The Mound

I’m a left handed pitcher that pitches for his middle school team. When I pitch from flat ground I have pretty decent velocity, but when I pitch from a mound I feel like I lose a ton of velocity (I’ll try to get the exact amount sometime soon, but it’s a pretty large amount). I have a good 12-6 curve, a circle change, a splitter, as well as a two and four seam fastball, so if I could get an answer to this question I might be a much more valuable pitcher on my team.

I think I might be overstriding, but I don’t think so after watching how far pitchers like lincecum stride. I think instead I’m “falling off” the mound and that’s throwing off my mechanics. Any other tip would be greatly appreciated.

Mound vs. flat ground has been discussed many times on this board. They are 2 completely separate skills. There are plenty of positional and timing differences between the 2. So, if you want to pitch better off a mound, then practice there. Practicing on flat ground and then being thrown onto a mound and expected to perform there is simply unrealistic. You get good at what you practice.

Yea I can definitely see that. Problem is I have to go a pretty long way to pitch off a mound. One of the things I have noticed is a stride off flat ground and then a stride off a mound are two completely different things. From pitching on flat ground, I haven’t learned how to use the mound to my advantage. Thanks.

The subject that your dealing with is called “Mound Management”.
And the learning curve (time) that it takes to get use to this equipment can be difficult.

But, like anything else in life it takes practice and easy does it. Get use to this surface impact by finding a gentle slope first, then work up to a regular slope that’s found on most ball fields. Remember, your only working up to about ten (10) inches in height … or close to it.

So, find a place that has a gentle slope … like a gentle rolling hill, or something close to it. Get use to your weight being shifted. During this phase… the trick is … NOT TO LIFT YOUR STRIDE LEG TOO HIGH DURING YOUR LEG LIFT. Again, slow and easy does it.

Then find a slightly steeper slope … and again don’t go lifting your leg lift up too high. Get use to this slope … until you find yourself somewhat comfrotabile with your shifting weight and progressing forward.

I must warn you that when you go to the ball field your learning experience starts all over again … and this is the most difficult part. Your going to have various mound heights and surface conditions on EVERY single mound your going to find. Some of these things are nothing but dumps of dirt … while others will be nothing more than a collection of holes that you’ll be step’g in and out of constantly. Smoothing out the surface of these things will be a process that you might have to do after every single pitch … so be prepared. A common mistake that every high school club makes is to forget to bring an iron garden rake with them as part of their equipment bag. Oh, they’ll bring helments, bats, balls, uniforms … but the iron garden rake to help their pitcher manage the surface that is being pitched off … some how get’s lost in the shuffle.

Coach B.