Teach your Players about Pitching Backwards
Parents often ask me what "pitching backward" means. They hear the term "pitching backwards" often, but really don't know what it means or how it is relevant to their son.
Pitching backwards means that pitchers have to understand what hitters expect on certain pitches and then throw something completely different.
For instance, if the count is 2-0, most hitters are expecting and looking for a fastball. Good pitchers will throw an off-speed pitch like a change-up. This pitch needs to be thrown for a strike. The pitcher wants the hitter to swing, and if the hitter does swing, he will be out front and possibly roll over hitting a ground ball to pull side. If the hitter takes the pitch, then since it was thrown for a strike, the pitcher is facing a 2-1 count rather than a 3-0 count.
In order to be successful at "pitching backwards" the pitcher must command his pitches. He must have an understanding of his mechanics and be able to put the ball where he wants to, when he want to put it there. In a related issue, hitters often expect pitchers to pitch outside, especially when the pitcher is up in the count.
How do you help your pitchers do this? Blocking your bullpens, playing catch for a purpose, and charting the pitchers in both your bullpens and your games.
I really want my pitchers to throw inside (as long as this is not pitching into this particular hitter's strength). I have found that many hitters (I know, not all) have difficulty hitting the inside pitch. If they do swing, they saw themselves off hitting the ball on the inside. If they don't swing, a good umpire will punch the hitter out. (Now, how should hitter's respond? Check out our recent Hitting Seminar post for more tips on hitting.)
Pitching inside and "pitching backwards" are key to the success of a pitcher.
Other Coach Baseball Right Pitching Resources
We have some other great ideas on pitching located in our Coaching Academy Pitching page. This resource has several videos, which we will blog about in the future, that covers Basic Pitching Components and Practice Ideas for Pitchers.
How do you help your pitchers?
I have been coaching a long time and I have learned that the key to success is to learn from other people. We would not be where we are at with Coach Baseball Right if we have not been open to learning from others. We have a great Coaches Community on Facebook. This group of thousands of coaches love to share ideas and communicate with each other about different techniques and tips. We would love for you to join in the conversation. Head on over to our Facebook Coaches Group and let us know what you think on pitching or any other baseball topic.
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About Steve Nicollerat
Educator, Coach, National Master Certified Epstein Hitting Instructor, and Founder of Coach Baseball Right
I've learned a lot throughout my 40 years of teaching and coaching. I want to share what I have learned to help new coaches help keep their kids engaged and playing while helping them develop personally through the game I love.
I would love if you could join our exclusive Coaches Community and share your thoughts with us! Join us by going to our Facebook Group.