Pitchers/Coaches checklist

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By Cal & Bill Ripken with John Habyan


Just watch your pitchers throw. Are they throwing strikes with velocity and ball movement?

The fastball is the pitcher’s foundation. Throw a lot of fastballs.

Pitchers should not develop an off-speed pitch until they have significant arm strength.

Grip is important. The best grip for any pitch is the one that is comfortable while allowing the pitcher to throw strikes with maximum velocity and movement.

Every pitcher should learn the four-seam fastball first.

Change-of-speed pitches should be taught first, before any breaking pitches.

Pitching mechanics are one fluid motion made up of five links: footwork, balance position, power position, rotation and follow-through.

When one link in the chain breaks down, all the following links break down.

The longer a pitcher sees the target, the more likely he will throw a strike.

On off-speed pitches, it is most important that the ball is comfortable in the pitcher’s hand.

Off-speed pitches complement the fastball. Especially with young players, use off-speed pitches sparingly. The fastball is always best.

When the ball is released, the pitcher is no longer a pitcher. He is an infielder and fields the ground ball as an infielder: wide base, butt down, hands out in front.

On a ball to the right side, the pitcher’s first instinct should be to move to first base.

From the stretch, constantly vary timing, looks, and pickoffs to stay unpredictable and control the running game.

Thanks Cal for the insight.