not throwing strikes

What should you do if you feel comfortable with your wind-up and mechanics, but still can’t throw strikes?

just wondering, how fas should an above average 14 year old be throwing?-if he’s 5 foot 8, 150 pounds.

Velocity is a tough thing to generalize I won’t even touch on that.

If you can’t throw strikes, first talk to your coach and see if there’s some sort of mechanical problem no matter how comfortable you are, you could be comfortable with bad habits. Make sure when you step that your foot is pointing towards your target, a lot of people forget this very basic principle.

Also, have someone look at your release point, you could be too early or too late and unless you can feel it perfectly then you cannot tell whether it’s release point or not.

In addition to what Pustulio mentioned, concentration on targeting your pitch(s) can be a thing worth working on.

For example, if your about to deliver a pitch, but have no real target to throw (pitch) at, then strikes are out of the question.

During you pre game appearance (warming up off to the side), take the face of the player that your throwing to and use that as your target. Try and hit the players face ten-times-out-of-ten. If your tossing to a catcher, try and hit the face mask with your toss.

Basically, what your trying to do is to hone in on a specific location that you can relate to - then adjust up or down, left or right. Using this system makes the location exercise so much easier. Try it.

Now if you have other problems relating to how you deliver, your body’s motion and so forth, that’s another issue.

Coach B.

To add on to Coach B thoughts, 14 year olds understandably have trouble practicing effectively. Sometimes the only day a young pitcher will actually try to hit spots is on days when they pitch, and then they have trouble.

I like to give the mentality to younger pitchers that all throwing sessions (flat ground/bullpen) should be thought of as “target practice”. I will say that a lot and it seems to get in their heads what it is we’re trying to accomplish in the bullpen.

Stu

I know this sounds stupid, but make sure you’re actually looking at the target the whole time. Meaning, don’t shift your eyes or jerk the head violently during your delivery. It can be tilted based on your arm slot however (like how Lincicum leans).

I made this adjustment earlier in the week and now I’m some kind of Greg Maddux.

One thing that really helps me when I just can not seem to find the strike zone is by not thinking of it as a monumental task. I think to myself “Alright man, your throwing a baseball 60 and a half feet. This isn’t hard.” Think about how far you can throw a ball with rather good accuracy, it is probably pretty far. Sometimes I feel we, as pitchers, think about throwing a 5 oz. baseball as something bigger/harder than it truly is. But on that note I would agree with what Pustulio and Coach Baker said, whenever you throw it should have a purpose, you should constantly be working on your throwing mechanics and hitting a certain spot.

My two cents.

[quote=“Coach Baker”]In addition to what Pustulio mentioned, concentration on targeting your pitch(s) can be a thing worth working on.

For example, if your about to deliver a pitch, but have no real target to throw (pitch) at, then strikes are out of the question.

Coach B.[/quote]

I remember when my youngest son was first pitching. He was about 8 and threw very hard. If he threw several balls and got behind in the count, he would visualize in his mind where he wanted to throw the ball, close his eyes, and then pitch - and usually for a strike. It freaked me out ever time he did this, so after one game I asked him why he was closing his eyes. He replied it gave him a target and removed obstructions. He’s 10 now, and threw a no-hitter in his last game. 56 strikes on 77 pitches. He doesn’t close his eyes anymore, but still visualizes in his mind where he wants the ball to go. I’ve recently tried this in BP with my older son (visualize, close eyes, and chuck the ball) and found he threw more consistently and his release point was more consistent.

Thanks for the advice. It helped me a lot. I just threw a complete game no-hitter in our first game of the year. had 14 strikeouts and only 2 walks. The game was only five innings because it was a double-header. Also cut down on my pitches, i threw 77.

What Coach B. and Pustulio both said reminded me of something I used to do when I was a little snip. I would get a catcher, and either he would mark off a home plate and a pitcher’s rubber at the requisite distance of 60’6", or if we could get to an unused playing field I would take the mound and he would get behind the plate, And we would play a little game we called “ball and strike”. My catcher would position his mitt in various spots—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 more than just a drill; it was a terrific workout and a lot of fun, and what a glorious “thwack” could be heard when the ball hit the pocket. I did this with all my pitches, such as they were (the expansion of my repertoire would come later), and from time to time we would get someone to stand in the batter’s box so I could zero in on my strike zone, which in my day was a lot bigger than it is now. In my considered opinion, there’s no better way to sharpen one’s control!
And every time I would add another pitch to my arsenal, we would play this game so I could work the same way with it. That also went for the crossfire—a move that works only with the sidearm delivery—and this had another purpose, to get the catcher comfortable with it because I would use that move with just about everything I threw. After all, what pitcher wants to see a passed ball? :slight_smile: 8) :baseballpitcher: