Baseball Pitching Tips: How To Improve Control By Playing A Game That Is Fun!

Take a look at almost any inning in which three or more runs are scored and I would venture that in at least 75% of those innings one or more walks were involved. I teach pitchers that you must throw strikes consistently and I don’t care if a batter hits the ball into the trees past the outfield fence. You cannot give the opposing team free gifts. The first thing that should be taught to a pitcher is that he must have good command of his fast ball to all four parts of the strike zone. Good command equals good control. After step one is completed, step number two is to teach variations on the fast ball and the changeup. Step number three when a pitcher is old enough, is to teach the breaking ball.

Getting back to a pitcher’s control, alot of people don’t realize that control also means being able to throw a ball off the plate and not just over the plate. That means that I can throw a ball three or four inches off the plate to get a hitter out who “chases” bad pitches. If I’m ahead in the count, the batter almost has to swing at the pitch that’s just off the plate.

Control obviously also involves control within the strike zone, and not exclusively throwing the ball over the plate. Being able to control pitches up and in or low and away is very important. If I’m shooting for low and away and I’m too high by a foot, the pitch is not nearly as effective and could very well get hit hard. If I’m shooting up and in and I’m off by ten inches and get the middle of the plate, once again, it’s not nearly as effective. If you are serious about pitching, you should aim for a target every time you throw a baseball. Every time you throw a baseball! Control is the name of the game when it comes to baseball pitching. If you are a player, a coach, or a baseball parent, I want to share with you a game that my son Tyler and I play that has helped his control tremendously. And we have a blast playing it!

We play a game we invented called “Target.” We are both very competitive and this game is fun! Twenty points usually wins and you have to win by two points. We have a regular catch and give each other a target. The target can be left or right shoulder, left or right hip or basically wherever you want to place the target. If you are throwing and are within a foot of the target with a fastball, you get one point. If you throw a changeup or breaking ball (when old enough) and are within a foot, you get two points. (This gives you the flexibility to go after two points if you are trailing late in the game.) Not only will this help your control, but you will have a blast while you’re playing it!

Even if you want to insult my son Tyler and I and not play “Target,” remember that to improve your control, one of the best baseball pitching tips is to aim for a target EVERY time you throw a baseball! It can be your throwing partner’s left hip, right hip, left shoulder, right shoulder, etc.

How can this possibly not help your control? It has to! I post a new FREE baseball article on hitting, pitching or fielding EVERY Monday at Baseball parents who want to help their child, as well as players and coaches at ALL levels will benefit by reading them. Feel free to use the links on your blog, newsletter or to share them with any other baseball people you know and I promise you will be raising a few eyebrows!

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