Monday, June 26th, 2017

Bump your glove if you are a beginning pitcher

June 3, 2014 by  
Filed under Pitching

My son recently finished his first year of kid-pitch baseball.  Actually, it was a mixture of coach and kid pitch depending on how many kids pitched and how many strikes they threw.  The two most common tips I gave our pitchers (and the other teams’ as well) was to bring the leg kick up higher and to get their weight back before going forward to throw.

Most pitchers I saw did some variation of this on their first movement of their delivery…

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Their leg lifted off the ground and immediately went forward towards the plate and their arm came back at the same time.  At the little league level, a player with any kind of arm strength can get away with this due to the short distance the pitch travels.  Players with less arm strength aren’t that lucky though.

To accomplish both things (getting the weight back and lifting the knee high enough), my go-to line for virtually every pitcher was to bump their glove with their knee like this …

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When this occurs, two things happen.  First, the pitcher must bring his knee up high enough in order to make contact with his glove or glove wrist.  Second, because the glove is positioned at his belly button (also a tip for beginner pitchers), the knee must not only come up but it must come back slightly as well which allows the pitcher to gather their weight back and load up.

Both things allow the pitcher a better chance to do all of the following: 1) It gives the ball more time to exit the glove and travel the full path down, up, and over, 2) A player gains control of their weight and is not at the mercy of gravity when he falls towards home plate, and 3) It allows the use of the entire body, especially the larger core muscles which provide more power and also take some stress away from the arm.

All these benefits help a beginning pitcher but it is also very useful for the older pitcher who is struggling with balance and command. 

Some players benefit from a more complicated, scientific approach to adjustments.  Others may need the simple approach of something like “bump the wrist.”

Tomorrow’s post:  Should I basehit bunt to 1st or 3rd?

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