Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pitching Drills

Here are simple throwing drills for warming up before pitching. The idea is to get the body moving toward the target,  block the glove, stay closed, and let the arm come along for the ride.

1) Step-behind
- step, then step-behind and throw
- idea is to get the body moving toward the target while keeping the glove out in front
- do five to ten throws

2) Crossover
- cross the lead leg over the plant foot
- lead with the hips moving forward, then throw with smooth follow through
- do five to ten throws

3) Rocker
- glove out in front, equal and opposite of throwing arm
- rock hips back and forth with feet spread wide for balance
- throw the ball after rocking three times
- do five to ten reps

4) High Leg
- starting in the set position, lift the leg high and go fast with a long stride
- make sure to move your chest to the glove (blocking) and don't pull the glove into body
- focus on going fast to increase velocity
- do five to ten reps
- go faster on each throw

On a rainy day, train indoors

1) Mirror drills
- do your pitching motion in front of a long mirror
- focus on balance and keeping the head steady
- check arm position in relation to shoulders
- get glove out in front with palm facing out

2) Towel drills
- practice pitching motion using a hand towel instead of a ball
- make sure to have plenty of room to work on a long stride
- work on smooth pitching motion
- move chest to the glove and follow through with the throwing arm
- increase stride length
- try the rocker drill using a towel

Long Toss
- warm up with dynamic stretching and arm circle exercises
- work on throwing mechanics and crow hops
- throw straight and accurate
- increase distance 10 - 15 feet after five throws

Arm Circle Exercises - video
Long Toss Program - video

Rediscovering The Lost Art of Long Toss by Coach Alan Jaeger
"I think long toss is a great way to build your arm up, to get in shape to throw off the mound." - Greg Maddux

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