High School Pitching
By Steven Ellis former Chicago Cubs pitching pro
C = CHANGE OF SPEED
H = HIT SPOTS
A = ATTITUDE
M = MECHANICS
P = POUND THE FASTBALL
I = INTELLIGENCE
0 = ORDER OF PITCHES
N = NEVER LET UP
Change of speed
To be effective, you must be able to keep hitters off balance. You should have different speeds to your fastball, a breaking pitch and a slower changeup. Change of speed breaks a hitter’s rhythm and timing.
Location is as important as anything in a pitcher’s arsenal. You must be able to move the ball to all corners of the strike zone…and to extend the strike zone vertically and horizontally to keep yourself in a pitcher’s count as often as possible. Location is more important than speed.
A pitcher must be a warrior. It is your game to control and you must take each outing personally. A great pitcher approaches the game with a positive mindset….and that mindset becomes contagious. Teammates should be excited that you are on the hill because they know that you will give them a chance to win each time you take the ball.
Proper mechanics will allow you to be consistent in all areas (location, power, control, breaking stuff, etc.). This is not the most enjoyable part of pitching workouts, but it is essential to maximizing your potential. Remember: perfect practice makes perfect.
Pound the fastball
Too many pitchers try to be sneaky and rely on junk….but the best pitch in the game is still a good fastball. Regardless of how high you light up the gun, a fastball that you can put in the right spots with good movement is the pitch that separates the good from the great. The rest of your arsenal should compliment your fastball…not the other way around.
Knowing what to do and when to do it is a major key in becoming a great pitcher. You should make adjustments as the game progresses, changing your approach to each hitter and to each situation. Thinking the game is essential to playing it well, especially in the big games.
Pitching is one of the toughest skills in all of sports. Working on all phases of your craft will take a great deal of effort in the off-season. Baseball is a short season, so you should come into each season ready to perform.
Never let up
A great pitcher can close the deal – he rises to the occasion in the biggest games. Being named a “big game pitcher” is the highest compliment you can get; it says that you are the guy that everyone believes can take them to the title. The game should not dictate how focused you are and no opponent should ever determine your mindset. Every pitch is a big one until the game over. Remember: it ain’t over until the fat lady is DONE singing!
Related Pitching Materials
Want to learn more about youth baseball pitching? Arm yourself with the most innovative and up-to-date baseball pitching training available. These related pitching materials from former Chicago Cubs pitching pro Steven Ellis are guaranteed to help you or the players you coach pitch better and reach the next level faster!