One of the best ways to teach proper fundamentals is to compartmentalize the process. By that I mean take whatever your trying to teach, in this case pitching fundamentals, and separate the act into three to four different actions. For a pitch there’s the ball grip, the footwork, the wind up, and the finish.
Now we can put a player in a drill to teach them how to finish the pitch properly, while another is perfecting their hand placement on the ball, and once they’ve perfected all those little things, they can put them together for one awesome pitch.
One of the most important parts of the pitch is that last rotation, when the hands are at 12 and 3 o’clock, right before the ball is launched at home plate. My favorite way to break this part of the pitch down is to put my players through a little drill I like to call the L Drill.
The L Drill
Have your pitcher start down on her back knee, with the front knee and toe pointing towards her target. Next she’s going to bring the ball and glove together in the center of her body, before separating and going to the L position, with her hands at 12 and 3.
Next she will swing her back arm around, releasing the ball as her hand starts to come back, getting top spin on the ball and bringing her off hand down to her side simultaneously.
It’ll be slightly awkward at first, but once they’re comfortable with that, you can upgrade the drill, having them go through the same movement, but starting off standing. The concept is the same, but they’ll be able to incorporate at little bit more body movement.
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