Years of practice and dedication – that’s what it takes to be a successful baseball pitcher. While it’s true that some naturally have the gift. They didn’t reach professional level without polishing their skills and developing good habits to avoid injury and improve their technique.
Because young athlete’s bodies are still developing, they’re more susceptible to injury when they push themselves too hard. And that’s why any kid who aspires to be a star baseball pitcher should be establishing their technique early on and gradually building their bodies.
Understanding how to accomplish that may require the guidance of a coach or mentor who knows the demands of pitching. Here are 7 baseball tips for the young athlete who has ambitions to become a Major League baseball pitcher:
Don’t let the potential of fame and fortune overshadow the fun. You can’t dedicate yourself to a sport that you’re not passionate about. It’s important that you love playing the sport, above anything else. Learn the fundamentals first and sharpen your skills next. Remember that it’s still just a game.
Throw with Purpose
Whether you’re just playing catch, throwing the ball around during practice, or pitching for your team, always throw correctly and with purpose. Always throw at competition-level to help condition both your body and mind that you are going to throw the ball with control and consistency each time.
Get the Basics Right First
Start with simple movements and gradually move your way up. Basic motions will eventually build with force and precision. Technique doesn’t have to be established immediately. It sounds cliché, but you need to walk before you can run.
Mix Things Up
You still have time to grow and find yourself. Experiment with 4 or 5 pitches. Test them out at practice and find which 2 or 3 feel right. Once you’ve figured out which pitching style suits you best, work towards developing their level of accuracy, release, and speed. It’s better to perfect 2 or 3 pitches than be execute multiple pitching grips that aren’t as effective.
Don’t spend hours watching video of your favorite pitcher and expect that you’ll be able to perform at the level right away. Pitching demands patience, and it also requires you to think rationally about your own capabilities at this point. Don’t beat yourself up when you can’t quite master that spin or speed that you’re aspiring to achieve.
Focus on Accuracy, Before Velocity
While clocking a pitch at 105 mph is impressive, there’s really no point if it doesn’t hit your mark. In your early years, you should be more concerned about hitting your target than speed. Remember that a good pitch is a combination of many elements – not only does it have to be fast, but it must be smart and deceptive and yet, delivered squarely in the catcher’s mitt.
Don’t get cocky. The more you practice, the more you improve. This doesn’t give you the excuse to become arrogant or stop working towards your goal. Even professional athletes fall into slumps and only a strong sense of well-being and self-awareness can get them out of it.