If you’re like most pitchers, you want accuracy and yet it’s the very thing holding you back.
I know that sounds crazy, but not as crazy as this pitching workout – which will help make you better!
Before I say anything more, please know that I know how important pitch location is in a game. No matter how fast you are, or how many fantastic pitches you have, if you can’t throw them so the other team can’t hit them, it’s going to be a long day for you!
But, in our quest to become accurate pitchers we’ve gotten so freaked out about our control, that many pitchers actually slow down, or give less effort simply to be accurate. If that sounds like you, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Tons of pitchers do this.
It doesn’t matter so much whose fault it is you’re like this, or how you got so freaked out about control – what matters is that there is a way you can improve your control and also improve your courage. Pitching courage might be a strange phrase to you, but basically it means you have the courage to throw the ball hard and the confidence to know you can control it. If you have to throw slower and be “careful” to have control then you don’t have much pitching courage. Make sense?!
So the workout to the right is completely Crazy!! You can do all or part of it – depending on how brave, or willing, or eager you are to improve. In order to get better you’ve got to throw yourself out of our comfort zone and that includes pitching practice!
You’ll notice that even the warmups are crazy. No more up-close flips working on “spin”. Instead, start half-way back and throw fastballs at half speed. If you’ve never done this before it will seem hard, only because you’re not used to controlling the speed of your arm. And, in order to know whether or not you’re throwing the right speed – throw overhand to your catcher from half way and that’s the same speed you should pitch.
The rest of the workout continues to destroy your comfort zone (in a good way) – starting with putting targets for your pitches in very unlikely places. Fastball targets will be all over the place (except the strike zone) and your movement pitch targets will be opposite from what you’re used to. Keep in mind, I’m not trying to be nuts or make you nuts doing this workout. Instead, I’m trying to get you to realize that with practice, you can control where you throw your pitches and to do that, you’ve got to start throwing them in some unusual places.
And finally, you’ll finish the workout throwing things other than a softball! Now you might actually like this part since many of us have some rather unpleasant memories attached to that 6 inch yellow round ball. So, going through your rise, or drop of curve or screw using a bucket or a football or a tennis ball or a Frisbee will REALLY force you to work your hand properly. It will force you to first think about what part of the object in your hand do you need to move, and in what direction. NOTE – IF YOU’RE PITCHING THE BUCKET YOU WON’T MAKE THE FULL WINDMILL MOTION, SIMPLY WORK ON YOUR RELEASE WITHOUT THE WHOLE CIRCLE.
Good luck! It will be hard and unsettling at first. But focus on your little victories and accomplishments instead of simply repeating how stupid or hard it is. You’ll never be so happy to see that little yellow softball again!
For more help with your pitching workouts, check out the following: