I think Phil R gave some really good advice and I would like to expand a little more on those thoughts.
Here’s what I think:
Most pitchers struggle because they can’t feel the difference between a ball or a strike. They can’t feel the differnence between cutting the ball or pronating the ball.
I think the biggest mistake most pitchers make is to look for the answers by changing mechanics. They believe, change the mechanics and I will change the release point.
Personally, I think it’s backwards.
Let’s start with this question:
- Do you play basketball?
- if so, can you tell the difference out of the hand if the ball is in the basket, is it short or is it a brick?
- How do you know? reps for sure, but what about immediate feedback? In basketball there is no grey area, it’s either in or out.
That would be my recommendation for you. Make it more like basketball and here’s how you do it.
I’m getting ready to give you some advice that most pitching coaches would cringe at the mere idea of it.
- I want you to practice missing bad. Identify the middle of the plate (clear goal) and start by cutting the ball. Narrow your focus down to a feel with the finger, wrist position, it doesn’t matter.
Feel the bad and be able to identify it.
Go the opposite side of the middle (pronation) after every throw, ask yourself what do you feel. Again, narrow the focus down to finger pressure, wrist angles, etc… It doesn’t matter as long as you have a narrow focus.
Through the trial and error and immediate feedback you will begin to narrow down the possibilities and reduce the chances of failing, as long as you have specific intent and focus with each throw.
Close your eyes and repeat the process.
shoot for the middle and as soon as the ball leaves the hand, try and identify where you think the ball will finish. (eyes closed)
If you think the ball is IN, yell IN, if you think its OUt, yell Out
If you think it left the hand and will finish middle, don’t say anything. Begin to chart and see how you do. Pretty soon the release point will begin to change your mechanics and make it’s own adjustments.
I’m a big believer in feel and bridging the gap between what you see and feel. You just can’t rely on video or others feedback, you have to feel it.
Afterall, we make decisions every day based on senses other than sight.