Baseball Strategy

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How To Keep Baseball Pitchers Motivated When They Are Not Pitching   


 

Baseball Pitching may be one of the most exciting jobs in all sports.   That is when you are pitching.   When you are between starts, this can be a very frustrating time because you are basically sitting around waiting for your next start watching all the other players practice.    Over time, a pitcher’s mind will wander and he will begin to want to do other things, such as hit.   A smart coach will recognize this and ensure his baseball strategy includes ways of keeping pitchers busy practicing their craft.   

  

Here is a list of tips to help keep pitchers motivated on pitching:  

  

1.      Tape Games: Tape their games and have them watch a tape of their game.  Then, the pitchers should critique their game and point out some things that they can improve on.  

  

2.      Practice baseball drills: Create a list of drills for them to perform on their off days.  These drills could include:  

a.      Practicing their different pitching motions (windup, stretch and any variations) even if they are not actually throwing a baseball.  

b.      Having them practice accuracy by throwing the baseball to the four corners of the plate.   Make a game of this by having another pitcher keep score of how well they did.   These results should be posted in the locker room as .     

c.       Have them practice bunt coverage drills.  

d.      Have them practice their pickoff moves (pickoff to first, second, and any variations).  

e.      Have them practice different balancing drills or visualization techniques.  

  

3.      No Down Time in Games: While watching other pitchers pitch in games, you can have non-pitching pitchers do two things:  

a.      Thinking Situations: Start having them think about what pitch should be thrown in a certain situation.  Periodically ask them questions on what they think should be the appropriate response.  If they do not have an answer, make them run fence poles, situps, or pushups.  The goal here is to keep their mind active and focused on pitching.  

b.      Tape Each Other’s Games: Have one of the other players tape the game of the pitcher who is pitching.  The taping of the games should focus on the mechanics of the pitcher.  

 

 

4.       Weight Training: Even during the season, it is ok for the pitchers to have one day a week of weight lifting. If their arm is sore, this should be avoided. However, one day of weight training helps keeps muscle mass that was gained in the off season. Provide them with a basic weight training schedule that focuses on building up the core muscles.  

  

5.       Physical Fitness: Incorporate running and long toss drills into their daily routines.    

  

6.       Keep Pitchers Away From Batting Practice : Separate the pitchers from the rest of the team during team batting practice to focus on other training drills or watch film.  Ideally, you would like to keep them away from the field so they cannot watch the batting practice.  We are using the out of sight, out of mind principle here.  If the pitchers cannot see the batting practice, they are less likely to get feelings of wanting to participate in it.    

  

The main goal of these tips is to find ways that will keep the pitchers motivated in pitching.  Ideally, you would like to turn a number of these activities into games. Games seem less like practice and they allow pitchers the ability to strive towards a goal. Initially, this may take some experimentation to find a process that works best for your group.  However, as long as they are kept active, you will have accomplished your baseball strategy of keeping them motivated and focused on pitching.

  

*To get more tips on how to keep players motivated in the off-season, check out baseball strategies for the off-season.       

     

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