The following drills utilize a piece of equipment called the pitching post. Take a look at the video to get a sense of what this tool will help you accomplish. For more information on the pitching post, please visit gamersacademy.net/pitchingpost.
Upper Body Drill #1:
In this drill, we will utilize the pitching post to help with the action of both the glove arm and the throwing arm.
- The pitcher’s right elbow (assuming he/she is right-handed) is kept at a ninety degree angle, with the ball facing left center field, and the glove facing down, providing a straight line for the pitcher to follow while taking the glove down the post, palm down.
- The pitcher pulls the throwing elbow toward the target, allowing it to come forward while remaining above the post, creating a straight line to the target.
- The left side of the body does not create velocity for right handed pitchers; it should provide balance and direction.
- As the pitcher reaches with the glove, he should strive to create equal distance between the glove and his head, as well as the baseball to his head; thus, when pulling the glove arm back, and the throwing arm forward, they should meet in the middle, which allows you to rotate through your chest and core.
This drill is great for instructors, as it allows one to set up in front of the thrower, and take note of whether the glove drifts off to the side, meaning his front shoulder rolled up, and he’ll probably miss the target to his arm side.
Upper Body Drill #2
This drill is designed to work on the timing of the arm swing. In addition to the pitching post, we’ll be using a weighted ball in the glove hand, which provides balance, and allows the instructor to see whether the pitcher is rolling his glove thumb up as he’s rotating toward it—a positive indication that the elbow is getting close to his body and not flying to the side.
The goal is to create a arm path from the pitcher’s chest down, back, and up into what we call the “Power ‘L’, “ a ninety degree angle of the throwing arm. As the ball goes down, back and up, place a basket or another visual indicator behind the pitcher: if his hand hits the basket, he got too far behind his back with the arm swing. Watch the video below, and stay tuned for weekly instructional content, courtesy of the St. Louis Gamers.
Matt whiteside is the owner of All-Star Performance Baseball Camps and Clinics, and directory, pitching instructor, and coach of the St. Louis Gamers. He previously played in the MLB for six years. Additional resources for players, coches, and parents are available at gamersacademy.net.