Improve Your Pitches Using this 3 Plate Pitching Drill

If you’d love your pitchers to have better movement, here’s a great drill to help make that happen.

All pitchers work on their snaps and spins and, yet all their pitches don’t move. Don’t panic, I’ve got the drill you’ve been looking for.

Pitchers seem to constantly practice their spins and snaps and yet, they still struggle making their pitches move or making adjustments to their movement. On the surface, that sounds like it should be pretty easy. We usually yell out something like, “come on Cindy, make an adjustment” and expect that wisdom to do the trick. But we all know, it doesn’t. In fact, it usually just makes the pitcher more tense which ends up making things worse.

Making any pitch move requires the pitch to have 2 different segments:

  1. The Forward Part: which is always the longest since every pitch has to travel at least 38 feet forward
  2. The Movement Part: which is always the smallest part of every pitch since the pitch can’t move too far or its way out of the zone.

The problem is most pitchers practice their different pitches always focusing on the Movement Part and totally forget about the Forward Part. Every great pitch combines the two.

3 Three Plate Pitcher Pitching Pitch Drill Far Middle Close

So, here’s a great drill I’ve used to help pitches work through the puzzle of how much forward and how much movement they should give every pitch – I call it Close, Middle Far and it works like this:

  • Use your regular homeplate (which we’ll call the Far plate) and then create 2 more plates, each about 10 feet in front of the other. Use either throw down plates, chalk or even baby powder to make the 2 other plates (Picture 1 to the left).
  • Your pitcher will warmup her movement pitches, and then throw 3 pitches (of the same pitch) from each distance – Close, Middle, Far.
  • So it would look like this:
    • 3 curves (Close, Middle, Far)
    • 3 drops (Close, Middle, Far)
    • 3 Screwballs (Close, Middle, Far)
    • 3 Pitch #4 (Close Middle, Far)
3 Three Plate Pitcher Pitching Pitch Drill Far Movement Spin Forward

The Far distance won’t be hard since it’s really just the standard pitching distance. It’s the Close and Middle that will be a challenge. The pitcher needs to make sure her pitches are speed appropriate for the distance – meaning the Close distance needs to be slow and yet still curve, or drop or rise or screw. Like I said, this will be really hard for them at first, but as the catcher moves back and as the pitcher gets used to it, she’ll start to do much better.

This drill forces the pitcher to work on separating the Forward path of the ball from the Movement part.

This will be SUPER hard for your pitchers the first couple times through, but the more they adjust the better they’ll get. And the good news is, this will REALLY help your pitchers distinguish between Forward part of each pitch and the Movement part – and knowing which one needs adjustment.

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4 comments on “Improve Your Pitches Using this 3 Plate Pitching Drill

  1. Coach Jud

    We do a movement drill called “Left, Right, or On” . Place a softball 7 feet from home plate exactly in the middle of the plate but at 36 feet. Pitchers practice throwing both their curve and their screw over that ball and have it then break out to the proper edge of the plate. As they work on the they call out Left Right or On based on where the pitch goes over the 36 foot ball. They are successful when they throw an “ON” where the ball goes directly over the ball, yet still breaks to the edge of the plate. They can also understand by “left” or “right” why a pitch doesn’t end up where they want it to. Too far right or two far left. They get good with “ON” and the ball breaking to the black.

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