Pitching/Throwing Clinic

I’m in the process of finalizing the format for a youth pitching/throwing clinic that I’ll be doing in March. I have done a number of these in the past, but coming from a “belief-based” background and seeing the need to include the latest from science-based tehnology, I want to be sure I “touch all bases”.

While input from Chris O’Leary has been of TREMENDOUS help to me in making sure my info is valid, I’m asking you other coaches for additional help.

With the understanding that this clinic is geared to youth baseball (and presuming that you’ve already attended a number of clinics in the past) what do you believe is essential to be covered?

What wasn’t covered in any clinics you’ve attended, but should have been? (or was mentioned, but not covered in enough detail?)

What area(s) do you think I should place the greatest emphasis on?

Feel free to add anything that you think is relevant?


great idea. we try to do clinics, etc with our youth teams and coaches. we are doing one next saturday.
im sure you are already covering this but id cover:
proper mechanics - in non scientific / non theoretical terms
proper grips - 2 seam, 4 seam, change, curve, cutter(emphasizing grip, no twisting, snapping with the last 2)
holding runners from stretch - change number of looks, count to plate, etc.
arm care excercises before throwing and after throwing every time - stretches, tubing, can or 2 and half pound dumbbells
throwing program - preseason, between appearances, longtoss, etc.
philosophy - pitch calling, locations, tempo, etc.

Thanks for the input. A lot of what you offered I am including in the format. However, I should have given a better idea of what I’m doing.

The “clinic” actually has 6 parts to it with each one lasting a total of 30 minutes. They are being video-taped for play on our local community channel. That way if a person can use any of the content, he/she doesn’t have to worry about setting aside a specific day or time to be in attendance. All they need do is tape one or more if any of the content would be/could be of use. Plus, if they’re busy right at that moment, they can still tape it and watch it later at their convenience.

Clinic #1 - Basic Mechanics in Pitching
Too much to list here but, simply put, it covers each step in throwing
beginning with the wind-up and ending with the follow-through

Clinic #2 - Grips & Stuff
A. Warming up to throw
B. Pitch grips
C. Finger Pressure
D. Pitch Count/Pitching charts
E. Care of the Mound

Clinic #3 - Physical Therapy & Conditioning
A. Proper care of the arm OFF season
B. Proper care of the am IN season
C. Ice vs. Heat
D. What to do if you think your pitcher’s hurting

Clinic #4 - Proper Equipment
A. The glove and how to break it in
B. Glove size and type
C. Footwear - types of cleats
D. “Protective” equipment

Clinic #5 - Coaching Philosophy
A. The coach’s expectation
B. The player’s expectation
C. The parent’s expectation
D. Dealing with opposing coaches
E. Working with your own coaches
F. Using another’s knowledge/talent

Clinic #6 - Believe-based Coaching vs. Science-based Technology
The impact of scientific technology on “traditional” coaching

There’s obviously more detail involved with each, but this gives a better picture of the areas that will be addressed. Clinic #1 is, to me, the most important (though I’m sure others may disagree) and that’s the one I would like input on.

Again, thanks for the help.

Looks like a very good opportunity for the pitchers who will be attending.

During Clinic #2, A- I would emphasize that warming up to throw isn’t only needed before pitching in a game, but before any throw session. I see many young, even high school pitchers walk into lessons, step right into a batting cage, and start throwing. If young players get into good habits during their youth, especially pitchers, those habits tend to stay with them. I would suggest that before starting a lesson or indoor throw session, that the pitcher get their a little early to prepare. Run a little, maybe sprints if possible, and a full body stretch.

Clinic #5, F- I often run into the problem of—“What should my son do if his coach is telling him something different than you are?” Maybe you could address this problem during this phase of the clinic. Many times coaches will say the same thing in different language that gets skewed going in between through the player. Other times it might be a difference in philosophy.

Again, it looks like you have all your bases covered, and good luck, it should be fun.

Coach DeLunas
I’m in complete agreement with what you point out in Clinic #2 - Part A. Though that has always been my practice with my pitchers - from Little League to American Legion - it’s something I took for granted. I’ll be sure to include it in the presentation.

Equally important is what you address in Clinic #5 - Part F. While many of us have already experienced this in our years of coaching, it would be good to include it for those young coaches and/or parents whose kids/parents are just getting into the game.

When we keep doing something again and again (such as giving clinics), we at times presume “areas” of coaching that we have dealt with for years are completely understood or able to be related to by those that don’t yet have that experience. As a result we sometimes unintentionally skip over them. That’s why feedback such as yours is of importance to me. Your input has helped me “remember” two necessary items that I won’t forget.


You’re very welcome and it sounds like you run a good ship up there in how you prepare your guys for pitching. I took it for granted also, and was quite surprised by how many do not have at least some sort of warm up before throwing.

Also, if you have a flier or a web page that players fill out who will be attending the clinic, make sure to include a section for the player to tell you what he expects to learn or an area of interest for him. You will, for the most part, get the usual-“how do I throw harder?”, or “how do I throw x pitch?”. But you’ll also be surprised at some of the responses. I think we all take for granted sometimes what we think kids should already know. We forget to emphasize something very simple or mention it at all. I know I have in the past. This is a great way to be on the same page as the players attending.