One of the Baseball greats, Casey Stengel, opined that "Good pitching will always stop good hitting and vice-versa." Come to think of it, just like in cricket, you have bowling, which is the key to a team winning a game―pitching is the factor which can help a team win a game. This is where pitching drills come into the picture. They help would-be Babe Ruths to excel and improve in their sport.
On Your Knees
The aim of this drill is to make sure the lower part of the body does not come in the way of a proper arm action. It begins with a player going down on one knee, the side of his pitching arm. The other leg has to be raised. He stations himself around 50 feet away from another player, who is his partner. The player who is pitching will then rotate his shoulder in the direction of his partner, bringing the arm back, with the hand on top of the baseball. The elbow has to be bent, and the action should come to an end with the throwing elbow past the opposite knee.
The Fast and Furious
This drill helps increase velocity, and how! It is also called the 'quick hands' drill. The player has the ball in his glove, with the hands together in the normal pitching style. The toes of the lead leg are in the direction of the target. The legs remain in this position, shoulder-width apart all through the drill. The back foot will have to pivot on the toes once the ball is released. This pivoting is similar to what is done during a bat swing or a golf swing. The distance between the feet has to be the same. The mantra followed is not to step. This is then followed by breaking the hands in as fast and controlled as possible. Turning his hips, he throws the ball from a high arm slot, and does a follow-through by getting the elbow of the throwing arm to the opposite knee.
This one helps pitchers learn to get on top of the ball. Here, the pitcher spreads his feet in a throwing position, a bit wider than shoulder-width. The toes again point in the direction of the target. The back foot has to be on the ground all the while, and should only move to turn over onto the toes while the ball is released. At the same time, the elbow of the throwing arm has to be in level with the shoulders. That is what gets the entire arm in the high cock position.
A Child's Play
Count this one as a pitching drill for kids, as recommended by experts. This drill's name is 'What's the Number'. It is basically meant to help children focus on the mechanics. Kids should keep an eye on the catcher all the time. The coach here asks the catcher to hold his hand up after the pitch, and show 1, 2, or 3 fingers. The pitcher has to tell the number to the coach, standing behind the pitcher. The trick is that, the coach himself indicates to the catcher about the number of fingers to hold up. This makes children quickly get used to looking at the home base once the ball is released, and setting themselves up to field the ball.
Practice is of utmost importance. And if you seriously want to take up baseball as a sport, the guidance of a coach is something you should think about.