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Friday, February 25, 2011

Baseball Coaching Digest - Coaching Young Baseball Pitchers With the 1, 2, 3 Pitching Drill

Baseball Coaching Digest - Coaching Young Baseball Pitchers With the 1, 2, 3 Pitching Drill
By guest author: Nick Dixon

Quality pitching is one of the keys to winning baseball games. Regardless if you are coaching a Little League, High School or College baseball team, it is difficult to consistently win with a weak pitching staff.

Quality pitching staffs are made not made through hard work, off-season training, and a commitment to detail when it comes to baseball pitching instruction. Learning to pitch a baseball requires a lot of practice repetition and drill work. The player must learn to control both his body and the flight of the baseball. One of the best baseball pitching drills for learning body and ball control is the "1, 2, 3 Baseball Pitching Drill". This article clearly explains how this drill is performed.

The drill is best performed in a bullpen setting with a catcher at regulation distance. But it can also be performed at shorter distances. The drill can be done on flat ground, on a portable mound or on a regular pitching mound. The emphasis is on the proper execution of the three separate phases of the pitching process.

This drill teaches the proper mechanics of pitching a baseball in a three-phase or 3-step process. This drill breaks the pitching process or delivery into three clear and distinct phases. The first stage is the start of the delivery. The second phase is the balance point stage. The third stage and final stage is the follow through and finish stage. It is important that the pitcher can identify each stage and can separate the stages in his mind.

Phase #1 - Toeing the Rubber and the Start the Pitching Motion

The pitcher assumes his normal stationary position prior to his initial motion or movement. The pitcher will take his "rocker: step or step back with his stride leg. This "rocker" step allows the pitcher to rock his weight off his pivot foot so that the pivot foot can be turned parallel with the pitching rubber.

The pitcher begins the drill by doing only phase 1. The pitcher will do the phase 1 movement process very, very slow. After several slow motion reps, he will begin to do the body actions at regular game speed. The player should freeze at the point when he has completely all of the phase one movements of the body.

Phase #2 - Achieving a Perfect Balance Point & Separation

This phase allows the pitcher to get the feel of reaching his perfect balance point. The lift leg thigh should be parallel to the ground. The hands should begin to part when the lifted leg begins to drop. This parting of the hands is called "Separation". Once the hands part, both the ball hand and the glove hand swing smoothly downward in an arch. The hands will continue upward in a perfect arch until the elbows reach the "T" position.

During this phase the pitcher will also practice taking the ball back to the "top" position in his delivery. This is the point at which the ball is at its highest point and pointed away from the body. The pitcher should also take his stride leg forward during this stage. The key is that his stride leg should land at the same time the ball hits its highest point. Special attention should be given to making sure that the stride foot land on the ball of the foot or flat. The pitcher should start performing this stage in slow motion. The pitcher should freeze at the completion of this stage. The pitch should practice putting phase 1 and phase 2 together in slow motion. After several slow motion reps, the pitch should begin doing phases 1 and 2 together at game speed. The pitcher should freeze when the ball gets to the "cock" position at its highest point and directed away from the body.

Phase #3 - The Throw, the Follow Through and Final Finish Position

The final phase drives the pitchers body toward the plate. The stride foot should have landed before this phase begins. The stride foot should be in a landed position on a straight line or slightly closed to the plate.

The pitcher should finish with the head down, chin in front of the stride toe, and with the throwing hand finishing outside and below the stride leg knee.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this article. I hope that you found it to be informative. Have a great day, Nick

The CoachesBest Baseball Store has a great selection of 1400 Baseball Products. Check out the BatAction Hitting Machine baseball pitching simulator. This high speed training machine is 100% Guaranteed to raise Batting Averages and has a full year warranty.

Nick Dixon is the President and founder of Nedco Sports, a sports training company established in 1999. Dixon is also an active and full time high school baseball coach with over 25 years experience. Coach Dixon is better known as the inventor of the BatAction Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Derek Jeter Hurricane Hitting Machine, the SKLZ Target Trainer, the SKLZ Derek Jeter ZipnHit Pro, and the SKLZ Strikeback Trainer. Dixon is also a contributing writer for BaseballCoachingDigest, the Youth Baseball Digest, the Baseball Parent Guide, the Baseball 2Day Coaches Journal, and Blog4Coaches.

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick