Listen close… What I’m about to tell you is very important.
Learning to throw harder with better command is EASY.
Yup. It’s true, and I’ll stand behind that.
Now I’m NOT talking about mastering your craft and becoming the absolute BEST pitcher you can be. That, my friends, is HARD. That takes work… Lots and lots of it.. Years and years of it, in fact. It’s the ideal. And there’s nothing more rewarding in the long run.
But for short-term velocity gains or quick improvement in control/command? For 97% of aspiring pitchers out there, that’s a cinch.
Take a kid who doesn’t throw very hard. Show him some good drills to work on leading with his hips, engaging his back leg.
Then spend some time working on it for 10 minutes for next 7 days.
Just 10 minutes…
EVERY DAY for the next week.
In 7 days, if he isn’t throwing with more power and velocity, shoot me an email an I’ll send you $5.
Or if a kid’s wild and lacks control. Two likely causes…
Issue # 1:He can’t even come CLOSE to repeating his delivery.
Issue #2:He hasn’t built up the volume of throws to learn what throwing a well-located pitch FEELS like.
Very easy to address both of these…
Addressing issue #1:
Work on improving his foundation with dynamic balance drills. Your mechanics work from the ground up. If you’re sloppy with your foundation, what do you think happens by the time momentum works it’s way up the chain?
Step 1) 5 minutes of dynamic balance work (working on controlling your body & CONNECTION with the ground)
Step 2) 5 minutes working on your pitching delivery. Focus on being CONSISTENT.
REPEAT EVERY DAY for the next 7 days.
Again, just 10 minutes a day. You can do more if you want, but that’s the minimum, and you WILL see results if you do this.
Addressing Issue #2:
You need to spend more time throwing to a target. Learning what it feels like to hit a spot… And repeating until it gets hard-wired into your nervous system (that’s how Greg Maddux could hit the catcher’s glove with his eyes closed).
Now here’s the thing. It’s the quality throws that matter most. Seeing the ball hit the glove, and remembering what that feels like. If you’re hitting the glove 1 out of 16 times, it’s gonna take a LOT of throws to build that muscle memory.
But there’s a way to shortcut this process.
Here’s what you do…
(this is one technique I’ve been using with my remote coaching guys, and the results are awesome)
1. Take video from behind the pitcher (from over his throwing shoulder). Be sure to get at least one well-located fastball (you can do the same for his changeup, curve, slider, or whatever other pitches he throws)
2. Take the best pitch from that video and cut it out into a separate clip.
3. Loop it so it plays over and over (recommend ~10 times).
Then here’s what you need to DO with that video if you’re a pitcher to DRAMATICALLY improve your command.
1. Watch this video for 5 minutes.
2. Close your eyes and play it over and over in your mind for 5 minutes.
Pay attention to what it looks like. Get inside your delivery and focus on what it feels like hitting that spot.
REPEAT EVERY DAY for 7 days before you go to sleep.
Here’s what one of my remote coaching pitchers said:
“Hi Phil, everything is going well. I have been watching the videos and I have been visualizing every day, and when I threw a bullpen yesterday I noticed an improvement in my control, with all my pitches.”
Again, 10 minutes a day is all it takes.
So why do so many pitchers struggle to throw harder or improve command? If it’s so easy, why wouldn’t everybody do this?
Answer: Because it’s also easy NOT to do it.
You have a choice. You can decide you want to get better and put in the extra bit of work every day (and be diligent about it). Or you can decide it’s not worth the effort and spend 10 minutes watching TV or goofing off on the [computer/phone/ipad].
The choice is yours. I can’t make it for you. Your coaches, teachers, parents can’t make it for you. You have to WANT it.
Doing the thing that needs to be done is EASY.
But it’s also easy NOT to. Don’t fall into that trap.
Until next time…
Committed to Your Pitching Success,