By Steven Ellis, former Chicago Cubs pitching pro
There are hundreds of pitching aids on the market that claim to make someone a better pitcher. I personally feel a pitching aid needs to be as realistic as possible to an live situation.
One of the best pitching aids a pitcher can use is a simulated strike zone target. Basically, these are plastic or rubber mats with a strike zone cut out of the middle of them, with a basket that the balls will land in when thrown in the strike zone.
The best kind of strike zone target is one with an adjustable target. Some targets have a square that can moved around the strike zone to encourage pitchers to hit the corners, high, or low part of the zone.
This type of pitching aid is useful for when you don't have a catcher available and want to simulate an in-game situation.
Another good pitching aid is a weighted baseball. A weighted ball serves two purposes; it helps strengthen the arm when used in a conditioning program, and it helps get a pitcher loose before a game.
There are lots of weighted ball programs available on the internet, so do some research before beginning a program.
A good pitching aid can definitely help a pitcher improve upon their game. For more help on your pitching game, check out the Let's Talk Pitching discussion forums!