Baseball is a game of proper mechanics and fair practice. However, both are interrelated. There is no point in practicing a technique if it is incorrect. And this is especially true when it comes to pitchers.
It is essential to immediately recognize the lousy pitching techniques of the players and work on how to fix those throwing mechanics.
But don’t worry, it’s nothing which can be worked on! Mentioned below are some of the best tried and tested ways to fix bad baseball throwing mechanics and master your pitching skills on the field. So keep reading.
For an accurate throw, a proper grip is a must. Once the hold has been done correctly, there are a few mechanisms that should be appropriately practiced for an efficient throw.
- Keep the ball in the middle of your body around the height of your chest
- The feet and shoulder should be in a straight line with the target
- When throwing the ball, the elbow should be kept at about 90 degrees
- Working in throwing the ball using the wrist and fingers. This gives more velocity to the throw. Sometimes, it’s also advised to use a wrist strap while pitching.
Swift baseball pitching is a lot about timing. If the pitcher’s timing is off, they lose their control. This puts the coach into a difficult position of having to change the pitch.
It should be suggested that the pitcher slows down a bit to make sure that they do not break their hands before the descent. Sometimes during the game, the pitchers rush their delivery, creating an off motion timing. Some pitchers go too slow, and they should be advised to be a little more aggressive in their pitching.
FIVE MISTAKES IN THROWING BALLS AND THEIR SOLUTIONS
GETTING OUT OF THE GLOVE LATE
The error in getting out of the glove late can have a severely detrimental effect on the entire cycle of the throw. When the hand Break is delayed, the thrower is forced to catch up with the sequential of throwing motion.
Just as the pitcher is beginning to come out of his original balance position and his front knee begins to lower down, his hand should start separating from the glove. This way, he will not at all be rushed and forced to get the arm into the proper position while delivering the ball.
FAULT IN THE ARM PATH
The pitchers take a faulty arm path. After the ball exits the glove, it is seen that the ball is coming down and behind the pitcher. As a result, the pitcher now has to hurry up to bring his arm in the correct position for proper delivery. If he is not able to rush and timing lapse occurs, then another mistake can happen next.
While bringing the ball out of the glove, the arm should always follow a “C” path or a “down, back and up” path. This is because such a route brings the arm in the correct position to give an effective delivery.
Many times it happens that a pitcher makes a throw, and his hand is still pointing at the shirt stop while his chest is facing the catcher. This is essentially called lagging, a common mistake that causes shoulders and elbow injuries among young players.
As the thrower is turning his chest towards the target, his arm should be in sync with the movement of his torso. An error in the sync of the arm and torso movement causes lagging.
FLYING OPEN OF THE GLOVE SIDED ARM
One of the common mistakes done by a pitcher is that his front side arm goes away from the body, creating a spinning effect. This causes the pitcher to drift off to the side instead of towards the catcher.
The error has two serious consequence-
- The pitcher has a problem in locating his pitch because timing a spinning motion is quite tricky.
- The pitcher loses his balance and is not ready for the fielding or to protect himself if the ball is hit towards him.
While delivering a ball to the catcher, all the momentum of the thrower should be driven forwards towards the catcher.
BREAKING THE LEAD LEG
When the pitcher snaps his knee straight violently and rapidly while shifting weight- it is called ‘breaking the lead leg.’ This mistake stops the forward momentum and forces the arm to make up for the difference to gain the desired velocity. This error in pitching is also one of the causes of shoulder and elbow injuries.
While delivering a ball, the momentum of the pitcher shifts his weight from his back leg to the lead leg. While this shift in pressure occurs, the lead leg knee has to be bent athletically instead of snapping it fiercely and rapidly.
Fixing Bad Throws of Young Players
The small size of hands in young players lead to incorrect grip.
Young players should be taught how to grip the ball by the use of three fingers, until the time they can grip the ball by using just two fingers and can keep two fingers and thumb near the middle of the ball.
The whole throwing motion is put into jeopardy if the player fails to turn the backside throwing foot to a 90-degree angle.
A strip of paper or cardboard can be played at an angle of 90 degrees so that the players can practice easily by lining their foot correctly with the help of the cardboard.
Weak lead elbow
The young players mostly fail to lift their lead elbow up to their shoulder height.
The players should be asked to point their lead elbow directly towards the target.
Inappropriate arm swing
The most common issue is an incorrect arm swing, which is also the hardest of all the mistakes to fix. It occurs when the player’s thumb begins to go over the ball in the arm backswing. Inappropriate swing can also result in a fatal arm injury.
Players should take their time to have a complete look at the ball facing away from them, at least until the time they get used to keeping their thumb under the ball.
Stride direction offline
Most of the young players open up and step away from their target, which is incorrect.
The young player can be kept directional by drawing a line or keeping two objects to stand in between directly at the target.
To fix these baseball throwing mechanics and pitching mistakes of young baseball players, parents and coaches need to keep a close eye on the players.
It is crucial to provide prompt guidance along with corrected techniques; otherwise, they’ll not be able to rectify their bad pitching mechanics on time.