Friday, January 13, 2012

Skills to Master for Good Baseball Pitching

Pitching is one of the more difficult skills to master in baseball. When a hitter digs in in the batter's box, your job is to throw him a pitch he isn't looking for -- curve, fastball, slider, sinker -- in a location that will be difficult for him to reach and at a speed that will throw him off balance. To be successful, you need excellent mechanics to execute your pitches properly.
Focus On The Target
Look at the catcher's glove and concentrate on hitting it with your pitch. If you allow your mind to wander and your vision to go off course, you probably are not going to hit your target and that will make it impossible to throw strikes. Take command of your pitches and control of the strike zone.
Goal Post Position
When you release a pitch, you need to be driving toward home plate with your body and generating as much thrust as you can. Do this by first getting into the goalpost position, says Westmoreland (Pennsylvania) County Community College pitching coach Terry Mularski. Position the elbow on your glove hand at the same height as the elbow on your pitching arm. Both elbows should be at shoulder height -- mimicking the shape of a football goalpost -- as you prepare to deliver the ball.
Hip Rotation
Rotate your hips to generate power on your pitches. Point the ball backward as you are winding up so as to open your hips. Once you have reached the top of your windup, drive forward and your hips will be fully involved in your delivery. This will help you throw the ball with power and accuracy.
Weight Transfer
Drive through the release point while maintaining solid eye contact with the target. As you release the ball, make sure your front leg hits the ground at the same time. This is not the end of the pitching motion. Follow through and bring your other -- power -- leg around to the front to achieve a full weight transfer. Then get into the proper fielding position so you can help your team on defense.

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