Baseball Pitching Drills
The key to becoming a good pitcher is consistent practice and focus on pitch mechanics.
Understanding the mechanical movements to their pitches, their pin-point focus on accuracy and their ability to throw consistent pitches under pressure is what separates good pitchers from the rest of the pack.
Aside from the mental part of the game a great pitcher will also focus relentlessly on their; wind up, stride, late cocking, acceleration, decelleration and their follow through.
In the pitching drills guide below we want to give a bunch of drills that help develop all of these areas.
Pitching Drills: Side Notes
We have listed various different types of pitching drills you can use with 8 year olds all the way up to adult.
The amount of equipment needed to support pitching development is pretty much minimal – however there are a few things we would recommend…
Aside from the obvious equipment we’d recommend picking up a few additional pieces such as; a pitching net with targets or strike zones and less convential ‘equipment’ such as towels. These not only add an additional fun factor to practice but can help improve technique beyond just simply throwing ball after ball.
Another thing worth mentioning is that most of drills below can be used and practiced in a multiple environments. So, indoors, outdoors, minimal ground space, backyards are all covered.
In fact, sometimes you can actually use your environment to your advantage – a fence or wall for example could be great for some drills.
Other drills, esspecially for younger age groups will need adult or coach to help them with.
Table of Contents
Pitching Towel Drills
Why Towel Drills? There are a few pitching towel drills out there – each one offering a unique angle. In general though using towel drills to practice dry pitching mechanics is a great way to work on the release point and overall technique.
Towel drills are also a great way to practice the fundamentals of pitching at home or indoors.
One Knee Towel Drill
In this pitching towel drill you’ll be simulating realistic throwing movements while keeping your lower body movements to minimum. Have you or your player kneel down on one knee with the ball and glove in each hand. From there you can practice your pitching ensuring that you follow through properly.
Target Towel Drill
After practicing the above variation, you can move into completing the whole movement. With this towel drill you’ll likely need a coach or another person to help you. You’ll need to place the target at the appropriate height depending on the release point that feels most comfortable for you (or the pitcher). You can use a glove or if you’ve got a way of ‘suspending’ your target high enough that works too.
Once you have your target in place it’s time to run through some pitches. Remember to focus on whipping the towel to make a clean hit with the target.
Push Off Drill
Why this drill?
This drill focuses on developing balance specifically in the push off foot.
This drill is real simple and can (and should) be used in conjunction with the other drills on this page.
Have your pitcher shift their weight onto their push off foot and raise their other knee up.
Now, there’s a few conditioning protocols you can do from here. You can have your pitcher hold the balance position for a period of time.
You can also have them start leading with their butt – if however your pitcher is struggling with leading with their butt, that’s where our next two drills come in handy…
Pitching Drill For Balance
Why this drill? The next 2 drills are more specifically aimed at beginner and younger pitchers. Both drills focus heavily on both the control and balance aspects of a pitcher’s game.
Details: For the first part of the drill, place a ball in front of the pitcher on the ground. Have the pitcher go through the delivery of the pitch. When they get to the end of the delivery, have them lean forward using an RDL movement and pick up the ball. They’ll then return to the balance position pre-pitch and then finally put the ball back on the ground and back to their starting position.
Leading Your Pitch
Details: This is a progression to the above drill to coach the proper way to pitch by leading with their butt before they release the ball.
Have the pitcher line up against the wall with their pitching release side facing the wall. Have them raise their knee up and get them to lead with their butt – the only part of the body that should now lean into the wall should be their butt.
Ensure that their standing leg is slightly bent and that their other leg is NOT touching the wall. Again, the only part of the body that should be touching the wall is their butt.
High-Five Pitching Drill
Why this drill? After the ball is released, the pitcher must have a good follow through technique. And that’s what our next pitching drill focuses on.
Details: The pitcher gets into the pitch stance after release. One way of doing this is to kneel down next to your player and raise your hand as if you were to ‘high-five’ them.
Now when the pitcher follows through you’ll not only provide light resistance to their follow through but also guide them on the correct technique of throwing straight through the ball.
Another progression to this would be to use some sort of resistance band providing the resistance.
Pitching Stride Drill
Why this drill? What you’ll find with youth players especially is their tendency to overstride when pitching. This drill looks to encourage players to focus on not overstriding by placing a mat, pad or other ground ‘target’ in front of them.
Details: Place a ‘target’ the pitcher must NOT land into after they pitch. Have your pitcher go through a few dry swings first ensuring they don’t land on the mat. Then progress to using a ball.
Why this drill? A great way to encourage players to stay closed on their pitch and learn when to open up is to use the 3-Step Backpedal drill. It’s also a great way to coach your pitcher to block off and stop rotating so much.
Details: Set your pitcher up facing away from the target in a ready position with knees slightly bent. The pitcher will then perform 3 backpedals before turning and making the pitch. You will need some sort of impact wall or material if practicing with a ball.
One Knee Drill
Why this drill? This is a progression to the first towel drill we went into detail on above. The one knee drill helps improve arm angles, getting a full range of motion in the arms and wrists, accuracy and weight shift.
Details: This drill can be done both individually or with a partner. Have the pitcher kneel down on one knee with the ball and glove in hand.
To begin the drill, the pitcher turns their shoulder sidewards, separates the ball and glove properly and then throws and releases the ball to their partner or towards a wall if working on their own.
Ensure the pitcher follows through with a finishing position of their chest over their front leg and their throwing arm outside their lead leg.
Heel Roll Up Pitching Drill
Why this drill? This pitching drills focus on encouraging your pitcher to successfully transfer movement and energy throughout the whole body. This will improve their technique and help increase both power and velocity of their pitch.
Details: Pitcher starts in the starting position. He then shifts the weight onto his back leg forms the ‘T’ shape with his hands and arms and finally follows through finishing with his chest over his lead leg and his back heel rolled up and slightly rolled.
You can and should start with some dry throws and then progress to using a ball. This drill can be done with both a net for individual practice or with a partner.
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