Monday, October 11, 2010

Drill 1: Balance Drill

1.  Start in stretch position with your hands together and hold them chest high.

2.  Slightly lift left leg, flexing (bending) at the knee

3.  Lower leg to about standing position without touching the ground

4.  Lift left leg, higher than the first time

5.  Repeat step three

6.  Once again lift left leg this time to a 90 degree angle flex at the knee

7.  Complete throwing motion as explained in previous posts. 

This drill will improve a pitcher's balance when striding towards the plate.  This drill targets a pitcher's legs, primarily the thigh muscle.  It is used to improve the leg movement and form in your pitching motion.  By correctly performing this drill repetitively your pitching motion will become more fluent.  Make sure to perform this drill slowly.

Novice Video

Expert Video

Step 1: The Set

Grip the ball in your manus (hand) in a four seam grip, as demonstrated in the previous video.  This is done by placing your dominant hand pointer and middle phalanges (fingers) on the seams of the ball. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and bring your hands together about chest high, standing laterally (sideways-not facing target). Have your cranium (head) facing toward your glove-hand acromial (shoulder), with your oculus (eyes) on the catcher's mitt (target).

Step 2: The Lift

Bring your left leg up to about a 90 degree flexion (bend) at your knee, simultaneously slightly lift your hands superiorly (closer to head) towards your chin.  At the same time there should be plantar flexion (ankle downwards) of your front foot. In this position you need to have a good center of gravity.  This helps you balance.   

Step 3: Separation

Separate your hands and abduct (stride) with your left leg toward home. The stride should be a comfortable one, so it shouldn't be too long. Drop your hands inferiorly (away from the head) and then seperate them. Extend your right arm back and up to a 90 degree angle.  Pronate (turn outward) your throwing arm and hand,  showing the shortstop the ball. Use your left arm to aim for your target. Your elbow should point toward the catcher. Keep your glove tucked in.  

Step 4: Release and Follow through

Bring your right arm forward, rotate your hips, release the ball out in front of you, towards home plate, and swing your right leg forward. Your front leg will laterally rotate, as it will now be facing your target. It is important to accomplish plantar flexion (ankle downwards)  before landing, as you should land on the front of your foot, not your calcaneous (heel). The throwing motion is in a diagonal plane, as your body moves diagonally. 

Step 5: Finish in fielding position

Continue the motion from the previous step and finish in a proper fielding position, which would be: balanced, feet shoulder width apart, flexion (bend) of the back, and have slight flexion (bend) at the knees.You want to have your left leg posterior (closer to back) so that you can easily open up if you have to cover first base. The last thing is to have your glove anterior (closer to front) and away from your body, so that you are able to field a ground ball if needed.