Pitching is considered one of the most difficult activities in sport. There is a reason that a strong, shut-out capable pitcher makes big dollars, and that's because the talent and dedication that goes into being a strong pitcher is only matched by how dominant those skills are on the mound. Think about it this way, if a pitcher is truly capable, and given the right circumstances, they could in fact defeat another team on their own, entirely.
Before no-hitter dreams, however, the basics must be grasped. While the raw talent and drive to practice cannot be taught, a young pitcher can learn the tools to succeed. Such as, the basic pitches that can be molded into a particular style and open the way for the more advanced pitches. Able to be practiced in a wide field or at your local batting cages, these are some of the grip mechanics for our favorite basic pitches.
The fastball is the bread and butter of a young pitcher. Master the most basic of throws in order to upgrade to the more technical or uncomfortable grips. A basic, 4 seam fastball begins with crossing your index and middle fingers perpendicular across the seams of the ball that form a horseshoe. Place your thumb beneath the ball on the leather in the middle of the second "horseshoe." Make sure that there is space between your hand and the ball, and keep your grip on the ball slightly loose. Friction holds a pitch's speed back and makes the ball leave your hand slower, keep loose to make sure that ball flies as fast as possible.
3 Finger Changeup
The change up is the classic off-speed pitch for throwing a batter off their game. A seasoned batter could read the changeup as a time to swing for the fences, but a young batter will bite at just about anything and a changeup is a great way to get them frustrated and swinging. Lay three fingers perpendicular on the stitches as you did with the fastball above. Touch your thumb to your pinky underneath the ball and hold the ball deep into your hand. The more contact with the ball, the slower the pitch. Throw with all the same fastball mechanics, the differences in grip and pressure on the ball with crank down the speed and catch the batter off guard.
The basic curveball is a stellar throw for getting a young pitcher comfortable with more advanced techniques. Line your top two fingers on the seams, and your thumb on the top/back seam. Then, remove your index finger so that you're gripping with your thumb and middle finger. Use your index finger to guide as you finish the throw; otherwise, simply rotate your thumb upward and snap your middle finger downward as you throw. The curve should be basic, but effective. Wean yourself off this pitch as you get into college ball though, a batter worth his salt can see the lifted finger on delivery a mile away.
Throw at least twenty of these pitches a day. If you need space or training partners, head to you local fun center and hang around the batting cages. There's going to be a batter training there who will be willing to square off against a real pitcher. Also you could rent out a batting cage for pitch training, as well as batting. The right setting or opposition will make your practice that much more fruitful.
Come to Camelot Park in Bakersfield, CA & see all of the rides & attractions. they have go karts, mini golf, batting cages, arcade games & much more!