If you watch any big league baseball game, you will see numerous ways to throw the ball 60 feet, six inches: left-handed, right-handed, over the top, three-quarter delivery, sidearm, etc.
Yet all MLB pitchers who consistently perform well have at least one thing in common: consistent, repeatable mechanics.
Youth baseball coaches and players can take a page from the pros by creating a mechanical foundation with specific baseball drills. This helps pitchers consistently repeat their successes. It also provides a baseline for adjustments and teaches pitchers to effectively stabilize and use their core and lower body.
When I was a pitcher with the Miami Marlins organization, I used the Line Drill to fine-tune my mechanics. I still use it with my clients today. It is an excellent pitching drill for youth baseball players, because it works your lower and upper body in unison to develop proper hip-shoulder separation. You learn to use your legs to power your arm and channel the energy from your lower half to produce power.
This drill can be used as part of your pre-game warm-up or between starts when you are working on your mechanics.
- Line up toe-to-toe with your target with your feet spread as wide as you would stride in a game. This mimics game situations and gives you an idea of how well you use your lower half.
- Your glove arm should point toward your target, and the ball should be up with your elbow slightly above your throwing shoulder. The baseball should be pointed away from your target.
- Keeping your shoulders in line with your target, rock back with your weight over your back leg.
- Drive your back leg into the ground, rotate your trunk and hips, and throw the ball to your target.
- Your front leg should work backwards and straighten out. Your chest should extend over your front leg as you finish your follow-through.
- The end is the key to this drill. Your back foot will not come off the ground. It will rotate as you drive to throw to your target, but you must keep it on the ground.
I hope you find this helpful and would I love to hear how you create your own mechanical foundation.
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