Lets get a few things straight right now… for the most part you can all “pitch” most of the drills that you have your pitcher(s) doing right out the window.
Most are not only counterproductive for achieveing pitching success but, they may actually be hurting other parts of the mechanics.
Drills are not meant to teach someone how to pitch. When that happens, more often than not, the pitcher will begin breaking things down too much in the motion. That’s no good for anyone. So many pitching coaches today put way too much emphisis on drills. Often, they have a 1/2 hour worth of “drills” in a 1 hour coaching session. Drills do not teach pitching! They should be for corrective behavior only!
All too often I get asked what kind of drills do I recommend. My response is always the same, hardly any! I don’t recommend many of today’s drills which
are so common among pitching coaches because being a pitcher myself, I know what is helpful and what isn’t. Yes, I do have my students do some drills from time to time. But, it’s only in a situation where I know
the drill being done is not effecting other parts of the mechanics. I will not recommend a drill to someone without having seen the pitcher! I think you
should be leary of someone who’s willing to give drill advice without having seen the pitcher and knowing what the ramifications of the drill can be.
Yes, there are some good drills out there. But, they are mixed in with so many bad ones. And, it’s hard to know what is right or wrong when a coach is telling you to do something. Making sense out of the info that’s out there today is not easy. I use a simple rule of thumb regarding drills.. keep the entire motion in mind. If your coach has the drills going where the legs are not in motion or other NO-NO’s in pitching… find a new coach quick!
Some of the worst drills people can do:
1. Standing sideways and swinging their arm through the hip without moving the front leg up and down with the arm. WHY? Everything in the motion must be moving together. Also, be careful the the pitcher is not turning their body too soon where the hand and hip pass together.
2. Standing facing the catcher, keeping the feet stationary and pitching full windmill. This is horrible! WHY? The pitcher is teaching bad muscle memory. 80% of pitching is in the legs, why take that power away? You want the hips/legs to move and transfer the weight on each pitch. This drill is very conterproductive.
3. Wrist snaps. It’s important to know that standing front or sideways and doing wrist snaps isn’t doing what you think it may be. The pitcher should always remember that to get maximum velocity from the arm, they need elbow AND wrist snap. I do not understand why a pitcher would want to train themselves to take the elbow out of the pitch!
These are just some of the many bad drills out there. I hope to hear from you with feedback to this and to ideas on other things you’d like me to discuss. I’ll try to update this website as often as I can so,
please keep checking back.