At face value, pitching a baseball looks easy enough. If you’re a pitcher, you know better, though. Fortunately, these three secrets of pitching a baseball will make it much easier to do so.
It’s All in the Shoulder
All right, that’s not 100% true. A great pitch takes almost the entire body, including the brain, which we’ll talk about more in a moment.
However, when it comes to the secrets of pitching a baseball, the shoulder is probably why more pitchers aren’t killing it on the mound.
Greater external rotation of the shoulder actually causes a stretch of the internal rotators. This simple movement allows energy to get stored in all of those little muscles, which, in turn, creates much more internal rotation when you’re accelerating your arm.
What does this mean in English?
If you want more power on any pitch – not just your fastball – you need to start concentrating on increasing the rotation of your shoulder. At the moment, you’re probably sitting on a powder keg of power because you’re simply not doing this.
Extend That Elbow Earlier
Another body part that doesn’t get the credit it deserves when it comes to great pitches is the elbow. Most pitchers don’t even think about it until theirs is hurting.
However, if you want to throw a nasty spiral, you have to extend your elbow early. This will allow for the internal rotation it takes to cause the spiral you want.
The key to doing this is to maintain a relaxed arm throughout your pitch. Believe it or not, one of the best ways to practice this moment is simply with a football. You’ll know right away if you didn’t throw a spiral, which will help you concentrate on extending your elbow earlier.
Lock in on the Moment, but Imagine Success
Let’s talk about the mental side of throwing perfect pitches time and time again, because no matter how well you do with the above advice, if your brain goes crazy when you take the mound, it won’t matter.
The first thing you need to do is lock in on the moment. This is how you eliminate distractions. Most people try “ignoring” their distractions on the mound by actually doing the exact opposite. They tell themselves to relax or breathe, which only makes matters worse.
Instead, don’t engage with any thoughts. Your only concern is putting the ball in the catcher’s glove. Don’t even think about that, though. If you’ve practiced enough, the real pitcher is muscle memory. Hand the ball over to it and watch your hard work pay off.
The only exception to this rule is envisioning success. You should be doing this as much as possible because if the brain can see you succeeding at something, it will have an easier time succeeding at it in real life.
Before you throw any pitch, watch a quick movie of yourself doing this in your brain. When you’re in the dugout, watch as many of these movies as possible. Do it throughout the day. The more you watch these movies, the better you’ll throw.
Although this is no secret, it might as well be for how many players ignore it: you need to practice. Don’t just read this article, put it to good use today.