Whether you're in the middle of a season, practicing in the off-season, or getting warmed up for another year, baseball pitching drills are an excellent way to perfect your technique, work on new pitches, and keep your muscles active and ready. But when you’re juggling school, hobbies, and other activities, you don’t always have time to hit the baseball diamond to practice on your own, and that’s when baseball pitching drills like these three can come in handy.
1. Working on Balance
This is a very simple drill that you can practice on your own, but it’s an excellent way to improve your balance and practice on taking your time with each pitch. If there’s no one around to check your form, try setting up a mirror nearby that you can use to keep an eye on your body’s positioning.
Go through your regular wind-up routine, but stop when you get to the kick, holding at your balance point for three to five seconds. Have a friend, coach, or teammate make sure that your leg is waist-height or higher, or have a look in the mirror. If you have trouble holding the stance for five seconds, practice tightening up your abdominal muscles, bending the leg you're standing on and aligning the height of your hips and shoulders.
2. Improve Accuracy by Hitting the Bull’s-Eye
This is a good partner drill to practice with a friend or teammate, as it will give you both an equal opportunity to practice improving your accuracy. Start by sitting cross-legged on the ground, facing each other, about 20 feet apart (gradually increase the distance to 30 feet as you get better). When you start, toss the ball back and forth, aiming at each other’s centers. The less the receiver has to move his arm to catch the ball, the more accurate the pitch.
As you improve, you can make this drill harder by making it a bull’s-eye practice. Seated as you were at the same distance apart, take turns pitching to each other again, but this time, the catcher will sit with her glove in front of her face, protecting her head. The pitcher should aim for the glove, focusing on proper shoulder rotation and keeping her elbow above the shoulder.
3. Learn to Maintain Speed with Follow-Through Drills
The purpose of this exercise is to get you to practice breaking at the waist. When you pitch, you want your body to bend forward at the waist as you flick your wrist, propelling the ball away from your hand. This puts the force of your entire body behind each pitch, causing the ball to move faster and lose less momentum.
To practice this, kneel down on the ground. Go through your regular pitching motion, but just before you’d normally release the ball, stand up instead. This will teach your whole body to move when you’re pitching, and encourage you to bend forward at the waist when you throw.
With these simple home baseball pitching drills, you can work on your accuracy, balance, and follow-through in the comfort of your own backyard or out at the park with friends. Practicing year-round or when the weather allows will keep you in top form, and ensure that you're always ready to step onto the mound.
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