrist as he circles his pitching arm down back and up into the cocking position? During the stride, look for improper timing of the leg falling down and out and the arm going up. Look for signs of inadequate weight transfer, such as the body moving out in front of the arm, before continuing. In order to begin his stride, the pitcher should lead with his front hip after reaching maximum knee height during that initial movement toward home plate. The lead arm motion of the pitcher is excessively forceful, leading the shoulder to open too early. Alternatively, does the pitcher drop or remove his or her glove. The latter can result in premature shoulder rotation, sometimes known as “flying open,” which frequently results in a miss to the throwing arm side. Check that the lead leg descends and out rather than out and down after reaching maximum knee height. The pitcher’s leg is thrown out to land, and he either lands on his heel or on his front leg, or he lands too open or too closed. How long or short should the pitcher’s stride be? In the right way, or in the wrong direction at all? The pitcher’s landing on his heel can be excessive in certain situations, startling him out of the fluid action that leads to control. Keep in mind that the striding foot should land just to the side of the imaginary line that runs from the center of the rubber to the center of the plate, known as the midline, before continuing. If the pitcher’s wild-high stride is very long, his wild-low stride may be excessively short. It is essential for pitchers to have a clear objective in mind before pitching and to move in a straight line toward that target. Using his front hip or his front shoulder, how does the pitcher throw? Using his front hip as a springboard, the pitcher should maintain his head position over an extending sideways triangle. The pitcher over-flexes his hind leg, extends his stride and over-strides, for example. After landing, does the pitcher raise his front knee? Many pitchers who struggle with control continue to have their knees slide forward. The pitcher’s arm angle appears to be too high, and his head appears to be out of alignment, or does he tilt to one side. If the pitcher tilts his shoulders more than the necessary 10 degrees, higher arm slots often result in flatter pitches and control issues. Is the throwing hand too close to the head during arm acceleration? Is the pitcher’s hip rotation, backside, and back foot pull away from the rubber, or all three of these things? Is the pitcher’s finish too erect, cuts off the arm into the body, and doesn’t finish with a flat back as a result of this? Nothing, of course, can be done to alter the speed, trajectory, or direction of the ball once it has been released from his grasp! When the pitcher’s hand makes a proper follow-through, it shows that the previous touch with the ball was right. In the correct manner, he is disseminating it. in order to maximize his chances of maintaining solid control
  7. The ball seems to have a cutting action (horizontal break) because the pitcher is moving to one side of the ball rather than remaining on top and behind the ball. Inspect to see whether the pitcher maintains a consistent grip throughout the game. Typically, the fingers should be 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch apart when using the four-seam fastball grip. Slightly expand the wheelbase to increase control. Increased control issues while changing up grip are indicative of slower arm speed, fingers being lifted too early, cocked posture at the bottom of the grip, and an arm slot that is too wide. Problems with control on the inside are indicative of an arm slot that is too wide, inadequate hip and trunk rotation, and premature pronation of the hand.
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Factor3: The mental process

As vital as being able to control pitches slightly beyond the strike zone is the ability to do so when the pitches are inside the zone. There are few pitchers in the game that can throw as hard as Aroldis Chapman can. When you combine a 100 mph fastball with excellent control, like he demonstrated here on this pitch to Adam Lind, it becomes practically difficult to hit.

  1. Is the pitcher waste a disproportionate number of pitches? There are far too many pitchers who squander too many pitches while they are ahead in counts of 0-2, 1-2, or 2-2. Take a couple of high balls, a couple of balls in the dirt, a few nibbles here and there, and a couple of foul balls, and the batter is jogging down to first base, and the pitcher is looking dumb. It is important for pitchers to challenge batters with the absolute best pitch in their repertoire and force them to swing. Is the pitcher able to maintain sufficient concentration? A pitcher’s ability to filter out internal and external distractions and concentrate on each pitch is essential. He should be able to think about how he throws a certain pitch, why he chooses that particular pitch, and where he wants to throw it before he throws it. Is the pitcher apprehensive about failing? In order to compete in high-stress conditions, a pitcher must have the bravery to do so. He must get the confidence to take on batters and toss the ball for strikes on the mound. In difficult competition conditions, the pitcher must be able to retain his composure and emotions, as well as a high level of self-discipline. Is the pitcher attempting to do too much? A pitcher must not only understand how to throw, how to set up batters, and how to deal with a variety of scenarios, but he must also recognize and accept his own personal talents and weaknesses as well as those of his teammates. He must learn to pitch within himself and not try to accomplish something that he is not capable of achieving
  2. Is the pitcher self-assured in his ability to perform? A pitcher’s confidence is first built via hard effort and appropriate preparation, and then it is built on the back of previous accomplishments. Given his preparation, he should be at ease, should not perceive himself as having failed, and should be able to concentrate on the task at hand. Examine whether the pitcher is concerned about hitting the hitter. A mental condition in which the batter does not disturb you and in which you are not frightened to brush him off the plate or deliver a pitch inside is necessary. The batter is your adversary.

Factor4: Proper visualization

In addition to his other talents, Johnny Cueto has this change up to throw to Martin Maldonado with a runner on second base in the bottom of the ninth. Notice how the pitch starts in the middle of the plate before drifting down and inside late in the count? From a superb pitcher, there was terrific command.

  1. Keep an eye on where the pitcher’s gaze is directed during the delivery. Do they come crashing down? Up? Is it to the side? One of Harvey A. Dorfman’s pitchers was once asked the same question after a particularly dismal outing: “Do you know where your eyes go when you pitch?” says Dorfman, author of The Mental Game of Baseball: A Guide to Peak Performance. The pitcher responded by saying that he always glanced at the target. “Well, Mr. Dorfman inquired as to the color of the catcher’s glove,” he said. The pitcher had no idea what was going on. In order to keep up with a pitcher that is so focused and focussed on a target for 65+ pitches every game, you would need to have the catcher’s glove seared into your memory. When your pitcher pitches the following time, make sure he is looking at the target. It will make a significant impact. Furthermore, if you do not already own a copy of The Mental Game of Baseball, you may get one here. Whether the pitcher’s eyes are drawn down or away during the first part of the delivery, try to see if they are drawn back to the target as soon as his leg comes up to strike the ball. There is a rule that goes like this: “Leg up, eyes up.” It is essential that the eyes are locked on the goal once again as soon as the raise leg reaches its maximum knee height. Verify that the pitcher’s head is still after releasing breaking pitches, especially after the delivery of fastballs. When throwing breaking pitches, many pitchers lose sight of the ball because they pull their heads and shoulders down and away from the ball. That’s perfectly OK. Although it is important for the pitcher to raise his head up early enough to monitor the ball as it approaches the hitting zone, he should also be prepared to field his position and protect himself. Check to see if the presence of runners on base has an impact on the pitcher’s control. It is mostly due to a failure on the part of the pitcher to properly return his eyes to the target prior to delivering his pitch, which occurs because he is so preoccupied with gazing at the runner. Working on this in practice can help you to get your pitchers in the habit of looking over their shoulders at the target before throwing, even if it means giving the runner(s) an extra step of lead-off. Also, make certain that a pitcher’s warm-up routine involves pitching from the stretch, both before the game and before the start of each inning. Before delivering the ball, he should glance at his intended recipient with both eyes. If possible, ask the pitcher to verbalize the pitch and its desired placement before commencing his windup during bullpen training. For example, ask him to say “fastball, low inside,” or “slider, low and away” before throwing a fastball. It helps to accentuate the action if you call their shot. Especially important on off-speed throws, encourage the pitcher to picture the location of a specific target. Is it better for him to concentrate on the location where the pitch should end up, or on the spot where he should begin his pitch, while he is throwing a breaking pitch? My fastballs used to be aimed towards the catcher’s knee caps, and my breaking balls were aimed at the batter’s elbow while I was pitching. Neither strategy is ineffective
  2. Both are. Inspect to see if the pitcher is tracking his pitches from his throwing arm to the catcher’s mitt. During the delivery of the pitch, the pitcher should keep track of the pitch and direct it to the designated location. The pitch will be directed to that spot mentally, optically, and mechanically.

Control is the key to pitching success

Remember this: Being able to toss the ball with a great degree of control is one of the most important characteristics of a successful pitcher at any level of baseball. Former Mississippi State baseball coach Ron Polk once said: “A pitcher may be able to hurl his fastball at over 90 miles per hour and have a nasty break in his curve ball or slider.but if he cannot deliver the fundamental pitches for strikes, he will never be a great pitcher.” There are literally thousands of instances of incredibly successful pitchers in the major leagues who do or did not have tremendous velocity or movement in their pitches, but who still reached the pinnacle of the game—Zach Greinke, Greg Maddux, Chris Young, and Kyle Hendricks, to name a few.

So, what is it that makes these pitchers so effective?

Good mechanics, a strong arm, and a well-conditioned pitcher are the keys to improved accuracy and increased velocity in the pitcher.

Furthermore, with solid mechanics, strong health, an organized cognitive process, and effective visualization, pitching will become much more effortless—and much more fun!

Get my youth pitching program

If your kid is a pitcher, you’ll appreciate the information in this handbook. Youth pitchers can benefit from a regular program that helps them improve mechanics, enhance functional strength, and keep their throwing arm healthy. While there aren’t many age-appropriate and safe pitching routines for kids 7-14, there is one that is.

If you feel that proper pitching mechanics, physical conditioning, and a regular throwing routine are essential to your son’s arm health, velocity, and success, please visit my kids pitching program page to learn more about what I have to offer. More information may be found here.

What do you think?

Let me know if there are any pitching accuracy techniques that I overlooked in the comments section below. Or perhaps you have a suggestion on how I might improve this list even further. In any case, please leave a remark and let me know. READ THE FOLLOWING NEXT: Youth Pitchers Should Know These 9 Mental Training Secrets THE SUBJECTS DEVELOPED IN THIS ARTICLE achieving better accuracy, aiming for better aim, commanding the strike zone, consistency, consistently throwing strikes, control, control issues, control of the strike zone, getting the ball over the plate, how to achieve better accuracy, how to achieve better control, how to achieve more control, how to locate my pitches, keeping the ball in the strike zone, achieving poor accuracy, aiming for better aim, commanding the strike zone, commanding the strike zone, not hitting my spots, not hitting the strike zone

7 Ways To Improve Pitching Command (For All Types of Pitches)

HomeArticles Consistency in the Pitching Command Learn more about my pitchers’ exercise routines here. The proper method of developing functional strength should be used. Discover my pitching routines and throwing plans for athletes that are dedicated to their craft and refuse to accept defeat. More information may be found here. Have you ever pondered the following questions about yourself:

  • “Can you tell me how I can improve my command of my pitches?” “How can I improve my ball location and throw more strikes?” “How can I limit the amount of walks I give up in games?” “How can I improve my ball location and throw more strikes?”

A baseball throwing challenge to a target 60 feet, 6 inches distant and with a diameter of only a few inches is, I believe, universally acknowledged. The ability of a baseball pitcher to do this activity with accuracy and regularity, on the other hand, will ultimately decide his or her effectiveness on the mound. FREE MONTHLY NEWSLETTER Sign up for my daily pitching tips email newsletter to receive exclusive tips and insights that are not available anywhere else on the web. To become a subscriber, please visit this page.

What good command of the strike zone looks like

Take a look at this 96 mph precise fastball from Max Scherzer that he used to induce Martin Maldonado to strike out backwards: is the source of this image. That, my friends, is what excellent command looks like. This brings me to the next point: I really like how Scherzer depicts the corner of the strike zone just there. In addition, pitching with superb command allows pitchers to position their pitches almost anywhere they choose inside the strike zone; they are capable of throwing strikes, but not just any strikes—GOOD strikes!

  • It is possible to get a strike by throwing a fastball high in the zone that the hitter chases and misses.
  • However, it is not in the ideal location.
  • Alternatively, a ball that tails inside and jams a batter is used.
  • In other words, there isn’t much harm.
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2 reasons for poor command pitching

According to my observations, there are often two key reasons why pitchers struggle with command:

  1. The most common reason for command problems is a pitcher’s apprehension about challenging batters. I’m sure you’ve seen it too: a pitcher who is filled with worry and self-doubt as he takes the mound. You can typically tell by looking at their body language and their emotions when they’re on the field. Cole Hamels is a fantastic pitcher, but even the best of the best struggle with command of their pitches from time to time. The second reason for command issues is poor pitching mechanics, specifically poor posture and failing to maintain a midline with the lower body
  2. The third reason for command issues is poor pitching mechanics, specifically poor posture and failing to maintain a midline with the lower body. The use of proper posture can help young pitchers improve their command issues. When a pitcher learns what excellent body posture is and can maintain it, combined with keeping his head level and moving faster down the midline, his command issues will frequently resolve themselves. .and keep in mind that the midline is a line drawn from the middle of one’s back foot to the target.every time a pitcher moves his body away from the midline during his rocker step, pivot, leg lift, or stride, it necessitates another (extra) movement to get back along that same line, which disrupts timing, momentum (velocity), and control.

The ability to maintain solid control does not come from just training or throwing a number of bullpens. Having strong mechanics is the first step toward having good control. If you are unable to maintain control of your body and reach a consistent release point, controlling the ball becomes extremely tough. Pitchers with poor control, in addition to having bad mechanics, typically throw insufficient pitches and lack the ability to make corrections. Once the mechanics are sound, throwing bullpens to build command is similar to target practice in its effect on the brain.

How to improve pitching command and control

The good news is that these mental and mechanical characteristics of poor command can be corrected, but it will take time—especially because the speed gun produces so many overthrowing pitchers, which reduces their ability to command the ball. The following are seven excellent methods for improving your command of not just your fastball, but also any other baseball pitches that you may throw. You’ll notice a difference when you include these fastball pitching tips into your throwing practice and discover how they may improve your overall performance.

1. Have a purpose

Are you looking to enhance your fastball command? Every time you take up a baseball, think about what you want to achieve with it. When you take up the ball, you have the opportunity to enhance your position. Playing catch, throwing a bullpen in practice, or pitching in a game are all examples of baseball activities. It makes no difference. Every throw provides an opportunity to improve your performance.

2. Make them count

You’d like to increase your fastball command, right? Every time you pick up a baseball, keep an end goal in mind. Every time you pick up a ball, you have the opportunity to enhance your position. Playing catch, throwing a bullpen in practice, or pitching in a game are all examples of sportsmanship that may be demonstrated. The difference is insignificant. Your every toss is an opportunity to improve your performance.

3. Repeat, repeat, repeat

When throwing a practice pitch, use the same throwing mechanics as you would when throwing the opening pitch of a real game. Throughout your life, you will make a large number of practice tosses. Why not put those throws to better use in order to increase the aspect that will eventually determine whether or not you are successful?

4. Focus, focus, focus

Identify a precise location on your target and concentrate on hitting that spot with every single throwing attempt. Starting early in the game makes it simpler to strike the target because your partner is nearby. Expect to strike your target every time, especially if you are within striking distance. This will increase your self-assurance in your ability to hit targets. When your objective is far away, you should lower your expectations a little bit since it becomes more difficult to reach the target the further away you are.

5. Aim small, miss small

This statement, as trite and overused as it may be, is actually pretty profound in meaning.

Make your target as tiny and particular as you possibly can; this will ensure that your misses to that target are as minimal as possible and that your command is improved.

6. Visualize, visualize, visualize

Say out loud to yourself what you want to accomplish with the baseball and image it in your mind, and you will find it much simpler to fulfill your goal. If you can visualize yourself performing the action in your brain, you will be more likely to perform it on the field.

7. Become a perfectionist

Expect to be able to place the ball precisely where you want it 100 percent of the time, or better yet, never to miss. Continue to aim for perfection because it will make you better and force you to work harder all of the time in order to achieve this unreachable goal. It takes time and maturity to achieve this.

Making mechanical adjustments

When Garrett Richards is able to command his fastball with ease, he becomes a force to be reckoned with on the mound. See for yourself in Exhibit A, as he hits the bottom corner of the strike zone with a cutter at 95 miles per hour. is the source of this image. That is a really soiled pitch right there. Even major league pitchers, such as Richards, can suffer a lack of command at any point throughout a game, or even during an inning, on rare occasions. The most successful and experienced pitchers are able to make correct and rapid game modifications to their arm motion and grip, as well as finger pressure and release point, as the situation demands.

Young pitchers might benefit from the guidance of an experienced pitching coach who can identify issues immediately and teach them tactics for making game changes on their various pitches.

Under game pressure, the pitcher will need to maintain his composure, mental control, and attention in order to make efficient changes.

As a coach, you should instruct the pitcher on how to make the optimal adjustments.

  • Problem, cause, and solution (mechanical changes) are all covered. I was on a wild high
  • Rushing, overstriding, and a low cocked posture are all signs of impatience. Maintain a low center of gravity, shorten your stride, and flex more at the waist. Extremely low
  • The stride is too short, the upper body dives in, and the armcircle is too large. Prepare to push off the rubber sooner than usual, lead with the front hip rather than the front shoulder, and employ a down, back, and up arm path. Inside, it’s a wild ride
  • Too tight of a stride
  • Lack of trunk rotation
  • Lowcocked stance
  • Incorrect grip
  • Early pronation of the hand
  • Stride straight to the plate, force the back knee forward and inward, get the hand up during the backswing, balance the ball with the grip, and maintain the fingers behind the ball
  • Outside, it’s a jungle. The body tilts too much to one side, the fingers rest on the side of the ball, and the player lands on a stiff front leg. Maintain direct contact with the plate with the front hip and shoulder
  • Maintain your fingers immediately behind the ball. When you land with your leg flexed, brace it up.

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Why pitchers are high in the zone?

Pitchers are more erratic when they are high in the strike zone, which is the most common location. This occurs for a variety of reasons, including:

  • First, they speed their action, which can cause the elbow to drop, causing them to appear to be throwing uphill. In the second instance, they are simply not able to raise their throwing arms into the high cocked position when their front foot plants.

Oh, and how many times have you heard coaches shouting, “Bend your back or follow through” in order to get the ball down in the end zone. The difficulty is that there is no such thing as a relationship. Watch the arm swing of any pitcher who is consistently high in the strike zone to make sure he isn’t rushing through his action. When his front foot plants, the problem is that he just isn’t getting into the proper throwing stance to throw the ball.

Learn more about my workout programs for pitchers

When it comes to baseball, one of the most common myths is that playing the game keeps you in condition to pitch. That would be fantastic if it were true. It is not the case. Preparation is critical in order to go to the next level. Pitchers in the major leagues spend significantly more time preparing to prepare than they do actually pitching.

You may learn more about my fitness and pitching programs for baseball pitchers of all ages if you feel that increasing your velocity will be vital to your future success. More information may be found here.

What do you think?

Now it’s your turn to share your thoughts: Did I overlook any techniques for improving pitching command and control? Alternatively, perhaps you have an idea for how I might improve this post even further. In any case, please leave a remark and let me know. THIS IS WHAT YOU WILL READ NEXT:Pitching Mechanics Checklist: In this video, I demonstrate how to pitch from the full windup.

FEEL What It’s Like To Throw More Strikes, Literally!

Do you find it difficult to throw strikes? Why? Walking up to the mound in the 2008 NCAA Regional back against the eventual CWS Runner-Up, the Georgia Bulldogs, was a memorable moment for me. During my leisurely journey to the mound, I was greeted with the sound of 4,oooo plus supporters barking like dogs (well, that’s what they do in Athens, thus the name Bulldogs), which was a pleasant surprise. It was the seventh inning, and we had a two-run lead against the number five team in the country.

  • “What should I tell him?” my thoughts raced through my head as I walked.
  • The barking had gone beyond the point of being unpleasant; it had become deafening!
  • During that time, I was forced to make a split-second coaching choice that would have long-term consequences for my future.
  • While I’ll get into that later, let’s chat about basketball for a second because it is NCAA March Madness right now.
  • It doesn’t have to be competitive basketball; I’m referring about just stepping outdoors, picking up a ball, and putting it in your hands.
  • But, do you know why this is so?
  • Increasing the number of strikes you throw
  • Improving your breaking ball Developing a more effective change-up

It is conceivable, in fact, it is, in my view, the only option! However, I wasn’t always of the opinion that way. After having the opportunity to meet with Tony Robichaux, one of the most accomplished pitching brains the NCAA has ever produced, my entire outlook on the game changed completely. Coach Robichaux is the head coach of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s men’s basketball program. If you’re not familiar with Coach Robichaux, allow me to introduce you with a little clip from Pitch-a-Palooza 13′ to get your attention.

  1. I know I kept playing the footage over and over, but I simply wanted to reaffirm his belief system about pitching.—( Reach out to Coach Robichaux and find out how he came up with the idea for his colorful plate.
  2. Your pitchers are a fantastic purchase, and we really adore them!
  3. Send him an email, and he’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
  4. Pitching mechanics are similar to politics in that everyone has a better way to do things and no one ever agrees.
  5. “Pitchers have difficulty throwing strikes because they are unable to distinguish between a ball and a strike!” This statement immediately brought to mind the game of basketball, which I had forgotten about.
  6. I said before that it is March Madness, and that we will be talking about basketball.
  7. We suspect that some of you, particularly our frequent readers, are saying to themselves, “I believe I’ve already read this piece, don’t I?” Yes, to a certain extent, but only in part.
  8. 1.You’ve already read the gist of this essay, but that was before I introduced a new drill that we utilize on a daily basis, and that was before.
  9. I’d say word for word, but don’t worry, I’m not going to call you out on it because you took it down!
  10. When it comes to basketball, there is no “grey area,” since players can see right away whether a shot will go in or not.

It serves as the foundation for the Pitching Mechanics MasterMind System, which is described below. There are three reasons why you may “feel” your shot:

  1. You will receive visible feedback right away. In all of the time I’ve spent watching March Madness, I have yet to witness a single argument about whether or not a shot went in.) You receive audio input. In comparison to the nothing but net us KY guys are accustomed to hearing, a brick ricocheting off the backboard is a bit different sound.

Because of excellent repetition in a setting that is rich in sensory feedback, your central nervous system (CNS) begins to form a learned connection with the outcome! I wish I had met Tony a few years earlier; I may have benefited from his advise before my nerve-wracking appearance on the mound at the NCAA Championship. In that vein, would you be interested in knowing the advise I offered to my pitcher during the 2008 Athens Regional? Let’s just assume that because we won, I must have offered some fairly sound advise, don’t you think?

I told him the same thing I told every other pitcher who was struggling to finish through the ball: “C’mon, concentrate on bending your back and completing through the ball!” Everything came together, as the following ball was a rocket into the gap, and our left fielder threw out the tying run at the plate!

Pitchers, however, are victims of their own subjectivity.

  1. Let’s face it, the strike zone is determined by the judgment of someone else, the umpire. They should bend their backs, adjust their glove side, and reach out
  2. There are people like myself who advise them to do so.

Not to mention, “C’mon, throw strikes!” as a rallying cry. Especially if you believe the “fix” is in and he’s genuinely attempting to appear like an arrogant jerk, this is excellent advise to follow. However, with children these days, you never know what will happen. I’m not sure about you, but anytime I hear the phrase “C’mon, just throw a strike,” it makes me itch a little. It enrages me, it frustrates me greatly! Even better would be to be sitting in the stands next to “On deck Dad,” who would be showing me footage of his 3-year-old son dunking a basketball.

In summary, basketball players rely on three senses to acquire information and make adjustments: sight, hearing, and touch.

  1. Sight (in/out, right/left, short/long)
  2. Sight (in/out, right/left, short/long)
  3. Sight (in/out, right Feeling (as a result of the release)
  4. Sound (clank, swish, and so on)

How many of these components do we employ in our pitcher training program? Think:

  • In basketball, there is just one aim
  • That is to win the game. It’s very apparent what they’re attempting to accomplish
  • They receive immediate response

That is what your pitching coach is referring to when he tells you to have a focus or a purpose with every throw. If you could peek into the minds of most pitchers during their throwing regimen, you would find that their ultimate aim looks somewhat like this! Please do me a favor and, if you like this essay, spend two minutes following me on Twitter. Follow @lantzwheeler on Twitter. Every pitcher should understand what it means to be focused with every pitch, which is something that coaches should emphasize to them.

  1. Get on top of the ball by bending your back and following through. Put your nose in the catcher’s glove
  2. Remain back
  3. Throw in a couple of your own ideas

Does this sound familiar? The restraints that pitchers face every time they go onto the mound are plenty for them; they don’t need any more.

  1. Keep the batters off balance by allowing base runners to advance. Umpires and calls that are controversial
  2. Throwing punches
  3. Accelerating and decelerating
  4. Understanding the circumstance and attempting to put a strategy into action
  5. Continue, I’m sure you’ll be able to think of numerous more
See also:  How To Start A Non Profit Baseball Team

Do we really want to add anything else to the mix, mechanics, cues, or whatever else it may be?

No, I don’t believe so! Undoubtedly, mechanical considerations are critical, and changes are the name of the game! However, it is not the time of year to do any of the following:

  • Do we really want to add anything else to the mix, mechanics, cues, or whatever else it may be? In my opinion, this is not the case. To be sure, mechanical considerations are critical, and changes are essential! But now is not the time of year to do any of the following:

As a matter of fact, I have a secret that I employ with all of my pitchers that has shown to be a game changer. In a moment, I’ll explain! It is likely that at this stage he will have a strong understanding of how to make self modifications. So what’s the point of crying out our thoughts on what he should be doing in the first place? Why do we believe that every missed opportunity or unpleasant performance is the result of a mechanical issue? Because that is the way our game is structured. Most training approaches focus on instructing the player what to do rather than placing the ball in his hand and allowing him to feel what he should be doing to improve his performance.

  1. In my opinion, Dr.
  2. ” Kinesthetic awareness (KA) may be improved by creating an environment that is rich in sensory and physical input.” During the Winter Olympics last year, I came across a very intriguing story.
  3. How does he accomplish this?
  4. Allow me to share with you what we perform with our athletes on a daily basis, which we term “Feel” training.
  5. If your pitcher misses arm side high (a right-handed pitcher misses up and in against a right-handed hitter) when trying to locate a fastball down and away, you may have a problem on your hands.
  6. You’ve already shared your thoughts on the subject: However, it is not working.
  7. This was something I had to learn the hard way.
  • Put the responsibility in his hands instead of blaming the mechanics and telling him what he’s doing wrong on camera. Allow him to experience the difference between a ball delivered arm-side high and a pitch delivered down and away. I’m ready to wager that he doesn’t see any change
  • Read this article to find out why most pitchers have difficulty throwing strikes.

Here’s what I want you to do (please assist me here, as I’m giving you a lot of valuable information for free! ).

  1. Tell me in the comments section below how you intend to put what you’ve learned today to use. You should subscribe by clicking on the box below since the site is changing and soon only subscribers will be able to access videos such as the ones you just saw.

How to Make your Pitchers Throw More Strikes

When I do pitching clinics, I occasionally inquire of the participants, “What is the finest pitch a pitcher can throw?” Although I receive a variety of responses, including fastballs, curveballs, changeups, and sliders, very few players ever reply with the response I am hoping for: A STRIKE. There are several reasons why throwing strikes is so crucial. Obviously, when pitchers throw strikes, they reduce the number of walks they give up, but there are several other significant advantages, including: maintaining a lower pitch count, gaining a jump on the batters, and creating an environment in which your defense is more prepared!

  • Strikes are a great way to get your bearings.
  • Rarely do I see a minor league baseball pitcher start out close to the plate, concentrating on great mechanics, and then gradually increase their distance until they are pitching at full distance.
  • They only pitch at roughly 50-75 percent since the pitcher is so close to the batter’s box.
  • Increase the distance between them after 30 feet to 35 feet, then to 40 feet, and so on until they reach their throwing distance.
  • Make Use of Catch Time to Improve Your Pinpoint Control When a pitcher is really throwing to a catcher, he or she will only concentrate on hitting specific places.
  • To accomplish this, instruct your players to make precise targets with their gloves, and then have the pitcher attempt to throw the ball to that location.
  • Your players could even turn this into a game of “Closest to the Glove,” in which they would compete against their partner.

It takes time and effort to throw strikes! Players who devote their time and effort to learning proper pitching mechanics and practicing throwing to precise targets will be successful in their endeavors. Coaches, best of luck!

Baseball Training: How to Throw Strikes Consistently

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Images courtesy of Associated Press If you’re a pitcher, you’ll need to learn how to throw strikes. You must be able to throw a strike in any count, to any hitter, with runners on base, and with the game on the line in order to be successful. Throwing strikes can not only help you win games, but it will also lower your chances of getting injured in the process. Baseball injuries are frequently the result of repeated stress in the sport.

The bigger the number of pitches you throw, the greater your chance of injury. Throwing more strikes will result in you throwing fewer pitches, which will reduce your risk. Here are some baseball training ideas to help you throw strikes more consistently in the game of baseball.

Develop Consistency

When it comes to throwing strikes properly, you must build a regular pattern for your delivery.

  • Develop a regular routine for your delivery if you want to throw strikes successfully.

Maintain Mental Toughness

Occasionally, you will have outings when you struggle with a pitch (or a series of pitches) or with your velocity. The ability to fight and remain in the game to relieve strain on the bullpen may be your saving grace on these kind of days. You must put in significant effort if you are to acquire mental toughness. Once the season has begun, it is too late to make such a change. However, you may still keep your fitness level as well as your mental concentration. Take a look at the game from the beginning.

Each expedition should be re-evaluated the next day, not soon after.

Identifying the reasons behind your struggles can assist you in throwing strikes more consistently in the future.

Understand Fatigue

When you’re tired, you’re not performing at your peak. Throwing strikes becomes far more difficult when you are fatigued. When a pitcher becomes fatigued, the following particular things can occur:

  1. You have reduced peripheral vision. Because of the poor visual acuity, it is difficult to throw. A pitcher in better condition will be able to see better. In the later stages of the game, a better-conditioned pitcher will perform better. During your follow-through, your arm begins to slow down. You will move more slowly and be at greater risk of injury if your rotator cuff is tired. It is possible to avoid this by limiting the number of rotator cuff workouts performed before to the game. When the rotator cuff muscles get fatigued, the humeral head (the top of the arm bone) begins to move upward, which can cause pinching of the rotator cuff muscles and subsequent damage. You don’t bend your hips at all. This results in a loss of velocity, and you must physically exert more effort to regain it. It is evident that you have a weakness in the elbow, particularly in the triceps muscles, which puts you at risk for elbow disorders
  2. Your proprioception is depleted. Translation: Your throwing mechanics begin to fail you, and your ability to follow through diminishes as a result. The lack of shoulder rotation and extension in the lead knee is the etiology of this condition. Both of these factors increase the likelihood of an injury occurring.

Prepare Your Body and Recover

A good pitching mechanic is especially vital for young pitchers. At every practice and game, there aren’t any pitching coaches there. Warm up in a dynamic manner. Make use of a foam roller to relieve tension in your legs and shoulders. Exercises that involve many joints, such as Squats, Lunges, and Push-Ups, should be used. Mechanical drills may be used to warm up and on days when you don’t throw off the pitch to prepare for the game. The top pitchers in the world don’t put in their time on the mound every day.

Work “dry” on level ground without the use of a ball.

During this period, it is most beneficial to stretch.

Stay Mobile

Yoga should be practiced, as should stretching the day following sports and mobility drills. Throwers frequently experience joint stiffness and limited range of motion in their hip joints and quadriceps as well as their hamstrings, ankles, and throwing elbow.

  • Quadriceps Stretch – performed while kneeling in a lunge position with your knee flexed
  • Knee hugging – to keep your glutes relaxed
  • Knee hugging Straight Leg Marching — to increase hamstring mobility
  • Straight Leg Marching Lateral Lunges – these are good for the groin. Deadlifts with only one leg — for the hamstrings
  • Single-Leg Romanian Deadlifts Supine Wall Slides – to maintain the scapulae mobile in the supine position. The lat stretch is important for maintaining mobility in the lats and scapulae, among other things. Exercises for the serratus muscle and the scapulae are included in the Push-Up with a Plus. More for the upward mobility of the scapulae than for the strength of the traps, overhead shrugs are a good exercise.

Work on Single-Leg Strength and Stability

Pitching is a one-limb sport that requires only one arm. It is similar to sprinting in that it involves an explosive transition from one leg to the next. You want to start the season with strong single-limb strength, but you also want to keep that single-limb strength throughout the entire season.

  • Bulgarian Split Squats, Pistol Squats, Lunges, Single-Leg Lateral Plyo Jumps, Bulgarian Split Squats, Bulgarian Split Squats, Bulgarian Split Squats, Bulgarian Split Squats, Bulgarian Split Squats, Bulgarian Split Squats, Bulgarian Split Squats, Bulgarian Split Squats, Bulgarian Split Squats, Bulgarian Split Squats


Running sprints during the season allows you to maintain your explosiveness while also improving your lower-body mobility and keeping you from being fatigued. Put an end to your lengthy, plodding jogs. They have little effect on keeping pitchers healthy during the season. When you sprint well, you’ll be more effective later on in games and throughout seasons. Increase the velocity of your curveball and learn to be deceptive with your off-speed pitches by learning to master them. Above all, throw them for strikes whenever possible.

Strive to recover from poor outings while remaining consistent with your mechanics. The greater the number of blows you throw with a purpose, the greater the number of victories you and your team will accrue. More information may be found at:

  • A Pitcher’s Offseason Training Program: What to Do and What Not to Do
  • Increasing the level of trust between the pitcher and the catcher There are six surprising risks of fatigue for pitchers (and how to avoid them). Pitchers’ Baseball Workouts During the Baseball Season

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