Drill: Pitching Accuracy - 40 pitches
Improve a pitchers ability to focus on accuracy and throw strikes.
Catcher in full gear; baseball.
Use a rubber home base and a catcher. Put 4 cones down with the first cone being 1/2 way between home plate and the distance to the mound. Place the second cone 3/4 of the way, the third cone would be the distance to the mound and the final cone would be another 1/4 distance beyond the mound.
After a proper warm-up the pitcher will start at the first cone (1/2 distance) and throw 10 pitches to the catcher at 3/4 speed. The catcher will count balls and number of pitches. If the pitcher makes it to 10 pitches from a distance before throwing 4 balls, he can move back to the next distance after completing the tenth pitch. If he throws 4 or more balls at the distance, he must stay at that distance for the next 10 pitches. The goal is to successfully complete all distances throwing 3 balls or less at each distance.
Since a pitcher is pitching at different distances and not off a mound, don't use this drill to help them work on mechanics. This drill should be used to help them work on concentraction and focus. Many pitchers who have good mechanics, simply have a tough time contentrating for an entire innning when they're on the mound. This drill can help them develop that concentration. As you'll see in the modifications below, you should adjust this drill for the skill level of the player. You want to make sure they can be successful enough that they are encouraged to keep improving. If a player doesn't have the skill to make it past the first level, they will most likely be frustrated with their failure and will be too frustrated to work on improving their focus which is the point of the drill.
For younger players have a parent call balls and strikes and keep track of number of pitches. You may also change it so they only have to throw half of the pitches for strikes to move back to the next distance.
As they improve you can then change the requirements to make it more difficult.
This is a great drill to track during the season. Challenge the kids to see if they can make it through all the levels and then make it more difficult.
I have bought many patches form you last winter and they were a big success. It really helped out the kids to keep them focused and motivated. IT worked so well we won the Little League Baseball championship. The kids knew that if they had a good play or kept the team up and motivated they could help out the team. It make things more fun for everyone.
- Stephen O.