How To Improve Your Pitching Skills

I'd vent to say 99% of articles written on how to become a better pitcher are geared to the mechanical portion of pitching, which of course is the most important aspect of "Beginning" pitching. However, there is much more.

Baseball pitching is the act of learning grips, presses, mechanics and execution, which is by no means a small task, but becoming a Baseball Pitcher requires these skills and habits just as important, Mental strategy and toughness.

Ever question how can a major league pitcher can throw a three hit shutout on Monday and allow 9 earned runs on Thursday without getting out of the second inning?

Great pitchers acknowledge that it is just a fact of life that for some unknown reason, they will NOT always have their best stuff on any given day. This is when they compensate for less physical prowess with increased mental prowess.

For instance, home plate measures 17 "across at its widest part and if you were to imagine dividing this plate into Hitting Zones, the middle 5" would have considered the sweet spot for a hitter where he has the best power and chances of connecting with the pitch, therefore the danger zone for the pitcher.

It's the ability to consistently work the ball in and out and up and down within these two 6 "sections, which will make you a great pitcher.


Ever wonder why an MLB manager will bring in a left handed relief pitcher to face a left handed hitter despite the right handed pitcher was doing OK? It's not because a lefty can not see the ball as well as he can off a right hander, the reason is, a Left Handed Pitcher, because it's physically difficult, therefore nearly impossible to accidently throw a pitch in the Left Handed Batter's Power Hitting Zone, which is down and inside.

The great pitcher learns from this natural phenomena and as a Righty uses this danger zone to his benefit, by throwing pitches inside and down, which is like offering candy to a baby, but the pitch location will be 2 "in off the plate and down In other words you'll entice the batter to swing at a ball, not a strike. Chances are he'll either miss the pitch, hit a foul ball or dribble a grounder to the right side of the infield.

Another basic strategy a pitcher will use is what's known as Climbing The Ladder. Let's assume you're a great breaking ball pitcher but the curve and slider are not moving today. However, your fastball seems to have increased in normal velocity. Use this to your benefit.

Even major league hitters can be overmatched by a major league fastball, so facing a hitter who you can overpower is not abnormal, but you still must pitch effectively. Like they say "even a blind mouse will find a piece of cheese occasionally," and a weak hitter can sometimes make a solid contact on a fastball in the wrong location.

Your strategy is simple:

1. Throw fastballs only as there's no since in throwing a curve ball, which is not working well, and give the batter the chance to make contact when it's obvious he's over matched with your fastball.

2. Work the plate in and out until you get a 1-2, 0-2 strike count on the hitter. Throw a fastball down the middle of the plate chest high for the strike out. Down the middle ??? That's what I said. In the batter's mind, especially with two strikes, a ball down the middle of the plate will induce a swing whether it's a strike or not.

The pitch will be in his eyes, which will appear to be a beach ball approaching, but the speed of the ball and the fact the ball is located Above his hands … he'll never be able to hit it.

These are but a couple of mental strategies which will greatly improve your pitching abilities.