Pitching Drills For Little League Baseball
By Steven Ellis, former Chicago Cubs pitching pro
The internet is full of drills that Little League pitchers can do to better themselves. Some of them are proven to be great drills, others are a little off the wall. Below, I describe a few drills that I had success with when I was younger.
One drill that I still remember doing as a Little League pitcher is the balance drill. All of the pitchers formed a circle around the coach. He prompted us to get into the balance position (leg up, hands together), and to hold that position for as long as possible. If we fell, or even wobbled too much, we lost. It was a competition to see who could hold the balance position the longest. This is a simple yet fun drill that teaches the young pitchers to be comfortable in the balance position. If a pitcher can't hold their balance position, they won't be able to have good balance when pitching live.
Another good drill is what I call, changeup catch. Have the pitchers partner up and get about 40-50' apart from each other. Show them the proper way to grip and throw a changeup (usually a circle change). Then, have the pitchers just play catch using the change up grip. This drill will help the pitchers become more comfortable using this new grip.
Yet another fun and simple drill to use with Little League pitchers is called "head and chest game". Have the pitchers pair off and get about pitching distance away from each other. Tell them to go through their pitching motion and throw to their partner. If they hit their partner's head (not literally), they get 3 points. If they hit their chest, they get 1 point. First partner to 21 points wins. You can even combine changeup catch with this drill.
The most important thing to remember when doing Little League pitching drills with young players is to keep it simple. Only work on one mechanical aspect at a time. For more youth pitching instruction, check out the Let's Talk Pitching discussion forums!
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