Some of the most important baseball pitching drills focus on accuracy and placing the ball where you want it to be.
The following drills challenge athletes to continually improve their ability to get the ball where it’s intended to go. Drills can be adjusted depending on the age and playing level of different teams and players.
In the bullseye drill, players throw the ball into an ever-decreasing bullseye. Coaches should tape off a square bullseye, either into a padded wall or a throwing or batting cage.
Inside each square, there is a smaller square, with a total of five squares.
The size of the bullseye depends on the age and playing ability of the team you are working with, but it should be challenging.
Players must throw three to five balls back-to-back inside the bullseye before the coach removes the outer-most piece of tape, thus decreasing the size of the bullseye.
The number of back-to-back balls thrown into the bullseye is also a decision the coach makes, depending on the age and playing level of the team.
Kneeling Partner Pitches
Each player needs a partner. Both partners kneel on the ground, both with gloves, but with only one ball. The distance between the players is up to the coach, and can be extended periodically during the drill to make things more difficult.
Each pair pitches back and forth. The pitch is considered “good” if the catcher does not have to extend his arms out to his sides in order to catch the ball.
If the catchers extend their arms, the pitcher gets a point. If the catchers lift a knee to reach for the pitch, the pitcher gets two points. If the catcher falls in an effort to get the pitch, the pitcher gets three points.
Pitchers must keep their point total under five to stay in the game. The catcher counts the number of pitches the pitcher completes before reaching five points, and then the catcher becomes the pitcher and vice versa.
To make the drill more exciting or competitive for the players, pitchers can be ranked against each other to find the pitcher who completed the most pitchers before reaching five points.
Each of these drills can be made more difficult with just a few small tweaks.
As already mentioned, coaches can increase the distance between players or between the pitcher and the bullseye.
Coaches can focus on pitching speed, or measuring accuracy against each other pitchers to create some friendly competition.