Working on control

Big question here Steve and everyone else, do you got any ideas or drills to improve mechanics and control?

Great question! Besides bullpen work, we use flat ground work like a lot of teams do. One difference is a new tool we adopted last year. It involes the use of a palm pilot to chart intended spots and locations hit. Some of my coaching buddies make fun of us for being so “high tech”, but our guys really love it! The program is new and I know only a couple college coaches use it other than us, but what great feedback it gives!

The basic idea is that you chart the intended spot, then tap the screen where it actually ended up. In the end you can run a report that shows the percentage of hit spots, slight misses, and “major misses”. You can do that for every intended spot you have, like “fastball down/away” or “curveball down in zone” for example.

Doing this has added an extra dimension to what can easily become a mundane task of throwing pitches in flat ground. I’ve seen our pitchers compete with themselves to better their command ratings from the previous outings, and we even have them compete with each other on occasion to be “Command Champion.”

The program is called pitcher’s edge. Here’s a link:

The biggest help for better pitching command in my book is “Visualize it, verbalize it.”

Here’s how it works:

You’re a righty and you need to paint a fastball on the outside part of the plate. Visualize it. See yourself making that pitch. Go ahead: really see yourself making that pitcho to that location. Then, verbalize it. Say out loud: “Nice and easy, fastball outside.” Repeat it throughout your delivery, too. Say: “Nice and easy, fastball outside.”

It works for all pitches in all locations, and it’s great because it really gets you thinking about your pitch and location. That way, every pitch you throw is with conviction, to a location and with a purpose.

(In games, you’d “verbilize” your pitch and location under your breath so as not to tip off your pitch, of course.)

but mostly i need help on working on mechanics, any ideas???

I do a lot of towel drill stuff, just talk a dish towel and wrap it around your middle ringer and go through your normal windup and where your plant foot comes down, count out five steps away (heel to toe) and have someone stand at the point with a glove or a hand. Then go back to your original position and work on hitting the mitt or the hand. This specific drill will really work on a lot of things like:

Making sure your head it staying on one plane
Making sure your getting full extension
Helps your backside come through
Makes you throw “though” the glove and not to it (which helps with velocity)
Helps with the problem of pulling off

We do a lot of it here and Indiana State, and as I have said in previous posts USE A VIDEO CAMERA :roll: I know I keep repeating myself, but I cannot tell you how many hours of footage our pitching coach uses with us and how big of a help it has been to me