Location Drill


#1

This drill is recommended for pitchers sixteen (16) years of a age and older.
- After a warm up period -
Start on level ground and about fifty (50) feet from your catcher. Begin with your fastball at about fifty percent (50%) game speed. Locate your first delivery at location (5)

  • if you’re a left-handed pitcher. When you’ve reached a 90% accuracy rate with enough deliveries that you feel comfortable with, move on to location (4) – RH pitcher, or (2) – LH pitcher, and repeat. Go through every location with the same intent. Then, move back to sixty (60) feet and repeat the exercise. Move on to a pitcher’s mound and begin the drill again. Take special note of the surface conditions on the mound and the angle of the slope. Since every field has a slight variance to its pitcher’s mound, even a five (5) degree variance in the frontal slope will affect your location(s)

    Take a short break and remember your locations with the greatest accuracy – there’s a reason for this variance in accuracy.
    - Margins of Drift -

  • if you’re a right-handed pitcher, notice sometimes your intended deliveries to location (5), might just end up locating the ball at location (2), or even (1). If you’re a left handed pitcher, notice sometimes your intended deliveries to location (1), might just end up locating the ball at location (4), or even (5). Why? We call this miss, you “Margin of Drift.” In other words, for a right-handed pitcher you’re more apt to miss your locations… “drifting” your location slightly..right to left. And for a left-handed pitcher, you’re more apt to miss your locations.. “drifting” your location slightly … left to right.

    If you’re a right-handed pitcher pitching a fastball to a right-handed batter and you’re trying to hit the inside, position (4), but your Margin of Drift is very active, your pitch will more than likely end up at (3) or even (2). …. So long Mr. Rawlings…

    So during your bullpen session, become aware of your Margin of Drift and why. Make any and all adjustments then, in the bullpen, and again when you’re fitting in on the mound.
    - Working the Rubber -
    Once you feel comfortable with your accuracy rate and tempo, if you’re a RH pitcher, move to the far left of the mound (your left) and start your location exercise all over again. If you’re a LH pitcher, mover to the far right of the mound (your right) and start your location exercise all over again. Now here’s the fascinating part of this drill - somewhere along that pitcher’s rubber you’re going to find the greatest accuracy for certain locations of your fastball, when your pivot foot is positioned at either (A), (b) and so forth. Therefore, your Margin of Drift has less impact on your accuracy, for certain locations when that pivot of yours is located at a certain spot on the rubber.

    Now notice in our picture the graded markings in front of our catcher. Using the same movement locations along the rubber, watch how effective your breaking pitches are at certain spots on the rubber and how active your ball’s movement is.
    - Summary -
    Now all this has to have a pitcher who is well rested and ready for a day’s worth of serious training. In addition, the mound condition has to be reasonable with a surface that will allow adjustments and repeated performances that actually mean something to the pitcher and his/her pitching coach. Also, don’t go head long into something like this without a reasonable plan for breaks and rest. Take your time to note what you’re doing and why.

    http://s216.photobucket.com/user/CoachBaker/media/b5127fdc-556d-4eff-9a3d-089630003f49_zpsb4762be2.png.html][img]http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc90/CoachBaker/b5127fdc-556d-4eff-9a3d-089630003f49_zpsb4762be2.png[/img
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  • #2

    That looks like fun and useful coach. Thanks.

    Best regards,

    Ted


    #3

    This looks like an updated version of something I used to do when I was a little snip. I would get a catcher, and he would set up behind the plate with a mask and a mitt at 60’6", and we would play this little game we called “ball and strike”. He would position his mitt in various places—high, low, inside, outside, every which way but standing on his head :lol:, and I would concentrate on getting the ball smack-dab into the pocket of the mitt. It was a terrific workout and a lot of fun, and what a nice feeling it was to hear that resounding “THWACK” as the ball hit said pocket. I did this with all my pitches—as you may know, I threw sidearm—at different speeds, including the crossfire, and in my opinion this was the best way for me to sharpen my control. We would go at this for an hour at a time, several times a week, and I remember how my mother used to have to yell several times for me to come in for dinner and homework! :baseballpitcher:


    #4

    Sent you a PM Coach B


    #5

    fearsomefour,
    Don’t send me PM’s, I don’t read them.


    #6

    fearsomefour,

    My vision is very poor, so it takes a long time for me to read and respond, add to the fact that reading PM’s and then responding is very time consuming - in addition to being very impolite not to answer. Someone else does the actual typing for me when they can.


    #7

    Coach B,
    No problem, I did not realize, I apologize.
    I have no problem typing my question here. It is just it is probably redundant.
    I have a LHP who has many good things going, but, struggles with control. A year ago he was all over the place. Now, he is mostly down…has been pounded into his head by his coaches.
    However, he just struggles to throw consistent strikes. He usually ends up with a stat line that has a very high WHIP and a low ERA. He usually average at least a K an innings, sometimes more. He has good stuff as evidenced by the K rate, but, the high walk/hbp rate keeps him from more innings.
    I really like the drill outlined in your post and will be using this. I wonder if there is a way to address “drift”? There are days he has trouble throwing a ball straight. It will run into a right hander, then the next pitch run away. Same grip ect. I dont know if it is wrist angle or what.
    Any tips in terms of using this drill to assist with a guy who is wild in and out?


    #8

    [color=blue]I really like the drill outlined in your post and will be using this. I wonder if there is a way to address “drift”? There are days he has trouble throwing a ball straight. It will run into a right hander, then the next pitch run away. Same grip etc. I don’t know if it is wrist angle or what.
    Any tips in terms of using this drill to assist with a guy who is wild in and out?[/color]

    I’m going to answer your question from the perspective of dealing with mature pitchers in an adult setting – not youth baseball. So, as far as drills are concerned, I’m more accustomed to working with a pitcher’s delivery that actual practice. However, from my experiences dealing with LH pitchers, they are a special kind of athlete and have somewhat common tweaks that seem s to work themselves out.

    Here, below, is the most common reason for lefties missing their marks (locations). Now I’m sure others will chime in and offer additional suggestions and guidelines – and that’s a good thing. But again, this has been my experience with lefties and how I corrected 100% of their location issues.

    First off, consider the pitching mound’s surface. Take special note of the condition of the mound. Most pitchers are RH pitchers and as such “wear-n-tear” the surface of an amateur pitcher’s mound A LOT DIFFERENTLY than a LH pitcher would. Therefore, the surface can pass on – upstairs, a host of balance and reflex responses that can be unsettling and offer a major distraction while going through delivery routine. Also take special note of how your son does at home – his choreography in this backyard on a homemade pitcher’s mound as compared to that on the fields where he competes. RH pitchers usually make a hole in front of the rubber that dips down towards the third baseline. Therefore, if a LH pitcher steps in the same location his pivot heel is in a hole and his pivot foot’s toe is pointing skyward – bad starting form for your son. In fact, if you were to play a game of catch with your son and make a hole like this for his left foot to step in and throw from, I doubt is his accuracy would be acceptable to either of you.

    On the other hand, the most common problem that I’ve seen with lefties is the stride toe starting and finishing the stride, pointing towards the first baseline. When landing, the bottom part of the body is kind-a off center to a straight line to the catcher. Thus, binding the upper body’s torque while going through its delivery and release phases. In other words, the lower part of the body is going haphazardly in one direction, the upper part of the body is trying to follow suit – forcing the head up and not focused on the target, the release is very high and being robbed of accuracy and velocity, and sometimes the shoulders can collapse inward with the pitching arm and the glove arm both meeting like they’re trying to pick up a bucket of water.

    Now again, this has been my experience with mature adults – not youngsters. I hope this helps some. As far as drills are concerned, that location drill –sort a speak, is a location exercise to keep pitchers in tune during their day’s rest – among other routines.

    http://s216.photobucket.com/user/CoachBaker/media/kensposture_zps2bff32d8.png.html][img]http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc90/CoachBaker/kensposture_zps2bff32d8.png[/img

    http://s216.photobucket.com/user/CoachBaker/media/Kensdeliveryposture_zpsaf36a171.png.html][img]http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc90/CoachBaker/Kensdeliveryposture_zpsaf36a171.png[/img


    #9

    Thanks Coach B!!
    Good info. My son is 18 so is at certainl mature enough to make adjustments.
    I have noticed the front foot with a partial point toward first and he does throw across his body…his lead foot will be anywhere from several inches to nearly a foot out of alignment with his back foot (front foot more toward the left handed batters box than the cathcer). This would make sense it is effecting his control.
    I will address this with this drill, thanks again.


    #10

    Take special note of the pitcher on the right of the two pitchers with compared stride postures.

    A good stride and delivery posture for an athletic build pitcher with good muscular control, is to “walk” his stride, not “glide” his stride.

    I would like to qualify my remarks here. I have no witness to the build and physique of your son. If he is mature, muscular build, well developed mid-section, he should start his stride by bending slightly on the pivot leg, then collapsing on the instep of his pivot foot, then stretching out his stride leg out with his stride foot “walking” down the mound - planting that stride leg, then let the upper body do its thing. His stride leg should not be a short stride, but through practice, enough of a stride so feels balanced when his forward motion ends and the upper body starts and completes the release phase of this pitching cycle.