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Pitching to the inside and outside corner

Sep 29, 2008
1,269
38
Northeast Ohio
What is the best way to locate pitches. Traditionally I've seem most instructors saying that the pitcher should step slightly to the left or right of the powerline to locate a pitch. Is this a cue to a hitter? Do advanced pitchers adjust this way or simply make small natutal adjustments at release?
 
Mar 18, 2009
131
0
La Crosse WI
My approach is much simpler.
My pitchers were told to lock their focus on the catcher's glove and drive the ball into it, without any changes in step, body, or anything else.
One thing helps a lot to make that approach a success -- the catcher has to slide her body such that her mitt is always centered on her body while painting the corner.
The pitcher is subconsciously aligning her pitch down a lane that is formed by the catcher's body, with the mitt in the center. Like a bullseye. And if the catcher moves only her mitt to the corner, the pitcher won't be inclined to make the adjustment to the target.
jim
 

KAT

May 13, 2008
92
0
When my DD pitched (which she no longer does....YAY, sorry I didn't enjoy watching her was to stressful) her pitching instructor taught the pitchers to throw to the catchers knee.. He thinks the catcher should stay still and put the mitt near the knees. Right wrong or indifferent I am just telling you another way. I think.....my DD (catcher) sets up depending on the pitch, I will have to ask her. I try not to concentrate to much on what she herself is doing except with the batting. I try more to enjoy the whole team... she is much happier that way...and when DD is happy, we are all happy....roflmao
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,900
83
Dallas, Texas
As to the technical question of "how does a pitcher throw to different locations"...

Let's look at the facts. The plate is 17 inches wide. The ball is 4.5 inches wide. Assume the pitcher is 37 feet from home plate when she releases the ball. The angular difference between an inside strike that just touches the black of the plate and an outside strike that just touches the black is about .4 degrees. Therefore, it is doubtful that you can are going to tell her "move your landing foot .25 inches to the right for an inside pitch. "

But, none of this really matters. No one cares how a pitcher can put the ball over the inside of the plate. The only concern is that she *can* consistently put the ball in a location.

Teaching control is not particular difficult, it is just very time consuming. Not surprisingly, you don't teach a girl how to throw a knee high, inside fastball on the first day. You approach it incrementally.

Step 1: Teach the pitcher to throw to the left and right side of the center line of the plate. In this phase, the only thing that is important is if the ball is left or right. The pitcher gets an "that-a-girl" for every pitch she puts on the designated side of the plate. Start by alternating "left" and "right". When she can do that, start randomly asking for a pitch either left or right.
Step 2: Teach the pitcher to throw high and low and on the designated side of the plate. Again, it doesn't matter if the high and inside pitch is two feet over your head and three feet inside. Start by alternating the locations, and then when she can do that, randomly ask for the ball in different spots.
Step 3: Divide the strike zone into 4 quadrants. There is a high inside, high outside, low inside and low outside. That-a-girls are rewarded to the pitcher if the catcher doesn't have to get out of the crotch ( or off the bucket) to catch a pitch AND if the pitch is in the correct quadrant.
Step 4: When step 3 is mastered, you then start calling for the ball in a particular location within the quadrant. I.e., she has to hit the mitt. You move the mitt between the different quadrants, but the mitt is always on the edge of the strike zone.

This isn't going to happen in a day or a week or a month. You'll find that her ability to locate the ball varies daily, but slowly improves. If one day she can't do step 4, simply go back and work on step 3. If she can't do step 3, then you go back to step 2. If she can't do step 2, she goes back to step 1.

Also, spend a few bucks and buy a a real "ball field" regulation plate, complete with black trim so that she can see what the heck is going on with the ball location and the plate.

I used this method with my DD. My DD threw 37 innings without walking a girl. The girl she ended up walking was not due to control problem. She was the number 4 batter, and there was a runner on 2nd. So, my DD pitched very carefully to her, didn't give her anything to hit and walked her. She then struck out the next batter, and she went another 15 innings before walking another batter.
 
Sep 29, 2008
1,269
38
Northeast Ohio
I used this method with my DD. My DD threw 37 innings without walking a girl. The girl she ended up walking was not due to control problem. She was the number 4 batter, and there was a runner on 2nd. So, my DD pitched very carefully to her, didn't give her anything to hit and walked her. She then struck out the next batter, and she went another 15 innings before walking another batter.
That's fantastic. I think I'll show this to my DD as inspiration to keep working hard.
 
Jul 21, 2008
415
0
I agree with locating pitches to the 4 quadrants but I have a question about the upper quadrants. In a game situation when throwing to these upper quadrants should they be in the strike zone. I teach my girls that when hitting these locations I want the ball up out of the strike zone about letter high or more. I have seen where other coaches teach to throw to the catchers knees for the lower quadrants and the shoulders for the upper. When doing this the shoulders of the catchers are in the wheel house of most good hitters and that ball gets hit along ways. I would like others thoughts on this issue.

Dan
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,900
83
Dallas, Texas
lhowser: Walks kill pitchers. Nothing will get a pitcher taken out faster than walks. Once the pitcher establishes to the umpire that she has control, she gets more borderline calls.

coachdan: As to tactics, my DD pitched successfully at the D1 level. D1 pitching is much, much more difficult than travel ball pitching--which is why some great travel ball players never succeed in college. The batters are very skilled. In conference play (which are the most important games of the season), a pitcher isn't going to surprise the other team. The batters will have played against her before, sometimes for a couple of years. If a pitcher never throws a high strike, the scouting report will say, "Pitcher never throws a high strike. Do not swing at pitches above the waist." Unlike in travel ball, the good batters will heed the advice given by the reports. So, if you don't throw high strikes, the batters won't swing at a rise.

So, yes a pitcher should throw into a batter's wheel house, but not necessarily with a fastball. The pitch should be moving and it will likely be off speed.
 
Going to throw out some guestimate numbers here:
The fingers/wrist action are 90% responsible for the direction the pitch is throw.
Body position/landing position may account for the other 10%.
Focus on good pitching mechanics relative to the powerline and put lots of time into throwing to various locations primarily focusing on the finger directional thrust at release.
 
Nov 6, 2008
71
0
Rick,
Agreed, fingers and wrist action (especially fingers) have everything to do with direction. The 10% attributed to foot landing position could increase in cases where the foot strike is significantly off of the powerline. Once that is corrected the emphasis returns to wrist and fingers.

Steve
 
Dec 31, 2008
15
0
Usually when hitting inside and outside pitches, i adjust where my front foot lands, and how far either way it lands. Any big adjustment would bring the ball to far inside or outside. About the 'cue', when i'm batting, i dont usually watch the pitchers feet, considering i watch her hip the whole time. Most batters wont pick up on the change in your landing, because if the change is small enough, yet effective, you wont have any issue with the batter catching this 'cue.'
 

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