Teaching, training and developing young baseball pitchers takes a lot of time, patience, and practice repetition. Many young pitchers need to practice pitching skills daily. To keep the interest level high, it is best to use a variety of drills on alternate days to prevent boredom. Here are 4 baseball pitching drills that can be used to train youth and beginner pitchers.
Drill #1 – Up & Out Foot Drill Objective – To help pitchers perfect the proper back leg action. The purpose of this drill is to stop foot drag and prevent over striding.
Equipment Needed – A brick, block or wood or other suitable object. The object will be placed at a location just in front of the pivot foot of the pitcher. The pitcher will be working out of the stretch. The pitcher should be reminded to roll and pick his back foot up so that it clears the object.
Procedure – The pitcher throws using his normal motion and delivery. If the pitcher fails to clear the object, then his back foot is “dragging” or he is over striding. Young pitchers should be coached to step out of the “hold” and up and over the block.
Drill #2 – Dot Spot Drill Objective – The purpose of this drill is to build confidence, to teach young pitchers to hit their spots and to teach young pitchers to have great control.
Equipment Needed – Good balls, Catching equipment, and glove.
Procedure – The catcher has 4 dots on his gear. The 4 dots or spots are different colors or they each have a number on them. The dots are taped to each knee on the shin guards and one to the left shoulder and right shoulder. The catcher or coach calls a color or a number. The pitcher must hit the dot called. The pitcher has 6 pitches to hit all 4 of the dots. All dots should be called in different orders each time. If the pitcher fails to hit 4 dots correctly, the pitcher must do 10 push ups. Two pitchers can compete to see which finishes first. The dots may be placed lower on the catcher to stress keeping the ball low or down in the zone.
Drill #3 Long Toss – Power Building Drill – Pitchers should long toss several times a week to build strength and endurance. The two players should warm-up as usual and then move back a few steps after each 4 throws. Pitchers should be able to increase their strength and extend their distances within weeks. Pitchers of all ages should work out to a distance at least 3 times their normal pitching distance. Some coaches allow players to “crow hop” at the farthest distances. That is up to you.
Drill #4 – Front Side Drill Objective – This drill is used to teach and reinforce the proper front shoulder action during delivery.
The drill is performed as the pitcher kneels on the pivot-leg knee. The pitcher will begin the drill with the throwing arm in the “T -position” and the stride foot aimed at the plate. The pitcher begins the throwing motion by pulling and tucking his front arm and glove. At the same time he is bringing his throwing arm and shoulder around and toward the plate. The drill should be performed many times to give the pitcher the feel of proper mechanics and front shoulder movement. The front elbow should be used as the guide for the front side. The glove should be extended out and tucked as the pitcher rolls his lead shoulder and pulls it in. This deceptive move is used to distract and deceive batters. The drill should be finished with the throwing arm in proper finish position outside the stride leg knee.