Pitchers are human and are just like everyone else – practice is more interesting if it can also be a little fun. Discover a way to challenge your pitchers that includes some fun.
This is a great way to help engage young pitchers who might not have the ability to throw strike-after-strike, but who love having fun!
When you’re a beginning pitcher, practice can be rough. Imagine what it’s like to have little ability to throw a pitch that’s catchable, let alone, to throw a strike. Well you might be amazed how adding an element of “fun” and tying it to a challenge can motivate pitchers of all ages – particularly young pitchers.
I always bring a bag of balls to my pitching lessons, and in it are all kinds of crazy things. There are hockey pucks, spinners, Zip Balls, double-balls (2 softballs screwed together), Foam Trainers, 11” balls, 12” balls, 14” balls and some baseballs.
I’m always amazed at how interested kids are in “what’s in the bag?”. They love surprising me by going into the bag and pulling out all the different sized balls and then randomly pitching one of them to me without my knowing. This just cracks them up.
Now I know, my job is to help them learn how to pitch, but I firmly believe that improvement is tied to interest – and the more fun something is, the more interested they are in it. Especially if they’re a young kid. Until kids develop enough skill for their skill to keep them interested, we must find FUN ways for them to practice.
So, enter my Grab Bag Challenge. Here’s how it works:
- Put a bunch of different items on the ground. These items are things the pitcher can pitch that will help her work on making her hand talk better to the ball because of the different size or shape.
- A picture of the crazy things from my ball bag is to the left.
- Now, using her regular sized ball, for every strike the pitcher throws she gets to pick 2 items from the grab bag and pitch them.
- After doing this for a bit, up the challenge and make it – for every 2 strikes (doesn’t have to be in a row) she gets to throw 2 things from the grab bag.
- Then finish with the 10-strike challenge – if she can throw 10 strikes in the next 5 minutes (remember, they’re young pitchers) she gets 2 grab bag items for every strike – but only if she gets to 10.
You’ll be amazed at how focused the pitchers become because they’re motivated by fun – and yet they’re throwing strikes and getting better!
For help making your own Grab Bag, check out the following: