Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Pitching is as easy as catch.....when you learn how to do it correctly

    This first video is something I have thought about and have talked to many people, coaches, players, and have noticed several things in the past couple years.
  I would like to know other peoples opinions as well. I'm not saying this is the magic answer to pitching. But asking if this makes sense.
   Not only to you, but to the Pitcher/player as well.

  Can playing catch correctly, help make you a better pitcher?

  Before you laugh, I want you to really think about some things.

  Can you spot the correct ways and incorrect ways to throw in this video?

  Take away plays in games, and pitching, what do baseball players do the most? They play catch.
They are patterning their fingerprint of PITCHING. 
That's their style, their habits, where the good and bad parts happen.

 I want you to think of a center fielder catching a fly ball, and gunning some one out at the plate, better yet the form and the way he uses his whole body. I often use this expression when teaching kids how to throw from their legs and core, not just the arm. How to use their body/momentum/weight.
Can you spot the incorrect patterns in this picture?
Do you see the corrections that can be made?

  I want you to now just think of three things.
1. The throwing motion from outfield to home.
2. Pitcher off a mound.
3. Playing catch / warming up.

1. Some things you might have noticed. The glove is usually positioned up, the weight stays back, and there is a teeter-totter effect in the way his weight shifts. Next time you're throwing, after you have warmed up enough to make a couple throws at 80% into a net, or playing long toss. Toss the ball up in the air and imagine a runner tagging up at 3rd. When you make the throw I want you to notice that your glove is up, your weight starts back, and then shifts during the course of the throw. All your energy from your feet through your body and hand.

2. Does your motion have some similar movements? How many similar movements? What changed and why? Do you have problems with control, or don't have as much velocity? Of course within reason. Do you know why? Do you know how to correct it?

3. As Players, especially PITCHERS. We play catch more than any other type of throwing.  Every time you pick up a baseball, you are teaching your body how to throw. Stop teaching yourself bad habits. This is when your pitching can either improve drastically, or get worse every day!
Things that effect pitchers when playing catch:
  • Stress, had a rough outing becoming tense, or had a great outing and gets a little to loose/free. Both can have effect mentally and physically.
  • Tired, warn out, exhausted. Starts cheating motion. Glove action starts to get sloppy, pulls off, or starts going lower. Weight shift early easy to do from closer distances.
  • Hurries up to get ready, rushes through the motion, weight forward, arm lag, sloppy with weight, glove, arm, feet.
  • Strength, the player cheats the motion because the body isn't strong enough to control it YET.
  • Or. NEVER LEARNED  or have felt how to play catch correctly, meaning using their whole body, had a good arm that got them bye.

  The best time to make your corrections as a pitcher is in catch. Every time you throw a ball make sure its with a purpose. Every throw has a meaning, what are you trying to find out with your weight, how it feels off your fingertips, the movement, how to get the ball to the spot you want, being accurate again and again and again.
  If you can learn this in the off season its even easier due to the fact your not facing competition, your not throwing a ball and worried about the outcome, your training your body and learning how to feel the difference of using their body to throw and not their arm.

  Pitching is a process. There is no cure all, but there are some similar things that help pitchers become successful. Playing catch is just a very simple part of the mechanical process. That's just part of the formula to becoming a better pitcher.

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