Pitching mechanics after long layoff


#1

I recently started playing baseball again after an 8 year layoff, I’m 29. I played 3 years of college ball as a pitcher but of course I wasn’t good enough to go any further than that. Luckily I met up with some people and I am able to play and pitch again in an adult baseball league but I’m having trouble getting into any sort of groove. My catcher says I have 3 different arm motions with 3 different release points for each arm motion. Needless to say my control in my first scrimmage game was all over the place. I know my problem is that I have only been throwing with someone on the days we have practice, Saturday and Sunday (for about 4-5 weeks now). I work 8-6 every day so unless a miracle happens I don’t see that changing. I would like to know if anyone has any exercises I can do by myself during my lunch break every day. There is a baseball field right across the street from my work and I planned to throw as much as possible against the backstop since no one from my work is interested in throwing the ball around. Aside from throwing at the backstop and shagging my own balls, is there is anything else I can do to help? I really want to be able to get my control down and velocity up. Any input would be greatly appreciated even if you tell me to hang it up and go play first base.


#2

I’d say this is the root cause of your problems. It’s incredibly hard to be consistent with just 1 arm motion, much less 3. What’s more, if you have different arm motions for different pitches, then you will be easier to hit because hitters will be able to know what’s coming based on your arm slot.

I’d focus on your fastball arm slot and then try to learn to throw a sinker and/or a change-up from the same arm slot.


#3

Thanks for the reply. My biggest problem is that I have different arm motions just when throwing a fastball. It’s like I have Chuck Knoblauch/Mark Wohlers disease and can’t throw a ball anymore. With it being so long since I’ve pitched I’m not even trying anything other than fastballs. I feel I need to get control of that before I worry about anything else. I guess I’m just looking for ways that I can wok on my mechanics without having anyone else to throw to.


#4

First, I’d focus on WHAT you want to do rather than HOW you want to do it; focus on where you want the ball to go rather than your mechanics at that moment. You’re mechanics should be automatic, and thinking about them will only mess them up.

To practice this, I’d practice hitting a target that is a variety of distances away. The idea is to absolutely focus on the target but not think about how you are going to get the ball there. Just stare down the target and then throw (do not aim) the ball at the target.

Another alternative is to play a game called “don’t make me move the glove” when playing catch with someone. It’s exactly like it sounds; play catch with the goal being to not make the person move the glove to catch your throw. Again, the key is to lock in on the target.

The bottom line is that you have to get your conscious brain out of the way and let your body (and unconscious brain) get the job done.

I know this may sound Zen and flaky, but I’ve found that it works.