The most important assets a pitcher can possess is good control which means having command of his various pitches within and outside the strike zone.
Occasionally, most pitchers experience a loss of command on certain pitches within a game, or even within an inning. Successful and more experienced pitchers know how to make proper and quick game adjustments with their arm action, grip, finger pressure or release point. They know themselves, understand their usual problem, and know what to adjust to work best for them on a particular pitch.
An experienced pitching coach can help young pitchers by recognizing problems quickly and teach them techniques for game adjustments on their different pitches. Each pitcher will have his own particular fault and his own method of adjustment. The pitcher will need poise, mental control, and focus under game pressure to make effective adjustments.
In the chart below, I am listing some common problems many pitchers experience, some techniques which often cause the problem, and various adjustments which may be effective for a pitcher. As a coach, teach the pitcher how he can best adjust. That way, the pitcher will be better prepared to self-correct problems during a game and be able to work himself out of trouble.
Game adjustments with the fastball
|Wild high||rushing, over striding, low cocked position||
Keep weight back, shorten stride, flex more at waist
|Wild inside||stride too closed, lack of trunk rotation, low cocked position, improper grip, early pronation of hand||stride straight to plate, forward and inward drive of the back knee, get hand up during backswing, balance ball with grip, keep fingers behind ball|
|Wild Low||stride too short, upper body dives in, arm circle too small||push off rubber earlier, lead with front hip, not front shoulder; use a down, back and up arm path|
|Wild Outside||Body tilts too much to side, fingers on the side of the ball, lands on a stiff front leg||lead with front hip and shoulder towards plate, keep fingers directly behind the ball, land flexed, then brace up leg|
|Lack of Movement||Thumb on side of ball, wrist and forearm muscles too tense||Keep thumb under fingers, use a grim grip, but loose wrist and forearm; flex ring finger, use only to stabilize ball, 2 seam grip for movement|
|Lack of Normal Velocity||Ball gripped too tight or too deep, rushing, lack of hip rotation, aiming the ball||Firm grip, loose wrist, space between thumb and first finger, close up, keep weight back, relax and throw the ball.|
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What do you think?
Now it's time to hear from you:
What do you do when your fastball isn't working? Are there any additional tips for throwing a fastball that I missed?
Or maybe you have an idea of how I can make this article even better.
Either way, leave a comment and let me know.