Player is square to their target 10-15 feet away; knees shoulder width apart with glove side knee slightly in front of throwing side knee.
Emphasis on short, whip like arm motion. The elbow should go straight back and then straight forward to throw. The hand and ball should never drop down to the waist line. The player can imagine they are elbowing someone behind them before throwing.
The player should also focus on a quick change of direction with the elbow, do not let them pause or delay with the ball behind their head.
Must allow weight to finish out front after release bending at the waist, if the player falls forward that is ok but not necessary. It is very important that the player doesn’t shift their weight backwards after release.
Perfect Finish Drill
The player will perform this drill 10-12ft from their target. The player starts this drill in a finish position (lunge position, front foot out in front of front knee, back knee low to ground but not on the ground, chest square to wall).
Player must maintain solid leg positioning until release, legs should not sway.
Will the ball held in front the player begins with a slight movement to bring their chest down to the knee (legs should not move). The player will then pull back, pinching their shoulder blades together and arching their back, keeping their shoulder square to their target. Arm should be in their natural arm slot with the forearm laid back as far as is comfortable. The glove hand should create a mirror image of the throwing arm.
As soon as the player has laid back as far as possible they should snap forward as if they were pulled back by a rubber band and then let go.
The player will begin this drill in the set position but he will cross his front foot over his back foot so it sits directly behind the front foot.
The player begins by sticking his front hip out toward the target. This position should be achieved will very minimal tilt to his shoulder plane.
As the player eases his front hip toward the target he is waiting for the moment when he feels he will fall over. At this point the player should lift his front leg high and drive as fast and hard as possible off of the back leg. Emphasize that as soon as the leg lifts the player must try to go faster and more powerful than ever before.
The player will need to speed up their arm slightly to ensure that the entire body is in sync.
Drill should be done at 50-60ft. This version of the drill is done more slowly, at a walking pace. Emphasis is on body position and feeling for the balance point.
The player will begin in the set position; he will then use his back leg to step behind his front leg. As the back leg lands the player should have they body in a position with their front hip leading them to their target while keeping their shoulders level.
As the player feels like he is about to fall forward he will lift his front leg and drive forward as he throws.
Be sure to reach the ball as close to the target as possible and maintain a strong front side through release.
To begin the drill the4 player needs to position themselves 8-18 inches from the wall. Position depends on size of the athlete, a good rule of thumb is to place your toe against the wall and use the length of your foot as a starting point.
Standing in the set position with their glove side facing the wall players will lift their front leg, stick their front hip out and shifting their back knee to a position inside of their back foot.
As the player gets into this position their front hip should make contact with the wall, the player should try to maintain a level plane with their shoulders but the hip should lead them to the wall and be the only point of contact on the wall.
Once the player makes contact with the wall he will push as hard as he can into the wall with their back leg for 5 seconds, relax, and repeat.
Mechanics Through Hand break
Work on good set position (ball in glove at chest, feet staggered slightly, slight bend in knees), proper leg lift (front knee to rear ear), and hand break (thumbs to waist).
Front knee and hands work together. As hands begin to separate, hands push down front knee.
Mechanics Through Follow Through
Work on good set position (ball in glove at chest, feet staggered slightly, slight bend in knees), proper leg lift (front knee to rear ear), hand break (thumbs to waist), stride (down and out).
Follow through and check glove position (throwing arm outside of glove side knee, rear foot comes up off ground and ends up parallel with front foot, glove stays up near chest)
Working with young players is a constant challenge. Baseball Zone helps you plan practices quickly, giving you a solid practice plan in no time. These are some of the same drills we used at the major league level.
Mike MacFarlane Former Catcher Kansas City Royals Owner, Mac-N-Seitz Baseball Academy
Baseball Zone is a fundamental but advanced approach to the game of baseball and its endless preparation. This program is as good as there is, the passion shows.
Jim Benedict Special Assistant to the General Manager Pittsburgh Pirates
Baseball Zone's drills and techniques are what every player needs to master to get to the next level.