baseball with the words pitching instruction

The game of baseball, especially for pitchers, is an ongoing learning experience, for pitching, as well as the game of baseball. Here are a few things to understand about the game and about learning the game, and, of course, about your pitching delivery.

We Teach The Major League Baseball Pitching Form
Our Pitchers Learn To:

                             Prevent Arm Injury
                                     Increase Velocity
                                            Throw Consistent Strikes
                                                   Change Speeds
                                                          Handle Mental Aspects



As a pitching instructor, the one thing I have found critical in teaching the baseball pitching delivery is the video camera. It is the only way to see the total sequence of events taking place from the beginning to end of the delivery. There are so many aspects to the pitching delivery.

For instance,

Is the pitcher balanced from the beginning to the end of his delivery?
Is the pitcher standing on the balls of his feet when he sets up?
Is the pitcher stepping down on the ball of his foot at landing?
Where does he break his hands?
If he breaks his hands too early, his arm will be up before his body is ready to move forward.
Are his hands and knees moving in sequence as he starts his movement toward the plate?
If the hands move prematurely, his timing will be thrown off.
If his knees move prematurely, his timing will be thrown off.
How does the control his starter step?
If he moves too far back, he will be out of balance throughout his delivery
What is the position of his head during his delivery?
Where the head goes, the body will follow.
After hand break, do the pitcher’s elbows come up together, creating opposite and equal elbows?
If not, the pitcher loses his stored energy late in his delivery.
Is he putting stress on his shoulder by bringing his back elbow straight up into the throwing position instead of out and up?

These are just a few of the things to look for during the pitching delivery. As you might imagine, there are many more.

It takes many different views of the same pitch the pitcher has thrown to see these things. The only way to see these things is through the lens of a video camera. Then each pitch has to be seen in slow motion, with stop action. Only then will you get a complete understanding of what is taking place during the pitching delivery.

If you are a pitcher, get someone to video you in the games you pitch. The more pitches videoed, the more information you have. Keep in mind, at the lower levels, from Little League to college, it is usual to see different deliveries, even in the same game. That is an obvious adjustment that must be made.

You will also want to video your practice sessions. The same thing applies for practice as in games, the more angles you have and the more pitches that are videoed, the more information you have.

Video, video and video. Then learn what a proper pitching sequence looks like, compare yourself and make the necessary adjustments.

In every game you pitch, in every practice session, you should have at least five different pitches videoed from different angles: five from the front, five from behind the catcher, five from behind the center fielder. Also, be sure to video at least five pitches from the open side (third base side if you are a RHP, the first base side if you are a LHP. With this information you will have all the information you will need.

One thing you should know if you are an aspiring pitcher: if you have a pitching coach and he is not using a camera, find another pitching coach. He is guessing at best. It is impossible to see all that is going on during the delivery with the naked eye.

Be sure to keep all the copies you have made. Compare last year’s delivery to this year’s delivery. In fact, compare your last outing’s delivery to the previous one. Only in this way will you be able to understand what is happening in your delivery. Only in this way will you be able to attain your highest level as a winning baseball pitcher.
Baseball players, as is the case with all athletes, perform at their highest level when they are relaxed. When an athlete's mind is clear his body is free to move freely. When a body is moving freely, he is able to perform at his highest level.

The question is, how does the athlete get to the point where he is constantly and consistently competing at his highest level? In other words, how does the athlete get to the point where his mind and body are completely clear and performing at peak level?

One highly effective method is to use subliminal messaging software. This conditions your subconscious mind to work with your body at its optimum level. The technique is very simple, you just watch the proper subliminal message program as recommended, and your subconscious mind learns to do the right things, at the right time, automatically.
So now, mind and body are working together, and that is the formula for winning. See links below for our special subliminal message programs that can help you both as an athlete and a baseball pitcher.

“That which you do not know, the doing will quickly teach you.”
                                                                                  ---Lao Tsu.

The secret to velocity is speed, timing and a smooth delivery.

Pitching, like golf, is a skill sport. It is not a strength sport. Pitching is about the speed of the body. It is about how fast the pitcher gets his belt buckle turned from the side to the front. The faster the pitcher moves the belt buckle from the side to the front, the faster the arm comes around to deliver the pitch.
Remember, the pitcher wants his body to move fast, exceedingly fast, through space. The faster the pitcher moves through space, the higher the velocity of his pitch.

Add to this all parts of the body moving in sequence, just the way the body is meant to move, and you've added the smoothness to the delivery. Those two components combined, work to upset the hitter's timing.

A perfect example of this is major league pitcher, Mariano Rivera. His delivery is so smooth and effortless the ball seems to be moving faster than it actually is. And because the batter is timing Rivera's delivery, the effortlessness and smoothness of the delivery actually upsets his timing.

The weight room will actually disrupt a pitcher's delivery
 by creating imbalance and flexibility problems.
Because pitching is about speed, and not about strength, as the body moves faster, it cannot use the strength it has. It is the same with a sprinter. The only strength the sprinter needs is to get himself off the blocks. Once he's out of the blocks, it's all about speed. In the same way, the only strength the pitcher needs is to accelerate his core during the middle of his delivery. So, pumping iron is a waste of time. A pitcher will better use his time by pitching. Pitching, pitching, pitching, to train the body move faster.

"Remember, the pitcher is trying to move a five ounce baseball, not a fifty pound medicine ball. We do that by getting all the parts moving in a smooth sequence."

What Kind of Training Should a Pitcher Have?

"Speed training is what is needed to maximize a pitcher's effectiveness. The pitcher wants to get from his back foot to his front foot, to get that belt buckle turned from side to front in the fastest possible way."
Ref: Did Mills' Explosive Pitching (DVD)

To Throw a Ball 90 mph.
The speed of the ball is important in winning the game. There is a proper way to get speed.

"To throw a ball ninety miles an hour, the hand behind it must be moving the same speed. Think about it: the arm and the hand hold the ball—a yard of human bone, sinew and muscle—go from zero to ninety miles an hour in less than a tenth of a second. The hand stops; the ball flies. In sports like javelin throwing and cricket, the hurler develops speed by running toward the target. The baseball pitcher works from a standing start, giving the ball momentum out of the force of his own body movement, the energy of swivel and whip.

Throwing a ball is not just in the arm and hand. The pitching motion is a coordinated launch maneuver, from legs to hips to trunk to arm to forearm to hand to fingertips. As each body segment moves, the next picks up the speed of the one driving it and adds more speed until the ball is released."
Ref: The Hurlers, p58

A ball thrown at ninety miles per hour is traveling 
132 feet per second. 


If there is no absolute method for breaking the hands, I do recommend the absolute wisdom of a phrase taught by major league pitching coach, Harvey Haddox, who once pitched twelve innings of a perfect game, only to lose the no-hitter and the game in the thirteenth inning, "Get it out and get it up".

You must get the ball out of your glove and into the throwing position quickly. There is obviously nothing to be accomplished by keeping the ball in your glove.

If you are slow bringing your pitching hand up into the throwing position, your arm will lag behind your body and throw off your timing.
Coaches like to use the expression, "He's having trouble getting his arm up," to describe a fatiguing hurler. You, as a pitcher can battle this dangerous tendency by constantly remembering the phrase, "Get it out and get it up".

I cannot overemphasize how important these seven words are to successful pitching. You are at a critical juncture in the delivery. For the only time, your weight has partially shifted behind the rubber to your left foot. You are breaking your hands preparatory to bringing your arm up into throwing position.
Don't dawdle or fumble in the glove. "Get it out and get it up". Tom Seaver, HOF
"That which you do not know, the doing will quickly teach you."
                                                                                 -- Lao Tzu


The difference between the pitcher getting the most velocity out of his delivery or not, is in the knee lift. Proper knee lift is also one of the five absolutes of pitching 

Also known as the gathered position. The knee lift gathers all the energy into the pitcher's hips that he is going to put into his pitch. It is the midway point in the pitching delivery. The knee lift is where forward momentum begins, where the actual pitch begins.

With the knee in the proper gathered position, the stride leg is off the ground and all the weight is on the back leg. (Posting leg).

All movement by the pitcher up to this point is to create a rhythm and gather momentum.
There is no actual rule for the height of the knee lift. However, the knee lift should be at least as high as the belt. Anything less and there is no way to for the pitcher to gather the maximum energy into the hips to release his highest velocity pitch.

Some pitchers go higher than the belt. Two extreme examples of this are Nolan Ryan and Orlando Hernandez. Good for them. Not good for the average pitcher, whether he be in Little League or in the Majors.

"The pitcher should take his time reaching the gathered position and follow with a power movement toward the plate." 

Ref: Spanky McFarland, Coaching Pitchers, 1st ed, pg 40
The best of example of this is former New York Yankees great, Mariano Rivera. The beginning of his delivery is slow and easy. Once he brings his knee lift to the proper height reaching his full gathered position, he explodes toward the plate. That slow and smooth beginning followed by his last instant, explosive movement toward the plate, actually makes his ball seem faster than it really is. Good for the pitcher. Bad for the batter. 

Problems created by improper knee lift height 

"Many pitchers will start their body forward before the knee lift is in proper position. When a pitcher does this, it causes the stride leg to open prematurely. This leads to rushing. When a pitcher rushes, it causes the pitcher to lose control high. The body goes to the plate before the throwing arm can catch up, causing a release point behind, rather than over, the stride leg". 
Ref: Spanky McFarland, Coaching Pitchers, 1st ed, pg 40

“That which you do not know, the doing will quickly teach you.”
                                                                                  ---Lao Tsu.

When a pitcher lands and braces up against the front side, the stride length is app. 87 – 90% of the pitcher's height, sometimes more, depending on the development of the pitcher.

A pitcher can stride out as far as he wants, as long his head stays over the front knee. If the stride is too long, the ball will to into the ground.

Why a pitcher needs a long stride.
Think of a pitcher's body as a huge rubber band, the more you pull the rubber band back, the further the distance it will go. If you shorten the distance you pull back on the rubber band, the shorter the distance it will go.

What this means to a pitcher is the longer the stride, the more the velocity, the shorter the stride, the less the velocity. In other words, this is critical to a pitcher's velocity, and translates into more or less velocity.
Getting out on that front leg also gets the arm up into the proper throwing position. It gets it up on top. The pitcher's arm comes up and over and what that means is that when you are top that way, the ball in being thrown in a downward direction, which is the right form for throwing a baseball properly. Pitching, is, after all, throwing downhill.

"We want a long stride to use the body's elastic energy. If a pitcher gets into a long stride, as most power pitchers do, they use all the elastic energy of their body. Once they land on that long stride and they close up, all their energy goes into rotation and bringing the arm through".

Ref: Dick Mills,


I cannot stress how important it is to land of a flexible front leg. It is one of the five absolutes of pitching.

"The key to incorporating the lower body into the art of pitching lies in flexibility of the legs, especially the font leg (the left leg in a right-handed pitcher and the right leg in a left-handed pitcher).

"After nearly two decades of major-league experience and close observation of my fellow moundsmen, I cannot emphasize enough how important a flexible front leg is to aspiring pitchers. If you keep your front leg stiff while delivering the baseball, the lower half of the body works against the upper half. It is likely that in a few years the only delivery you will be capable of is the mail delivery.

"Whereas a right-handed pitcher derives his power from his rear right leg, the left leg bears the brunt of every pitch as it is released. The more flexible that front leg can be trained to be, the less the strain you will place on your delicate shoulder and arm muscles.

It may be easier to throw with a stiff front leg. It takes a lot of concentration and much more physical effort to incorporate your lower body in every pitch. You may even have thrown several no-hitters in high school and shutouts in the lower minor leagues off a stiff front leg. Ultimately, however, the odds on injury to your upper body, especially your arm and shoulder, will increase.

One of the most dangerous side effects of throwing off a stiff front leg is the bullwhipping reaction of your throwing arm. After each pitch, the arm coils back on itself like a rubber band that had been snapped violently.

To correct landing on a stiff front leg, keep most of the weight on the right foot (right-handed pitcher), throughout most of the motion so you can land more flexibly on the left foot.

Don't wait for an injury to develop before developing proper mechanics. Perfect good habits early in your career. The longer you retain a bad habit, the more difficult it will be to break and correct that habit." 

Ref: The Art of Pitching, Tom Seaver, 1984, pg 60


In our pitching teaching we find a lot of players make the mistake of pitching from the top of the rubber. This is not a good idea. It annoys the space aliens and throws them off their game. You don't want to mess with them. They have ray guns, you've only got a bat!

"It is erroneously believed that the pitcher should pitch from the top of the rubber. That is not so. Pitching from the top of the rubber will actually mess up your balance and mechanics.
If the essence of pitching is balance, pitching off the rubber will force the pitcher to fight for his balance. If the pitcher is to be effective, balance must be maintained from the beginning of the delivery to the end of the delivery.

He wants to have his balance and not have to think about it or work at it. Pitching from the top of the rubber creates just such a situation. The pitcher will be working to maintain his balance, while at the same time trying to keep his mechanics. It can't be done.

It is believed that the pitcher will get more velocity while pitching off the rubber and thus pushing off the rubber. The power in pitching comes from hip rotation and flexing the torso. In this way the pitcher creates a whipping action of the throwing arm and hand, after setting up a firm base with your foot plant.
Plant your posting leg in front of the rubber, with the side of the foot in contact with the rubber."

Ref: The Louisville Slugger Complete Book of Pitching. Doug Myers and Mark Gola. 2000, pg 22

As a pitcher you are your own coach when you are on the mound. There might be 50,000 people in the stands, or no one, with one bench yelling encouragement while the other, discouragement, or not. 

Whatever the case, you are alone, you are by yourself, with a job that must be done. It is up to you to get it done.

You must know what adjustments to make if you suddenly find yourself in a situation where the ball is not doing what you want it to do the way you want it to do it. This is an extremely important part of your job, of pitching. You must learn your game and know it well. At the same time, you must maintain a calm inner being. You must be relaxed.
Learning the art of pitching takes lots of time, study, and infinite patience to be an effective pitcher. If there is a perfect way to do something, it can be learned. Learn the perfect way to pitch, and then practice diligently. Learning how to maintain a calm inner being, being completely relaxed, is easier than you think.

Scroll down for more information on both these pitching aspects.

"If you want to be the best, you must do what the best do."
                                                                                                                     ---Skip Murray

"That which you do not know, the doing will quickly teach you."
                                                                               ---Lao Tzu

Baseball players, as is the case with all athletes, perform at their highest level when they are relaxed. When the mind is clear the body is body to move freely and easily. When the body is moving freely, the athlete is able to perform at the highest level.
The question is, how does the athlete get to the point where he or she is constantly and consistently competing at that highest level? In other words, how does the athlete get to the point where his or her mind and body are completely clear and performing at peak level? Keep on reading, here is your answer.

One highly effective method is to use subliminal messaging software. This conditions your subconscious mind to work with your body at its optimum level. The technique is simple, you simply watch the proper subliminal message program as recommended, and your subconscious mind automatically learns to do the right things at the right time. It is as easy as that.

Winning Athlete Subliminal Message Software

So now, mind and body are working together, and that, my friends, 
is a winning combination.

Delivery - The Baseball Pitcher E-book by Skip Murray

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