PITCH LOCATION: Where the Best Pitchers Work the Hardest

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pitch location

Baseball players always hear the expression “You gotta work harder to get better!”  For position players, it is more obvious where the work may be needed to improve their game.  Until a pitcher becomes established, it tends to be more confusing in regards to how to put in the work.  The dynamics of pitching create a broad base from what to choose.  Leaving pitchers wondering, “Where do I start?”  This creates overwhelm and uncertainty.  Thus, frustration and eventually complacency.  It can be a vicious downward spiral if you don’t understand the process. Pitch Location

pitch location

PITCH LOCATION:
So Where Do You Start?

So where do you start?  Pitch location.  Where else?  It’s that simple.  Gimmicks like the WILD THING are long gone in this game.  This is what will make or break you as a pitcher.  It’s what gains trust from your manager and teammates.  The ability to locate will decide whether or not you get the ball in the big spot in the big game. It is also what every big league pitcher will say is the first thing the work on every year in spring training.  When a pitcher has mechanical flaws, it leads to their location being off.  Thus, their performance suffers, which leads to their team’s success faltering.   Therefore the flaws are to be corrected in bullpen sessions or on flatground.  You fix the mechanical flaw in order to more consistently locate your pitches.   

Even when there aren’t noticeable flaws to fix, you can always tighten up your locating skills.  Push yourself to learn more about who you are as a pitcher.  The more you put into your craft, the more you will get in return. One of those beneficial gains, is finding out what are your strengths.  What can you add? What location can your throw to when you need to make a pitch?  Self awareness is a game changer as a pitcher. As a result, it’s more fun to stand on the mound comfortably and fearlessly attack hitters with a larger arsenal of weapons.  Hitters hate that!  Let them hate…

PITCH LOCATION:
It’s About 90% of Your Job

pitch location

Take all the running and strength training you do as a pitcher.  Yes, they are essential for being successful and durable on the mound. Don’t forget the endless repetitions of PFP’s and backing up bases. Welcome to College! They are essential for winning games as a team. Nonetheless, everything in your livelihood as a pitcher is determined by how well you can consistently locate.  That is what it all comes down to as a pitcher.  Day in, Day out, all that matters is how well you can consistently locate.  In simplest terms, it can decide winning or losing.

All the physical conditioning positions you for optimum location.  In reality, it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t put in the work to improve the most essential part of pitching.  Why am I saying this?  Many pitchers, when they get to college tend to get misguided in their focus. They can become indoctrinated into excessive running by unknowledgeable coaches.  These kinds of coaches sell them on the idea that running is best (and sometimes only) way to improve as a pitcher.  Since these lackeys convince their staff it is the hardest way to work, as an unfortunate result, pitchers think that this is how they are supposed to earn playing time.  Just a horrible deception to distract away from the fact these coaches have no clue how to develop talent.  All of a sudden you joined the cross country squad.  Picking up a baseball can be considered taboo in their eyes.

pitch location

The other misdirection is in the weightroom. It is quite common for some pitchers early in college to get addicted to lifting weights.  This is when a pitcher goes too far in the weightroom. He can either over train and he is pitching tired, or fall into the meathead trap you see above. They love the body image results they are seeing for the first time in their lives, and go all in with heavy weights.  Drastically, sacrificing their pitching capabilities.  Flexibility for one. It’s ashame.

PITCH LOCATION:
Final Thoughts

pitch location

It is vital to balance these 3 aspects of a pitcher’s life. Running and lifting are compliments to pitch location. Over doing one and neglecting the others will set you backwards in your progress and put you at risk for injury. Always keep in mind, that your job as a pitcher is to Get Outs Efficiently.  First and foremost, that is done by locating your pitches.

Whether you need to even the count when you fall behind, throw a change up at 2-0, a Slider at 3-2 or enhance your first pitch strike percentage, your hard work and dedication should always be focused around pitch location.

A wise, experienced pitching coach of mine once so eloquently told me: 

“Chicks don’t dig big biceps.  They dig the Million Dollar Contracts!”

pitch location

Keep Dominating!!!

 

 

About the Author

Brad Kirsch Slider DominationBrad Kirsch is the Owner/Creator of Slider Domination. He is a former professional pitcher who blogs about all things Pitching. Brad has also authored the AudioBook, 7 Reasons Why YOU Should Throw a Slider. If you haven’t done so already, you can Download the AudioBook Here

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