Thursday Throwing Tips
Necessary Pitching Tips Coaches should Follow
Protecting pitchers’ arms is another baseball coaching responsibility. Understandably, most youth coaches do not have the training to do that. Following are pitching tips for youth baseball coaches to know.
- The radar gun is good for seeing differences in speeds from fastball to off-speed pitches, rather than seeing how fast kids throw. Arm injuries often occur when kids try to light up the gun and over throw.
- Pitchers should throw a few balls at maximum speed and at a further distance than pitching distance right before heading to the mound, so the arm is 100 percent loose.
- Have a pitch count for the starting pitcher’s pre-game warm up too. Often, kids are allowed to throw too much before games, leaving to an early tired arm in games, along with leaving their good stuff in the bull pen.
- The pre-game pitching warm up is to get loose, get a nice rhythm with mechanics, and mentally prepare for the game. It is not a time to be messing with one’s mechanics, except for some minor adjustments.
- Relief pitchers should have enough time to warm up to pitch, so sitting them out the inning before they are to pitch is good, when possible.
- Innings pitched rules and pitch counts are something to observe, with proper rest days associated with those. Coaches should also be aware of total number of pitches in one inning. When that number gets too high, over thirty, for instance, coaches must watch for affected pitching mechanics and make changes when they are affected.
- As with hitting, style is OK as long as mechanics are good. Noticing the difference between what is style as opposed to bad pitching mechanics is difficult for youth coaches, so having a pitching specialist check players out is usually a good thing.
- It is difficult getting enough work on off speed pitches and pitching mechanics because of fatigue, so having pitchers work on grips, pitches, and mechanics at slower speeds is good on off-pitching days.
- Instituting a short running routine after pitching is good to help the arm and body recover quicker.
- Never just, “blow it off” when youth pitchers say they have sore arms. With that in mind, coaches can never have enough pitchers so it is good to be grooming others (non-pitchers) to pitch as the season wears on.