How To Master the Mechanics of Pitching In Baseball

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is what you need to do...
Step 1

To be an effective pitcher, one must master the mechanics, provide adequate torque or arm speed, and follow through correctly. A pitcher has a motion on a pitcher's mound which prepares him to thrown the ball accurately and with intention- otherwise known as the windup. First, start with your feet together on the pitchers rubber. I like to be standing slightly on the left of the pitchers rubber. Your glove should be in front of your body with the ball in your hand and elbows resting near your sides.

Step 2

After deciding what pitch to throw. Begin your wind-up. A wind up is a pitchers rhythmic cadence to successfully deliver the pitch with optimal velocity and direction. Take a small step back at a 45 degree angle with your left foot (if you are a left-handed pitcher, this will be taken with your right foot)

Step 3

Place your right foot just in front of the pitchers rubber- so that is perpendicular to home plate. You may want to "dig" out a place to put your foot- as this is where you will push off from at the end of your pitching motion to generate maximal control and speed of the ball.

Step 4

Swing your left leg up into a "cocked" position- so that it is parallel to the ground. You should be able to balance in this position: with your leg cocked (even with your waist), your right leg in front of the pitchers rubber and your ball and glove together. Note that some pitchers like to move their glove over their head in this step- however, I always kept it near my chest.

Step 5

Swing your arm back- pointing the ball towards center field. The center and index finger should be on top of the ball and your arm slightly bent at about a 30 degree angle.

Step 6

Push off with your right foot and twist your hips towards home plate, pitching the ball. This is the point which you generate the speed of the pitch. Make sure to really push off of the pitcher’s mound, as it will impact the speed at which the ball is pitched. Your left foot should be pointing towards home plate. If your foot is pointed diagonally, it will impact the speed and follow through of the pitch. Make sure also to forcefully pull your glove downward to help increase the momentum of your pitch.

Step 7

Follow through with your right leg. After the ball has been pitched, you should be in an infielder’s stance, ready to field the pitch if it has been hit.

Special Attention

Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.

This should be one fluid motion. Remember, mechanics are essential and will determine the accuracy, speed and movement of the pitch. Try to push off hard with your right foot when pitching the ball. If you are a left handed pitcher, my leg movement directions will be reversed.

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This Student Author's Background

Funny or interesting story about this topic...

I found a simple pitching technique during my senior year as a pitcher which really improved my pitching performance drastically. Most pitchers at the High School and College level have a few different pitches: fastball, curve ball, and change up. I decided to throw my fastball the way I held a curve ball, but only placing my index finger and middle finger slightly to the left on the seams. What this did is made the pitch look like a fastball coming at the batter, but the last 4-5 feet before it crossed the plate would suddenly change direction in a downward diagonal direction. It would literally place batters in a mystery position when the pitch is coming directly at them, only at the last few feet cut down and cross over the middle half of the plate. You'll have the whole bench of the other team wondering what type of pitch it is. It was a very effective pitch and would recommend it to distinguish you as a pitcher. Hold the ball similar to a curve ball but throw it as a fastball- remember to follow through. I would classify it as a slider or very effective cut fastball. Give it a try today!

When did you first do this & how did you get started?

I was involved in baseball from an early age up through high school and college. I began pitching when I was fortunate enough to be chosen to represent Wisconsin at the CABA Little League World Series. I played baseball at the high school and amateur level during collage; receiving All-State Recognition my senior year.

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