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Pitching Mechanics From The Wind Up and Stretch
Pitching Mechanics From The Wind Up
Please see the basic throwing mechanics for a conventional pitcher and non pitcher. It has very specific information and is a great article. There is a link at the bottom of this page that you can click to read that article after you read these basic mechanics.
From the wind up: There are many different pitching styles and pitchers with different mechanics, it is the dedication to achieving repeatable mechanics that makes a great pitcher.
Repeatable mechanics are the best mechanics. Having bad mechanics can put unnecessary strain on the shoulder, elbow, and back so it is important to learn the correct way to pitch. This doesn’t mean you have to do it exactly as anyone says it should be.
No! Just find a set of mechanics that follow these basic steps, that causes no strain on your arm, and you can repeat every time. By repeating the mechanics every time your control will get more precise and then you can work on maximizing velocity and movement.
1 (For a RHP) Some coaches teach to stand on the left side of the pitching rubber and others on the right. I believe it is easier to pitch from the left side of the rubber because you have to throw across your body less. Although I believe it is easier to pitch from the left side of the rubber I actually pitch from the right side. I guess this is a case of do what I say not what I do. I only do this because I feel like it is more effective for me. That is what is most important! If you feel good you will play good. But for beginners let’s keep it simple and start by standing on the left side of the pitching rubber. Your feet should be just inside shoulder width apart. Point your feet, hips and shoulders at a 45 degree angle to the right in relation to home plate. This will make it easier for you to take your step back and get going in the right direction. Put your hands together at your chest with the ball in your glove and hand. Look in to your catcher and take the sign. This is when you will get your grip for the pitch you want to throw.
2 Step back 4 to 6 inches with your left foot and turn your right foot so that it is flush up against the front of the rubber. A small step is necessary here so that you can maintain your balance and get your right foot in position and ready for the leg kick. Your left shoulder should now be pointed to the catcher and your right shoulder to second base.
3 Pick your left leg up so that your thigh is as high as your hips. Your knee should be pointing at third base or a little to the right of third. Your knee should be bent at a 90 degree angle. The ankle should be relaxed and not flexed up or pointed down. A good drill to practice this balance position is to see how long you can hold this pose. (Link to balance position drill).
4 Break your hands by your waist and separate them symmetrically by pointing your glove at the catcher and pointing the baseball at second. Your front arm should be bent at a 90 degree angle and parallel to the ground. Your back arm should be straight back with the fingers on top of the ball, elbow in line with the shoulder, and fingers pointing towards second.
5 (This is actually happening at the same time as step 4. Step four just starts a hair earlier.) Stride towards home plate with your left leg. You should actually stay closed upon the time of your landing.
6 One fraction of a second before you land you should begin to rotate your hips with your shoulders following creating a whip like effect. Some coaches teach to pull the glove to the chest and others say take the chest to the glove. I like taking my chest to the glove because it helps me finish the pitch better.
7 Release the ball out in front with the fingers on top. Let your arm follow all the way through. Trying to stop in will make you very sore the next day and possibly cause injuries in the future. Let your right leg come around at the same time your arm is following through and get it quickly back down on the ground so you can get into a good fielding position.
Pitching mechanics from the stretch are pretty much the same as mechanics from the wind up. I am only going to go over the differences in this article. To see some more specific mechanics and ideas that can really help check out pitching mechanics from the wind up and throwing basics for a conventional pitcher and non pitcher.
You want to pitch from the stretch when there are runners on base. You pitch from the stretch because it gives the runner less time to steel than they would have if you went through a whole wind up. Therefore it is very important to be quick with your stretch.
Here are the steps you need to go through for proper stretch mechanics.
1 (For a right handed pitcher) Make sure your right foot is flush up against the pitching rubber. Some guys like to dig a little hole so that the side of their cleats have something to push off of.
2 Put the left leg straight in front of the right leg about shoulder width apart. At first it will be a little further than that where you will take your sign. But after that your feet should be about should width apart.
3 At the same time you should join your hand which has the baseball in it to your glove. This is where you will get the grip of the pitch. You always want to have the ball in your hand and not in your glove for the sole reason of the runner leaving early. This also helps make it easier to get the grip of the pitch without fidgeting too much in your glove and letting the hitter know what’s coming.
4 Lift the left leg about half as much as you would in the wind up. Your hands will have to be a little faster in this stage too because they need to catch up to your faster lower half. We are being fast here because we don’t want the runner to have too much time to steal on us. A slide step can also be mixed in once in a while. A slide step is virtually no leg lift at all. It seems as if the pitcher just slides right over the clay as he gets into the power position. This is very good to do if you think a runner is stealing.
It is very hard to master though because the timing of your mechanics will be totally different from normal. To see the rest of these mechanics go to pitching mechanics from the wind up and throwing basics for a conventional pitcher and non pitcher.