I’m a visual learner (I’m also a graphic designer!), so it helps when I can incorporate these types of visual tools into my coaching and training. The strike zone plate is the perfect tool to help pitchers see where they’re throwing the ball and have an immediate understanding of the outcome of that pitch during practice.
Let’s talk about how this thing works:
- Green, yellow and red are painted on the plate to represent the different areas of the strike zone.
- Red is in the middle of the plate which is the EASIEST location for a pitcher to get a called strike. It’s also the EASIEST location for the hitter to make contact. As a general rule, we want to stay away from that zone.
- The yellow zone is closer to the outside of the plate, which will be a little harder for the hitter to make solid contact. If the hitter decides to take, the umpire will more than likely call it a strike.
- Green is painted on the outside of the plate which is THE PLACE TO BE! I often say to my students, “This is where you want to LIVE.” Depending on the umpire’s zone, it may or may not get called a strike, but you have the highest chance to keep the hitter from making good, solid contact.
As a pitcher, this is the name of the game: make it as hard as possible for the hitter to make good contact with the ball. Staying on the corners is key. Use this home plate as a tool to make throwing on the corners a habit. Every pitch should be in the green… even when doing drills (even when you’re doing knee drills!)