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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Baseball Pitching Tips: Fourteen Ways To Turn A .300 Hitter Into A .210 Hitter

Baseball Pitching Tips and Techniques

By Baseball Coaching Digest Guest Author: Jay P. Granat, Ph.D.

Baseball pitchers at every level are always looking for an edge over the hitters that they compete against. This is true in little league baseball, high school baseball, college baseball, in the minor leagues and in the major leagues.

Here are a few tips that can help pitchers to throw more strikes in those big games.

1. Pitchers can benefit from utilizing records, data and video from previous games with hitters so that they can understand how best to pitch to certain batters. For instance, if the hitter likes to extend on the ball, it makes sense to pitch him inside. Similarly, if a hitter has trouble with a fast ball, the pitcher may want to rely on this basic pitch.

2. Pitchers can benefit from developing four or five pitches. While this is not a physically easy task, having a variety of pitches can keep batters guessing and consequently, off balance.

3. Throwing strikes is very important. In addition, focusing on throwing strikes can help to remove mental clutter from the pitcher's mind and can help to simplify the task at hand for many pitchers.

4. In fact, according to Carlton Chin, an expert in sports, math and statistics, at the major league level, staying ahead of the hitter can actually turn at .300 hitter into a .210 hitter. This ninety point swing can be a huge advantage for the hurler. Pitchers need to have an appreciation of this simple mathematical fact.

5. Pitchers need to have a good working relationship with their pitching coach, their head coach and their catcher.

6. Pitchers need to know what kind of self talk allow them to "enter the zone" when they are on the mound. As one pitcher told the author, "It is all about how you communicate with yourself."

7. Some pitchers benefit from knowing how to empty their minds of all distractions before each and every pitch. This empty mind helps them to allow their athleticism and years of training to take over when they are on the pitching mound.

8. Some pitchers think in terms of hitting the catcher's mitt. Others try to hit portions of the plate. Pitchers need to choose a target which gives them the right amount of focus but which does not create too much anxiety for them. The right target can very from pitcher too pitcher.

9. While location of pitches is very important, pitchers need to remember that good pitching is also about disrupting the hitter's timing. Varying speeds can be a very useful skill for baseball hurlers.

10. Some pitchers put too much pressure on themselves by forgetting that they have teammates on the field who can help them to win games. A ground out or fly out is as good as strikeout much of the time in baseball.

11. Some baseball hurlers do well by focusing on one simple part of their mechanics. (Follow through, use your legs, easy does it, transfer your weight.)

12. Having a consistent pre-pitch routing helps many pitchers to perform well.

13. Knowing the pace that you like to pitch at is also important. Some pitchers like to work rapidly. Others need more time between each pitch. Pitchers who are struggling may want to adjust their pace of pitching accordingly. Experiment with less time or more time and see what works best.

14. Pitchers can benefit from mental toughness training which shows them how to be relaxed, confident, focused and resilient when the pressure is on. Hypnosis, visualization and meditation can help pitchers to maintain the right mindset in the dugout, in the bullpen and on the mound.

Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is a Psychotherapist, Author and the Founder of He has been featured in many major media outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, ESPN and Sports Illustrated. Dr. Granat is available for coaching and for seminars. He can be reached at or at 888 580-ZONE. He has recently developed a program for baseball pitchers How To Throw More Strikes With Sport Psychology And Self-Hypnosis. Here is the link to get this program.

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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