A Pitching Drill to Make Every Pitch Count

pitcher pitching one pitch count focus drill

Pitching is a skill that’s practiced a ton, yet when pitchers have to make that “one pitch” they often struggle.

Discover a drill to help pitchers make each pitch count.

Too often pitching practice is an unsupervised time when pitchers throw tons of pitches, just to be pitching. But games are NOTHING like that as each pitch matters, and with everyone watching. Learn how to make every pitch count.

The US has been blessed with a ton of tremendous pitchers from the current group we have now including Osterman, Abbott and Ricketts, to greats like Smith, Granger, Harrigan, Fernandez, Joyce, Tickey, Welborn and more.

We’ve always had great pitchers who grew up facing great hitters. Competition breeds excellence, and constantly having to face great hitters is one reason our pitchers have developed into such strong world class winners.

Just because your pitchers aren’t world class doesn’t mean they can’t work on developing their competitive drive and their ability to throw their best pitch when they absolutely have to get it done.

Great pitchers don’t become great overnight. They all start out the same – barely able to throw the ball through the strike zone. However, with tons of practice and an iron will to succeed they overcome their youthful wildness and master the art of pitching.

While I don’t know any magic potions you can pour over your pitchers to turn them into a Michelle Granger or a Cat Osterman, I do know a great drill to help your pitchers understand the importance of focusing on every single pitch.

I call it the One Pitch Scrimmage and here’s how it works:

  • Split your team into 2 teams and assign pitchers to each team.
  • This game will be like a regular scrimmage with the following exceptions:
    • THE PITCHER ONLY THROWS EACH BATTER 1 PITCH!
      • If it’s a Strike = the batter is out!
      • If it’s a Ball = the batter walks!
  • Foulballs & hit balls are just like they are in a game – repeat Foulballs and hit balls are either outs or hits.
  • Change after 3 outs
  • Keep score for each pitcher: The pitcher with the best score wins! (just like a game, hits don’t kill you but runs will.)

This game is tough as it forces pitchers, and hitters, to focus on THIS PITCH, instead of having a bunch of re-dos like they commonly get used to in practice. The pitcher that can dominate one-pitch in practice will start to dominate in games!

For more help with your pitching workouts try the following:

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  1. Simulated game is excellent. Pitcher uses imagination to visualize good hitters they have faced. Call balls, strikes, hits, runs if scored, outs of all sorts on each pitch. Coach, if present, calls the results of each pitch. Coach encourages or points out needs for improvements as innings progress. Rest slightly after three outs or have second pitcher go through her inning.
    You must be a good simulator in total concentration for you to get the best out of your efforts. Have used this drill on countless numbers of pitchers. It has NEVER failed to improve my students.
    I have pitched for 45 years. I am 72 and still pitch in competitive leagues. I am in superior condition to do this. But my pitching intelligence has guided me to this standard of excellence at this advanced age. Sandy Koufax, considered by many as the greatest BB pitcher ever, used this drill in the bullpen, before games he was to start. I came upon this drill years ago myself before I learned of Koufax’s use of it.

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