Pitching Instruction

Pitching tips very focused for youth pitchers. Improve picthing performance and ability to throw safely without injury!

Note that "front foot" means the foot that strides toward the catcher; ie., the left foot for a right handed pitcher

Mechanics
1
Set
do not step too far out/back with front foot
this commonly throws a pitcher off balance
2
Foot placement
Put ball of back foot on the slope of the hole
Putting it in the bottom impairs rotation
Balance
Stand straight up with the body weight centered on the back foot
Leaning forward causes the motion to rush and the arm to "catch-up" which hurts the elbow
3b
 
Pitcher should be able to hold front leg knee up for 10 seconds with complete balance
This ensures stability and balance and helps prevent"catch-up"
4
Breaking Point
Hands move apart before front leg moves to plate
Imagine breaking a board across the knee, but turn the thumbs down
5a
Ball Down
Hand must be on top of the ball as the ball is taken back
"show the ball to the shortstop"
5b
   
or, "thumbs to the thigh, ball to the sky"
5c
   
or, "peace to the world"
5d
   
or, have the player hold a dumbbell out to the side first with the palm up, and then with the palm down. Player will soon see that there is more strength with the palm down
Cocking
hand should go down toward the back knee, then up
you can get more velocity than taking it straight back
6b
 
never let the batter see the ball behind your head
this is very common and is termed "hyper-abduction" which causes poor control and leads to elbow injury
Stride
Stride straight to the catcher
swinging open too soon opens the hips and contributes to "catch-up"
7b
   
swinging front foot across the line toward 3rd base (RHP) causes poor control and pitch location suffers
7c
 
Shoulders must be closed when front foot strikes
almost all youth pitchers have shoulder open at footstrike and it takes a LOT of practice to break this habit
7d
   
pretend shoulders are on a string that is attached from mound to plate
7e
   
draw a line from center of plant foot to home plate, and front foot should never cross that line in either direction
7f
 
Lead elbow must point to plate and then tuck
don't let it fly open as this ruins balance and causes early shoulder opening
7g
 
Lead foot lands with little toe pointing toward home plate
and with big toe toward the outer circle around home plate area
7h
 
Heel down with knee slightly bent
prevents shock at hip which can block proper hip opening
8a
Release
the last part of the hand that the ball touches (fastball) is the long fingertip
this improves control and prevents snap rotations of the arm that hurt the elbow
8b
 
keep the arm loose and relaxed, like a rubber hose
prevents "short-arming" and improves pitch speed and endurance
8c
 
push with back foot
better than dragging the toe, as it can add velocity. Tim Lincecum has perfected this
8d   arm slot above 3 o'clock looking at the upper arm as the hour hand on a clock from behind for a RHP, the elbow must be above the shoulder
9a
Follow through
fingers should almost scrape the ground

"pick the grass"

9b
 
don't kick back leg up
momentum of your body should pull the leg up without any effort
9c
 
back leg lands slightly in front of lead leg
allows proper rotation and landing in "athletic" centered position which helps with fielding
9d
 
don't fall off to the side (like Francisco Rodriguez - "K-Rod")

very hard to maintain control, and no possibility of fielding

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