During the winter months, there is a lot of good work a pitcher can do thatdoesn’t require sunshine, a pitching mound or even someone to throw with.
FOR EXAMPLE, YOU COULD ACT LIKE A FLAMINGO.
Of the four parts to the pitching motion, the most important is the balance point: Where your front knee comes around even with your back knee before driving forward home plate. Go through your pitching motion in kind of a slow-motion way and then pause when you reach your balance point. That’s the flamingo part. Count to five before continuing with the rest of the motion. If you can’t pause for a full count of five, try it again.
“Doing the flamingo” is also an easy way to develop some extra leg strength. To understand why leg strength is important to a pitcher flex your arm muscle as big as you can. Take a good look. Now, look at your upper leg muscle. Which one is bigger?
Indoor work also can be very productive in practicing your stride and your landing point. Length of stride is most often talked about in regards to hitting, but it also has a part to play in pitching. Most major league power pitchers have a length of stride that is between 80% and 90% of their height (so if you’re 5-feet, 5-inches, or 65 inches tall, you’d want a stride of between 52 and 58 inches). On the other hand, pitchers who rely on off-speed stuff likely will have strides of around 60% to 70%. The important thing at this stage of your development is consistency: Landing in the same spot, with the same length of stride, every time.
THE LAST EXERCISE YOU CAN DO IN THE OFF SEASON IS MENTAL, NOT PHYSICAL.
Just imagine facing certain hitters in certain situations. In your mind, go through your pitching sequences. Try to recall a time you got that hitter out and a time when he got a base hit off you. What was the pitch? What was the count? What will you do different the next time you face him?
These are just a few of the things you can be doing right now to prepare yourself for next season. Baseball is fun, but at the level you’re playing it’s also competitive. Everything you can do now will help you maintain an edge for next season. Besides, chances are the other guys are doing the same thing.
FUN FACTS ABOUT COACH CHAD
- Born in Claremont, California
- Left handed pitcher on the only state championship team Wells High School has EVER had!
- Played college baseball at University of Southern Maine
- In in the HALL of FAME at USM
- Won York’s first, and only, state championship in his first year coaching at York