So I have been hearing a lot about how you have to be a ble to loacate your pitches. Exactly how do you do that? Any drills? Also, does locating your pitches mean that you are able to throw where you want in the strike zone? (if my definition, if you will, of locating your pitches is correct dont bother to answer that specific question)
solid, repeatable mechanics and tons of practice. thats how you get better at locating your pitches
There are three steps to throwing any pitch once you have your delivery down.
1: Rotation. Get the rotation you want on the ball first.
2: Location. Gain control of the pitch, so you can throw it for a strike (or ball) whenever you want.
3: Velocity. Work on getting the pitch up to speed, so it doesnt get roped every time.
And as mentioned above, it is pure repetition. Muscle memory. If you get those mechanics to be natural to you, so you could do them in your sleep, you will be doing good.
Therbert, I need help with number 2. I throw the ball hoping it goes where I want. Is there a way for me to practice how to throw it where I want, when I want.
Alot of repetition. Thats all I can say. Once it is second nature, you wont have a problem. Just keep on practicing, and you will notice the ball staying closer to your mark as you progress
Eric, let me tell you about what I used to do when I was a little snip—and carried it well into my playing days. I would get a catcher, and we would go to an unused playing field where I would take the mound (which was 15 inches high in those days) and he would get behind the plate with the mitt (I would recommend that he use a mask if he had to catch a knuckleball). We would play a little game we called “ball and strike”, the purpose of which was to work on control—which is what you might need to do. The catcher 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—actually throwing through the target, rather than just at it. I would do this with all my pitches, at different speeds such as it was because I didn’t have a fast ball to speak of, and with the crossfire as well. It was a strenuous workout and a lot of fun—we would go at it for maybe an hour at a time, and what a sweet satisfying feeling to hear that “thwack” as the ball hit its intended target! Believe me, I can’t think of a better way to sharpen up one’s control—and from time to time we would get someone to stand in the batter’s box, one side and then the other, so I could really zero in on the strike zone and even work on throwing pitches that looked like strikes.
You might try doing this. It can’t hurt, and it should help.
Alright thanks Zita, it sounds like it could help alot.
Here’s an overload training drill the NPA calls the “Matt Nokes drill” after the former MLB catcher- or at least a variation on it.
Position the catcher 2’-3’ off the plate and pitch to the target. Concentrate only on the target. The NPA suggest putting a small dot in the catcher’s mitt to narrow the focus even further. Once a little progress is seen move the catcher 2’-3’ off the other side. Gradually work the catcher in toward the corners all the time focusing only on the target and the body movements necessary to adjust to location. Done with extreme concentration and focus the idea is for the body to learn to throw where the eyes are focused.
Another thing that can help when working on this drill is the thought sequence “hip to target, glove to target, eyes to target”. Again the idea is to teach the brain/body to throw the ball where the eyes are focused.
The above drill tends to focus on horizontal feel. To develop feel and focus for up-down we will throw pitches at the plate itself as well as to a target well above the strike zone. Again extreme focus on the target is key and the same thought sequence of hip, glove and eyes can be helpful. Sometimes it can be helpful to substitute the words “nose to target” or “chin to target” for “eyes to target” if head movement is thought to be inappropriate.
As much as anything the drills work on concentration and focusing ability more so than mechanics.