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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Drills For Little League Pitchers in the Bull Pen

By John R Di Nicola

The Bull Pen is where you can get the most done working with your young pitchers. Here they are working on their wind up and delivery. The pitchers will go through this station while the team is working on infield outfield practices. Once you have had a practice or two you can determine how much time you will allot for this station. You most likely will not get all the pitchers completed. Also your pitchers will be playing a position so you will have to schedule stations with that in mind.

You will most likely have to schedule several practices with pitchers and catchers only before the season starts. You can get so much more accomplished by working solely with the pitchers. Listed below are drills you can do in the bull pen and the actual field.

1. Wind up and from the Stretch - Mechanics

* This is the most important part for the young pitcher. Unless you get real lucky and have a pitcher who has pitched before you basically will be starting from scratch. To help the young pitcher feel comfortable you might want them to pitch from the stretch. History has shown they tend have better control when pitching out the stretch. A big factor that at the 7,8, and 9 year old level there seem to be a lot of base runners so they spend most of the time in the stretch position.

2. Locations

* This is the only time when you can really work on their control. You give them five places to look at while they are in their wind up and delivery.

1) The catcher right shoulder 2) Right Knee 3) Left shoulder 4) Left Knee 5) catcher's mask.

They first throw 10 pitches to catcher's mask. You instruct them to reach out and pull the catcher's mask off. Show them the index finger and middle finger out in front with arm extended and snap them down as to pull down when releasing the ball.

* Have them throw 5 pitches to each of the other locations. Once they are in the ready position they should pick up one of the locations and keep their eye's focused on the location till after the release of the ball.

* In time you should see improvement, However if a player is not improving with his control you to redirect him back to a position and try and find another pitcher.

Organizing your Practice

Set up your schedule and rotate your days you do the drills. You will find that some of the drills they will pick up quicker than others. The biggest thing is you cannot have marathon practices. By keeping the practices short and crisp you will keep players motivated. I found if you have a practice schedule and post it, will show the players approximately how long each drill will be and what to expect.

Practice makes perfect.

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick