- NC Baseball Academy Pitching Overview – What you can expect from our Professional Staff
Pitching is a very highly skilled position, one that requires great feel and control of your body’s movement patterns that are commonly referred to as pitching mechanics. NCBA’s Professional Staff teaches a set of core principles to help you develop a consistent, balanced and repeatable pitching delivery that will be the Cornerstone of your pitching development no matter the level of the game. Our pitching core principles coupled with the proper training program will give you, the aspiring player, the best chance to pitch at your highest level and reach your full pitching potential.
Quote: “ Player development is accelerated by the proper learning environment and proper training methods. NCBA has them both! The facilities and instructional staff at NCBA are the finest I have seen on the East Coast!” MLB Scouting Director
Stance- Wind Up: Rule of thumb in the address position or stance in wind up is: Be comfortable and Athletic. Favor the arm side. Spikes over the front of the rubber and slightly angled to your arm side with the back of your glove facing the hitter. Hold the ball in your hand, inside the glove, to eliminate the batters ability to see the ball before it is pitched. Be consistent and stand in the same position for every pitch. Set your hands the same way as well so the hitter cannot read your body positions as to what pitch may be coming.
Balance: Start balanced and maintain a sense of balance throughout the pitching delivery. At no point in the pitching delivery does the movement stop but being athletic equals body control. Body control gives the pitcher a sense of rhythm and timing as they move down the mound and into release of each pitch.
Rocker step is a term we use to initiate the start of the delivery with a short and slow step which starts the motion and gives the pitcher a sense of balance. Pivot foot is placed square beside the pitching rubber with the entire side of the foot touching the pitching rubber.
Knee will lift with foot under the knee, at least waist high, with hip in front of the lift leg. Let hip rotation be natural and part of the leg lift and not artificially manufactured which disrupts rhythm. Hands are centered for a consistent starting point each pitch. This movement equals a “primary balance” position as you build tempo and rhythm each pitch. The feel should be that the leg lift is natural and hits a point each pitch that triggers the start of the motion towards home plate.
Seperation: Seperation of the hands begins as the pitcher moves forward towards home plate and down the mound, it does not start at the pitching rubber. Hands move down and away from each other with the movement of the lead leg starting and extending towards the plate. They work together to create timing and rhythm for the pitcher. Hand on top of the ball. Glove side arm extends, rises, and lead elbow gets to at least shoulder height. Lead leg starts out and down with the foot extending out away from body. Back side leg will bend and stabilize, setting the proper angle for max lower body drive/extension. Landing foot lands flat.
Power Position: The power position is where the arm and ball are when the front foot is squarely on the ground. The forearm is up and the ball is pointed back but not straight back but more towards third base for the right hander and more towards first base for the left hander. Elbow is positioned slightly below the shoulder. Angle of the arm is no more than 90 degrees and slightly less and inside the 90 degree angle is better. The lead arm or glove side should remain strong as it rotates down and out in front of the pitcher.
Extension 1 : The hands move in a smooth manner down and away from each other as they separate. Hand on top of ball in a neutral position. Arm extends back in line with shoulders and behind the lead side. Front shoulder and lead side will move to arm side of the plate in extension placing the pitcher in a slightly rotated or closed position as the lower body rotates open first. Hand should rise and raise the elbow, not the elbow raising the hand.
Extension 2 : The lead arm extends also with the elbow rising up to at least shoulder height. Extension at release is chest over front firm knee with back foot still touching the mound. Glove and lead elbow rotate down in front of the body; throwing arm shoulder extended in front at release of ball. Back is trending towards a flat positon after release of the ball. Head steady and online.
Follow Through : The arm after release pronates then crosses in front of the body across the landing leg and outside the landing knee. Ideal would be for the throwing arm to remain in a slightly bent position. The back will extend to a flat position with head on line and eyes on target. Proper back hip drive allows the lead leg to firm/post and pushes the lead hip back to allow the upper body to rotate and finish over it as the arm decelerates. Back leg lifts then rotates over. Body control and proper synchronization of the move patterns/mechanics allow for a balanced finish.
Sequence: The proper pitching delivery is critical to your pitching success! Putting all the movements together with great timing and rhythm allows you to command the baseball with your best velocity and brings consistency to all your pitches.