Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

Make the target bigger for more strikes

May 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Pitching

At all levels, pitchers run into times when their control suffers.  There are numerous causes to this loss of control.  Some are mechanical and some are mental.  Either way, it can be very frustrating for players, coaches, and parents when wildness occurs.  The key is for the player to make the necessary adjustments so that the wildness does not last too long.  Of course, that’s easier said than done.  One of the easier adjustments even young kids can make is to increase the size of the target to which they throw.  The photos below show what I am talking about.

 

Visualize a bigger target when needed

Visualize a bigger target when needed

The photo to the left shows a very small target that most pitchers are taught to hit.  It is a low, small target that basically is the size of the catcher’s glove pocket when he sets up before the pitch.  However, a small target can be tough to hit from 45-60 feet away.  As a result, pitchers can lose confidence in their ability to throw strikes.  The problem usually gets worse from there.

The photo to the right shows a larger target.  The box that is formed connects the catcher’s shoulders and knees.  It’s also about the size of the strike zone.  In this adjustment, the pitcher stops focusing on the glove and starts focusing on the larger target.

When pitchers struggle, mentally increasing the size of the target can sometimes cause a pitcher to relax and not aim so much.  When their control returns and confidence increases, they can then return back to the smaller target as needed.

A major key to any pitchers success is the ability to make their own adjustments on the fly instead of expecting/waiting for coaches to make the changes for them.  Increasing the size of the target is an easy one all pitchers can do.

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