Updated: Jan 30
Hi everyone, it's Joe from Multi-Sport Mindset. Today I'm going to share with you how to pitch from the stretch.
Be sure to watch the video because I'm going to compete in a pitching challenge where if I fail, I'm going to roll a big tractor tire down a hill, beat it to the bottom, and let it run me over. Also, the “piñata death scene” is pretty hilarious!
Youth and beginning baseball pitchers need to learn how to pitch out of the stretch so they can develop a routine and consistent, repeatable mechanics. Consistent, repeatable mechanics lead
s to the pitcher being able to throw harder, be more accurate, hold base runners better, and be able to field their position after they pitch the ball. I'm going to share with you four main points when pitching out of the stretch.
The first is the “straddle” position with the foot on either side of the rubber. In this position you are a fielder. You can do anything you want. You can move your feet, drop the ball, move your shoulders, and look around. The hands should be apart with the ball in your throwing hand.
The second is the “step on” position where you take you
r back foot (the farthest away from the catcher when in the straddle position) and you bring it to just in front of and against the pitching rubber. Now you are engaged with the pitching rubber. You can no longer move your feet but you can move your shoulders and upper body to look around. In the “step on” position, when you step on, you are going to look in towards the catcher, see the catcher’s sign (to find out which pitch to throw), and get the catcher’s target (the pitch location). Your hands should still be apart with the ball in your throwing hand.
The third is the “set” position. Once you have your sign and location you will come set where you bring your hands together in a relaxed position by your belly button. In the set position you should have a line from your back shoulder, through your front shoulder, straight through the catcher and a line from your back ball of foot through your front ball foot, straight through the catcher. This will allow you to generate more momentum, force, and consistency through the catcher and target when you decide to pitch the ball. When in the “set” or the “step-on” position in order to be become a fielder again, you need to “step off” which is a return to the straddle position. To “step off” you step directly back over the rubber (towards second base) with your foot that is against the pitching rubber. If in the “set” position you cannot take your hands apart until you have fully stepped off into the “straddle” position otherwise you will get called for a “balk”. A “balk” is a rule in baseball where the umpire determines th
e pitcher has tried to intentionally deceive the base runner and all the base runners on base get to advance one free base.
Once in the set position you’re going to look in, see your target, and take a deep breath. As you take a deep breath, you visualize throwing the ball to the tiniest point right in the dead center of the catcher's mitt. There's a saying called aim small miss small. If you aim for the tiniest point of the mitt, a miss is around the glove. If you're just aiming for the strike zone a miss is outside of the strike zone.
The fourth is to take a big leg kick, generate force and momentum down the mound, and throw the ball through the catcher. Don’t aim. Fire a bullet right through the catcher’s mitt.