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Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Baseball Pitching Tips - Fielding Practice is For Pitchers Too!
By Larry Cicchiello
Always remember that as a baseball pitcher, once you throw the baseball you become a defensive player like everyone else. One of the best baseball pitching tips has nothing to do with baseball pitching. Set aside some time and practice baseball fielding as well and it will be time very well spent. I would really like to see pitchers spend more time practicing their baseball fielding, which will greatly help the team, as well as the pitcher himself.
I'm well aware that most of a pitcher's practice time should be spent throwing the baseball. I'm also well aware that a pitcher who is serious about being successful should find some time for practicing his fielding as well. Ten minutes a couple of times a week is all it takes.
Let's look at some very basic basic baseball fielding drills that a pitcher should practice.
Grounders Back to the Mound. Field the ball and throw to all four bases a couple of times. It's amazing that some pitchers with pinpoint control when throwing to their catchers will miss their target when throwing to third base by ten feet! The reason is quite simple. They are making throws that are unfamiliar to them. Practice throws to all four bases and they will no longer be unfamiliar throws.
Fielding Bunts. Practice fielding bunts in front of the plate and down both lines. Practice throwing to all four bases.
Fielding Bunts Suicide Squeeze Situation. Practice getting the throw to your catcher quickly and accurately.
Covering First Base. We will discuss this in detail later on. In a nutshell, sprint to the first base line about four steps from the base. Turn and run in fair territory down the line. Chest high target and tag inside of the base with your right foot.
Covering Home Plate. We will go into much more detail later on. Be very cautious when covering home plate. Along with the line drive back to the mound, it is an extremely dangerous play for a pitcher! Make sure to stay in front of the plate and in fair territory. Make a quick swipe tag with your glove going quickly toward the ground to tag out the runner. In other words, you only want the base runner to slide into your glove and make sure the rest of your body is out of harm's way. Baseball pitching careers have ended because the pitcher has stood in the path of a sprinting base runner. Stay in front of the plate!
Baseball pitchers should practice their baseball fielding like it's a live game. If you practice at only half speed, the results you get may be only slighter better than if you did not practice at all. Hey, if you're willing to put in the time to practice and improve your baseball skills, you deserve to get all the benefits from that practice time. Don't cheat yourself.
In closing, just remember that it makes no sense at all for a baseball pitcher with pinpoint control to miss his third baseman or first or second baseman by ten feet. It can cost the ball game. Finding some time to work on your baseball fielding is time very well spent.
Larry is the president of Larwenty Online Enterprises Inc. and also the author of "Excellent Baseball Coaching: 30 Seconds Away." If you are a baseball player or are involved in baseball coaching at any level of play or a parent who wants to help your child improve, you will be fully equipped! His baseball website offers several FREE baseball tips from his very informative and very fairly priced eBooks.
Larry's baseball website is http://www.larrybaseball.com/
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