Thursdays Throwing and Pitching Tips
Helping Youth get over fear of Pitching Inside
Many youth baseball players are leery of hitting batters, so they are afraid of inside pitching to hitters. Because of this, they aim to pitch everything outside or ease up to throw the ball. The results are predictable pitching that gives batters a big advantage or a lot of walks with trying to aim pitches to just one half of the plate.
Inside pitching and pitching to the whole plate is a big advantage for pitching. Players must overcome their fear of inside pitching if they are going to have long-term pitching success. The first coaching move should be to explain why inside pitching is so critical.
Importance of Inside Pitching
- Batters cannot get as comfortable knowing the ball could be thrown inside
- The advantage of pitching inside is with the pitcher, as it is more difficult getting the barrel of the bat on inside pitches, in general.
- Having to cover the whole 17 inches of the plate creates problems for hitters, as opposed to covering just half of the plate.
Inside Pitching Drill
Instead of having other youth batters, a coach grabs a fielder’s glove and stands in the batter’s box, pretending to be a hitter but with the glove instead. Coaches inform the pitcher that any ball thrown at the coach, which might hit him, will be easily caught. In this way, players realize it is safe for the coach-batter and they can practice pitching inside. This inside pitching drill works with or without a regular catcher, as a backstop suffices without a catcher.
Another good drill done in the same manner and without a catcher is, with the coach acting as the hitter and with the fielder’s glove, the coach catches all the pitched balls. Any ball the coach cannot reach from their batting position is an obvious ball, but this drill allows players to notice exactly where the pitched ball crosses home plate.
Coaches alternate from the right-handed batter’s box to the left handed one. This inside pitching drill, with the coach/batter protected helps youth baseball pitchers get experience throwing to batters without fear of hitting them and helps them gain confidence on the mound.