Pitching Mechanics

By Steven Ellis former Chicago Cubs pitching pro

Baseball pitching mechanics - Dontrelle WillisWhen it comes to baseball pitching mechanics, I teach one thing above all else: Not every pitcher has to pitch the exact same way to be successful. But the biggest lesson is that you need to be able to consistently repeat your pitching delivery while staying injury free.

My former teammate Dontrelle Willis of the Florida Marlins is a good example. He doesn't have "orthodox" pitching mechanics. Some pitching coaches have said his pitching mechanics aren't that "good." But to me he's got excellent mechanics because he can repeat his delivery and stay injury free.

When you work on your own pitching mechanics, don't do it from a standpoint of trying to fit into a cookie-cutter, biomechanical mold. Your pitching mechanics don't have to look like your teammates' pitching mechanics. Instead, work to have a repeatable pitching delivery that enables you to pitch injury free.

Here are some pitching mechanics checkpoints for pitching from a full windup and from the stretch windup.

Full windup: No runners on base

Baseball pitching mechanics - Nolan Ryan

Stay tall

Take small steps: Take a small rocker step back and make a small turn to place your pivot foot parallel with rubber.

Lift your leg into the balance position, toe pointing down: Take your time. You don't need to rush, and you shouldn't "swing" your leg into the balance position. The balance point for pitchers is about waist high, and the hands should stay close to body, preferably over back leg.

Stay on the ball (front part) of your posting foot as the balance leg reaches its highest point on leg lift.

Keep your hands and head still.

Stride – Glide through the catcher. Once balanced in the balance position, stay back and glide outward, directly toward the catcher. Use gravity. toes to the target.

Arm mechanics – Have quick hands: The quicker the break of the hands, the faster one throws. Keep your fingers on top of the baseball.

Keep your throwing hand outside the elbow and your elbow shoulder height: Bring your glove hand away from body and pull directly back into chest.

Keep your fingers on top of baseball on release. Continue throwing motion by swinging throwing elbow past opposite knee to decelerate arm.

Throw down hill: Whip the throwing arm across the body from 11 o'clock to 5 o'clock (outside the opposite knee).

Get into good fielding position by squaring up to hitter on follow-through. Stay balanced on balls of both feet to react to baseball.

Stretch: Runners on base

Baseball pitching mechanics - Mariano Rivera

Stay tall: Don't bend back leg more than 5 percent as you lift your front leg to load up your weight.

Keep your feet shoulder-width apart in set position: Too close and you'll lose balance; too far, and you won't be able to pick off to bases to keep runners close.

Be quick to the plate: Deliver the baseball in 1.3 seconds or less to give your catcher a chance to throw out potential base runners.

Use one motion, all the time: Knee-to-knee. Never slide-step, because too much stress on arm and loss of velocity. Instead, perform an "abbreviated slide-step: Cross knees, make your pitch.

Sure, these guys got good mechanics. What about you? Click here to post your pitching videos on my discussion forums and find out. Admit it, you're curious!


Related Pitching Materials

Want to learn more about baseball pitching mechanics and techniques? 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!

Baseball Pitching Drills

Learn baseball pitching drills to develop rock-solid mechanics

Title: Baseball Pitching Drills [NEW!]
Author: Steven Ellis
Ebook, 76 pages
Price: $24.95
Avg rating: (219 reviews)


Baseball Pitching Strategies

Learn baseball pitching strategies to outsmart any hitter or team

Title: Baseball Pitching Strategies [NEW!]
Author: Steven Ellis
Ebook, 82 pages
Price: $24.95
Avg rating: (103 reviews)


The Ultimate Guide to Advanced Pitching

Learn pro-level baseball pitching instruction for experienced players

Title: The Ultimate Guide to Advanced Pitching
Author: Steven Ellis
Paperback or Ebook, 164 pages
Price: $42 (paperback); $37 (Ebook)
Avg rating: (76 reviews)


The Pitching Manual

A complete training guide for youth pitchers ages 8-13

Author: Steven Ellis and Chris McCoy
Spiral bound, 90 pages
Price: $64.95
Avg rating: (156 reviews)


Baseball Pitching Tips

Learn essential baseball pitching tips for young players

Title: Baseball Pitching Tips [NEW!]
Author: Steven Ellis
Ebook, 105 pages
Price: $24.95
Avg rating: (143 reviews)


 »  Discuss this baseball pitching article
 »  Read more baseball pitching articles
 »  See today's post on my pitching tips blog

want a more explosive fastball? click here