Hitting spots


#1

I would like to know how to hit certain locations like inside and outside with the fastball.


#2

the same way you get to Carnegie Hall. Focused and relentless practice that doesn’t deviate from the goal in which you get immediate and implementable feedback from someone who knows what they are looking at and how it works.


#3

In my opinion there are four factors in fixing control problems and improving accuracy pitching:

The mechanical aspects
Good physical conditioning
The mental process
Proper visualization

It really starts with having good mechanics. It’s very difficult to control the ball if you can’t control your body and get to a consistent release point.


#4

The subject that you’re asking about is as dynamic as it gets. Why? Because hitting your “spots” as you call it is NOT the approach that you want to use.

But first, let’s understand the total picture in general terms. Steven hit it precisely. In a nutshell he itemized controlling yourself, before anything else. All of those disciplines takes a lot of training, in and of themselves. So, I’ll let you and others work on that.

Now more directly to your question. I mentioned “spots” is NOT the approach to use when training to locate your pitches. Why? Because “spots” are beyond your ability - or anyone else’s for that matter, to locate your pitches. Be it more reasonable and definitely more attainable to pitch to “locations”, that than “spots”. I know this may all sound like semantics, but it’s not. We as humans are, and have, so many variables with us when going through any movement(s). Thus when playing a simple game of catch, you’ll rarely see the person that your throwing to catch your throws in exactly the same “spot” twice. Oh may be by some quirk of fate a catch is made near the same spot as a previous throw of yours, but again, it’s rare. This is because we move, basically, differently each and every time we try movement - in any form.

So look, make it easy on yourself and get rid of this “spot” mindset - go for locations in a general way. Say, generally inside, generally up and away, and so forth. By the way, this is primarily with your fastball family of pitches, but to exclude the breaking stuff in that family, like sliders and stuff.

Practice by using a stable target to locate your pitches, and the best stable target that your going to be looking at, pitch after pitch, is the backstop (catcher). So from oh, about thirty feet, have your catcher stand and throw not pitch, by hitting “locations” on his left shoulder, then his face, then his right shoulder, and so on. Get use to viewing your catcher as a part of the only stable thing that’s going to help you with “locations”. Continue this drill until you feel confident that you can hit each location with a 80% accuracy rate. All the while your throwing now, not pitching. It would also help if you’re on level ground with all this.

Now back up to say, fifty feet and repeat. Notice any changes in your locating your catcher’s shoulders, face? You should. By moving back you’re altering your body’s ability to be consistent with your prior movement while adding a bit more “umph” to it, trying to reach your catcher who is farther away. If you’re really struggling with locations, go back to thirty feet and start again. Moving to fifty feet again and still having problems means that your body is not in rhythm to command even the simplest movements of throwing a baseball to a general location while throwing on flat ground - not pitching. Stop and get serious coaching. Don’t put yourself on the field, on a mound, and try and hold down the pitcher’s position.

On the other hand, if all is going well, get back to sixty feet, have your catcher get down and now locate your throws to his right shoulder, face, left shoulder, left knee, right knee. (see below) See which location is your best location and take note of that location. Then notice your next best location and so on. This kind of location proficiency is a record of your best stuff, location wise. Now go to a pitcher’s mound and see if everything stays true. If not, you’re dealing with variables that need the attention of a competent coach.

Notice in my sixth paragraph I recommended getting a coach, even when “throwing” off flat ground, then I recommended getting a coach again when pitching off a mound in my last paragraph. A coach can help you big time by noticing basic things that your motion is doing, even when just throwing off of a flat surface. When you bring that corrective action to the mound, there’s less in the adjustment department that you’ll have to deal with.
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc90/CoachBaker/backstop_zpsdkjscofu.jpg


#5

For my spot chart. Spots 1 and 3 are away while 2 and 4 are inside. 5 is either the catcher’s mask or the umpire’s mask depending upon the situation. 1 and 2 are low corners. 3 and 4 are high corners.
This number is part of the pitch call so the pitcher knows how to visualize before the catcher makes his final move to set the target.


#6

1, 2, 3, 4, 5…1 and 2 are down and up respectively on the left handed batter box side, 3 and 4 are up and then down on the right handed batter box side. I did it this way, with one starting on the bottom left (from the pitchers view on the mound) and working around clock wise because this is how we are used to seeing things. The numbers run smallest to highest left to right, just like writing or reading. To me it made more sense…easier to internalize the number-location relation using a system that we all already know.
5 is center high. Trying to get him to chase FB out of the zone.


#7

Just aim the ball…JK!!!


#8

If you sat on a bucket and charged $50/hour you could be like most pitching coaches.


#9

The basic premise for responding to your question Antoniof9 was to give a starting point for working on accuracy. This fundamental ability of a pitcher is not an easy task, by any stretch of the imagination. As Steven pointed out in very precise language. The following posts were pretty good about what to do with that accuracy and how each responder tailored his approach. Very good reading.

When dealing with any issue, respective of the subject like velocity, accuracy, a certain pitch, and so forth, one my first establish a foundation to work from, then fine tune from there. With respect to locations, this is going to vary, and sometimes a lot, with regards to how and what is impacting you on any given day. If you’re pitching to a lefty in the box and your a right-handed pitcher, perhaps your experiences will differ when compared to just doing bullpen duty, or just tossing the ball around. This happens, so prepare for it. Also, some pitchers are cold weather guys while others are literally destroyed in cold weather. Then there’s just the opposite effect with heat and humidity for others.

In any event, get yourself use to a basic foundation for what you can do on the targets of your catcher, or whatever you decide is right for you. I would suggest marking this signature to your performance on paper and refining this history, repeatedly.

Below is a pictorial representation of what you should be looking for, as a history of your ability. In this regard, some pitchers are really devastating in the upper and lower locations on the right of the plate.(your right) While others have a different percentage benefit - left or right/ up or down. Regardless, track and record your ability(s) when you feel that you’ve gotten to the point of accepting what you have.

Now comes the amazing part of the human condition. (This also causes many a pitching coach to stock up on
Pepto-Bismol.) What you learned and developed during your practice sessions will, and can, be like night and day in live time with a batter in front of you. Some pitchers just can’t, or won’t, deal with batters in certain locations in the batter’s box. Now I’m excluding pitching surfaces, rough weather, hecklers, and all kinds of other stuff. So, be prepared for dealing with this phenomenon - it’s gonna happen. So, make a mental note in your reference work that on certain days with certain batters, you’re going to be off your usual mark. In this case, reach back into your bag of “best stuff” and use it - stay away from the locations that’ll give you trouble.

Now before someone pipes and says… “everyone will know your weakness and will go for it.” WRONG! One pitch to a certain location that’s out of the mix does not make you a crash-n-burn guy. Your best stuff is your best stuff. accept it and use it.
http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc90/CoachBaker/BATTINGPERCENTAGES_zps4ad1eb1a.png