Pitching is an underlying aspect of every baseball game play, which involves getting the ball to the catcher, by getting past the batter by means of variety of pitches. Pitching styles differ for effect. If the ball successfully passes through the strike zone or does so partially without being hit by the batter, such a throw is termed as a strike. The ball thrown has to enter the sphere of the strike zone, and if it does not it is called a ball. In the game of baseball, there are two pitching positions, windup and stretch. Any position may be employed at any point in the game.
Drills are physical exercise or a premeditated design to enable the player to get more force, velocity, and curve behind his throw, and in the long run this is a major help for every baseball team. The pitcher is one of the most important players of a team. The level of perfection and effectiveness that is desired can only be reached by constantly practicing drills in order to develop a better throwing arm and technique. The importance of drills are more than just getting a stronger and faster throw.
Benefits of Drills
- Reducing the possibility and risk of serious injuries.
- Improve the accuracy and the control of the baseball while throwing.
- Develop and master proper pitching techniques and mechanics.
- Increase the velocity and movement of the baseball while pitching.
- Develop greater muscle strength in the throwing arm.
- Make the baseball training enjoyable and fun.
One Knee Drill
The purpose of this drill is to improve the arm action of the pitcher, and give better control. If the player is right-handed, then he needs to get down on his right knee. Now he must hold the ball in his hand and swing his arm around a few times. Next, he must throw the ball to the catcher, and should follow-through on the pitch with his elbow bent and crossing over the opposite knee.
The purpose of this drill is to enable proper follow-through as well, and it teaches the ball player how to brace up his leg after pitching the ball. The position is the same one-kneed one as for the one knee drill, and the only difference is that the right foot is placed upon an inverted bucket while hurling. As soon as the ball leaves the hand, the pitcher must stand up and keep his right leg up off the ground.
Pause and Balance Drill
This is a good drill for a beginner who is having difficulty getting his throwing action and follow-through correctly. A coach is required to be present next to the pitcher. The pitcher does not have a baseball in his hand; he pretends that he is going to throw the ball, and carries out all the necessary actions. The coach may ask the player to pause at any time and hold the current position for balance. He then proceeds to tell the player how to correct the posture, and then hands him the ball and tells him to continue. The moment at which the player pauses and gets the ball depends upon the coach and no one else.
Quick Hands Drill
This drill is meant to improve throwing velocity and technique using muscle memory. Muscle memory is a pretty complex term, which implies that the more you practice a particular sequence of movements, the easier it will be to perform. Keeping this is mind, it is important to practice the proper pitching techniques, without a baseball in the hand, a number of times in rapid succession. By doing so, an imprint of the movements stays in the muscles, and it becomes easier to throw a faster and stronger pitch. Carry out the movements, but remember not to move your feet. Keep them planted in a stationary position at all times.
These drills are great ways of improving a pitcher's control, velocity, technique, and mechanics. With some determined practice and hard work, one can develop the best techniques and really take it to the next level.