Being a pitcher is one of the toughest positions in any sport, but these tips for training as a pitcher can help improve your game. Pitchers are required to be physically gifted, mentally tough, and extremely consistent. At any level of baseball, pitching is part mental and part physical. The physical aspect consists of both the pitchers fitness level and his mechanics. The mental level includes his ability to handle tough situations and to out-think hitters. Below we will give you the tips you need to improve in each of these four areas in order to become the best pitcher you can be.
In many ways the physical shape you are in is the foundation on which all pitching success is built. Without a good level of basic fitness, you are more likely to get tired or injured and your pitches won’t be as effective. While you use your arm to throw the ball, it is actually your legs and your core that generate all the power in your pitches. This means you need to strengthen these areas most of all. You should do heavy compound lifts such as squats and deadlifts three times a week. For extra core work, do planks. These consist of simply putting yourself in a push up position but using you forearms to hold yourself up. Brace your core and hold for thirty seconds. Endurance is another key factor of your physical fitness. You should run often to improve your stamina, especially after throwing as it will help flush lactic acid out of your arm, which would otherwise build up and cause soreness.
There is no one right way to throw a pitch, but when it comes to your mechanics the key is consistency. If you have the same motion every time it makes it much easier to place your pitches where you want them with optimal speed or movement. To practice this stand in front of a mirror or better yet video tape yourself as you go through your motion. Pay attention to areas of your windup that may vary and focus on correcting them one at a time.
When you are out in the mound in a tough situation you need to be calm in order to be effective. Practicing deep breathing or yoga in your spare time can help your body get better at handling stressful situations. During a game, if you feel yourself starting to lose control, step of the mound and practice what you have learned from those relaxation methods to focus your mind on what needs to be done.
The last piece of the puzzle is the strategy you employ on the mound. Even the best pitcher can’t get away with throwing the same pitch in the same place every time. Variety is a key to a pitchers success. Mix up your pitches so that hitters don’t know what is coming. Don’t be afraid to throw pitches out of the zone when you are ahead of the count to get the hitter to chase. And never give into a hitter in a full count just to avoid a walk. Make the hitter earn everything.