Pitching Charts

By Steven Ellis former Chicago Cubs pitching pro

Proper Preparation = Performance

With proper preparation, optimum performance can be reached. A baseball pitcher’s goal should be to get the hitter out by focusing on one pitch at a time. Getting the hitter out will take into consideration the execution of certain attributes of pitching, as well the execution of repeatable pitching mechanics and a positive attitude on the mound. A complete pitcher’s mindset should be an aggressive one: Go right after the hitter on each pitch and make him put the ball in play.

I developed this pitching chart for the college pitchers I coached in 2004. The purpose of this chart is to get pitchers thinking about each pitching performance after the game so that they can see what it is that makes them successful, and what does not.

Grade each question: 1 = Excellent, 2 = Good, 3 = Fair, 4 = Poor

Pre-game preparation

1. What was the length of my sleep two days before my performance?
(10 hours = score of 1, 8 hours = score of 2, 6 hours = score of 3, less than 6 hours = score of 4)

2. What was my length of sleep on the night before I pitched?
(10 hours = score of 1, 8 hours = score of 2, 6 hours = score of 3, less than 6 hours = score of 4)

3. What did I eat the night before my performance?
(no number score, do not calculate in final score)

4. What did I eat the day of my performance?
(no number score, do not calculate in final score)

5. How much fluid (in ounces) did you drink on the day leading up to your performance?
(64 ounces = score of 1, 50 ounces = score of 2, 38 ounces = score of 3, less than 38 ounces = score of 4)

6. How long before the game did I begin my pre-game warm-up routine?
(35-40 minutes = 1, 30-34 minutes = 2, 25-29 minutes = 3, less than 25 minutes = 4)

7. Did I have two pitches game-ready for the very first hitter on the game?
(Yes = score of 1, No = score of 4)

 

Poise

8. Did I effectively control my emotions and body language on the mound?
(Yes = score of 1, No = score of 4)

9. Did I get upset with the umpire, my coach, or my teammates?
(Yes = score of 4, No = score of 1)

10. Was I confident?
(Yes = score of 1, No = score of 4)

 

Pitch execution

11. Did I get my first pitch over for a strike 60 percent of the time or better?
(Excellent = score of 1, Good = scors of 2, Fair = score of 3, Poor = score of 4)

12. Did I double up on off-speed pitches? If so, what was my percentage of strikes?
(Excellent = score of 1, Good = scors of 2, Fair = score of 3, Poor = score of 4)

13. Did I pitch inside?
(Excellent = score of 1, Good = scors of 2, Fair = score of 3, Poor = score of 4)

14. Did I throw my fastball at least 70-percent of the time or more?
(Excellent = score of 1, Good = scors of 2, Fair = score of 3, Poor = score of 4)

15. Did I give up any two out hits?
(Excellent = score of 1, Good = scors of 2, Fair = score of 3, Poor = score of 4)

16. Did I walk the leadoff hitter of any inning?
(Excellent = score of 1, Good = scors of 2, Fair = score of 3, Poor = score of 4)

17. Did I put hitters away with two strikes?
(Excellent = score of 1, Good = scors of 2, Fair = score of 3, Poor = score of 4)

 

Fielding

18. Did I make base runners stop in the base path from the stretch position?
(Excellent = score of 1, Good = scors of 2, Fair = score of 3, Poor = score of 4)

19. Did I back up the bases well or was I out of position?
(Excellent = score of 1, Good = scors of 2, Fair = score of 3, Poor = score of 4)

20. Did I cover first base on baseballs hit to the right side of the infield?
(Excellent = score of 1, Good = scors of 2, Fair = score of 3, Poor = score of 4)

Tally your score

To me, your results here are more important than your results in the win-loss column of the newspaper, because the score of a game can be deceiving as to how well you actually performed. However, the numbers on this chart don’t lie. Tally up your score by adding up all the numbers.

If you scored an 18-31, you did an excellent job

If you scored a 32-41, you did a good job

If you scored a 42-52, you did a fair job

If you scored a 53 or above, you did a poor job, and you need to improve next time

The point of these questions is to get a pitcher to think about his performance outside of the box score. What most successful pitchers find is that they perform the exact same routines before, during, and after good performances. A pitcher’s goal should be to find out exactly what it is that is making his successful on the days in which he pitches well, and repeat it.

On the days where a pitcher struggles, it’s important to write down exactly what it was that the pitcher struggled with so he can eliminate it in the future. I encourage you to establish your own routines and rituals, and stick to the ones that make you successful.


 

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