Purpose:

Focuses on leg drive and getting out through the target.

Setup:

Two pitchers line up across from each other. They are about 20-30 feet apart. A cone is placed in front of each pitcher, it is 6 to 6.5 feet from their starting point.

Player lines up by a cone to practice stride.

Instructions:

  1. The pitchers take turns striding forward and throwing the ball to each other.
  2. The pitchers try to stride up and over the cone on each throw.

Coaching Tips:

  • Remember, for shorter pitchers (under 5’6”) the cone may need to be placed at a distance between 5 and 6 feet.
  • Watch the plant foot, it should be at a 45 degree angle when it hits the ground.
  • Variations would include increasing the distance and using taller cones.
  • You could also use flat circular cones for added safety.
  • Be sure to stress that pitchers should always remain on their power line throughout their throwing motion.
  • Run the drill for 3-5 minutes or 25 repetitions.

Tips for Younger Athletes:

  • Before striving to get over the cone, ensure younger pitchers have their basic form right. They should maintain an upright posture and smoothly transition into the stride.
  • Begin with a shorter stride length, even if it means not fully stepping over the cone initially. This helps in building confidence and proper mechanics.
  • At this stage, the focus is on the stride. Encourage younger pitchers to make gentle throws ensuring they prioritize their leg drive and stride over throwing speed.

Tips for Older Athletes:

  • As older athletes will push for more distance and height in their strides, emphasize the importance of landing with a soft knee (slight bend) to absorb impact and prevent injury.
  • Encourage pitchers to maintain a consistent power line. As they try to stride over taller cones or further distances, they may deviate. Consistency here ensures better accuracy and power.
  • Challenge advanced pitchers by incrementally increasing the cone height or stride distance over time. This helps in enhancing leg strength and improves overall pitching mechanics.