Pitching Drills For Youth

By Steven Ellis, former Chicago Cubs pitching pro

Many books have been written, and hundreds of web pages are dedicated to youth pitching drills. Keep in mind that not all pitching drills are appropriate for youth pitchers. Some drills that might be good for an advanced pitcher are too complex for youth pitchers.

One drill that I remember from when I was younger is the shoulder replacement drill. Go through your delivery until you have strided and your arms are in the "T" position. Pause here and check to make sure your hands are in the correct spot. Next, make a small step with your front foot and "replace your shoulders" and make a good throw.

Another good youth pitching drill is what I call "changeup catch". The pitchers should spread out about 50 feet from each other and play catch using only the change up grip. This is a great way for them to become comfortable with their change up.

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 YouthPitching.com!


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