How to Throw Pitches

By Dan Gazaway

One of the most enjoyable parts of pitching is learning how to throw different pitches. Admit it! You enjoy making the batter look like a fool swinging at a curveball they weren’t expecting; or lunging three feet forward to try and reach your change. It’s a fun part of pitching and it is a necessary part. Your job as a pitcher is to keep the hitters off balance so they don’t get a good jump on the ball. Great pitchers master this craft.

The three most important things to have in your pitching arsenal are change of speed, movement and location. If you have those three with three great pitches; you will experience success on the hill. You will keep the hitters guessing what’s coming. With this success formula, if you don’t get a ton of strikeouts you will get a lot of pop ups and ground outs. You will also have a better chance of keeping your pitch count much lower which, perhaps, is the biggest bonus.
 
Here’s the sad fact. Most pitchers that throw off speed pitches run the risk of injury. I have written previous articles and I have been blogging on this very topic all over the internet right now. I think it is very important that young pitchers learn how to throw different pitches because they won‘t have success otherwise (every hitter catches up to any fastball). However, I don’t think it important enough to learn other pitches until they have learned how to throw with correct pitching mechanics first.
Here are some things to avoid when you are learning how to throw an additional pitch:
1) Avoid twisting your arm just before release of the baseball
2) Avoid changing your arm slot “forcing” a better rotation on the ball or downward movement
3) Don’t Change your fastball mechanics: As a pitcher you want to be deceiving. It is very difficult to deceive an experienced batter when you look different each time you throw a certain pitch. You are only informing the batter what to expect.
4) Avoid changing your arm speed to take a bit off the pitch. The only thing that changes is your wrist and forearm angle when you throw a different pitch. Your fastball is thrown with the palm facing home plate, curveball is like a “karate chop” at release and the C Change is when the C is thrown directly toward your 4) Avoid changing your arm speed to take a bit off the pitch. The only thing that changes is your wrist and forearm angle when you throw a different pitch. Your fastball is thrown with the palm facing home plate, curveball is like a “karate chop” at release and the C Change is when the C is thrown directly toward your target. You don’t need to get fancy and start messing around with all of the other “stuff” that is only going to harm you in the long run. My advice is to keep pitching simple while you learn how to throw pitches. Spend time learning all you can about the pitch before you just go out and try throwing it.

Dan Gazaway is the owner of The Pitching Academy http://www.facebook.com/ThePitchingAcademy  and has been coaching pitchers for over 15 years.  His instructional products have been a valuable resource for many coaches, parents and pitchers of all ages.  His website is http://www.thepitchingacademy.com. Get their FREE pitching grips ebook here (use coupon code thepitchingacademy)

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