It doesn’t matter how many pitches you have – if you don’t have control of them, they are worthless. A pitcher that can put the ball where she wants AND when she wants is an effective pitcher. Control is the most important tool for a pitcher. The younger they understand this, the faster they’ll develop.
Always set up your target or have the pitcher aim for the corners. Always. Every drill. Every pitch. Always.
Use the quadrant as way for the pitcher to visualize where she needs to throw the ball. For younger pitchers, just have them work on the lower in and out spots so they can learn to keep the ball down. A lot of pitchers, especially the younger ones, think a strike down the middle is a great pitch. It’s important to teach them early on that this is NOT TRUE! A pitch down the middle is the easiest pitch for a batter to hit!
Reasons a pitcher misses their spots:
- Mental game
- Not warm or rushing
- Change in delivery or grip
- Aiming or pushing the ball
- Unnecessary body movement
- MENTAL GAME
Making sure that your pitcher is focused during practice is crucial. It’s common for a pitcher to get bored and nod off into LaLa Land. Keep them focused. It’s better to have 100 pitches in a workout where they are focused than 500 non-focused.
10 Point Game
This is a fun game I play with all my pitchers. She starts out with 5 points. If she hits the target, she gets a point. If she throws a ball (or doesn’t hit the target), she gets a point taken away. If she throws it down the middle, she gets MINUS 2 POINTS. If she gets to zero, she loses. If she gets to 10, she wins!