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For The Love Of The Game - Pitching Instruction (Part 4)

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Success at baseball pitching is more than how hard someone can throw, although society wants us to believe otherwise. Learning how to truly pitch requires a broad knowledge of not only the physical aspects of the pitching motion but so much more. It requires an in-depth knowledge of strategy, technique, a basic knowledge of how to play baseball at all baseball positions, and mental awareness of what skills you as a pitcher possess and how to maximize them.

Think of becoming a pitcher like a building a house. A house will crumble unless it has a strong, solid foundation. But you must build upon that foundation a solid internal structure so that it can stand tall. And the outside structure must be strong as well to ward off any harmful external forces. A successful baseball pitcher is built upon:

  1. Knowledge of the position and what its true purpose is
  2. A rock-solid mechanical approach, with help from critical video review
  3. Physical strength gain from functional, specific-to pitching workouts
  4. Mental strength allowing the pitcher to overcome any situation

"I'm just a ballplayer with one ambition, and that is to give all I've got to help my ball club win. I've never played any other way." - Joe DiMaggio


Pitching is quite the chess match. Pitchers and hitters, going back and forth, constantly making adjustments to outwit and outperform each other. The best pitchers understand that you have to know what to throw and when to throw it. Likewise, you have to know what not to throw and when not to throw it. Still, that’s not enough.

Great pitchers know that hitters can also become base runners. So they must know the hitters that can run and the ones that can’t. The ones that have good instincts on the base paths are the ones that can cause trouble.

The most successful pitchers understand this and they gather as much vital information about their opponent as they can, and way before the competition even starts. They know that paying attention to certain details about their opponent can tell them everything they need to know about how to get them out. Great pitchers know their opponents strengths, weaknesses and abilities and skills before the hitter even steps into the box. Great baseball pitches are always gathering information on hitters and opponents to store away so they can draw upon that information when they need it to attack a hitter in any situation. Learn how to size up your opponent by looking for weaknesses in technique, movement, weight transfer and overall approach. Look for mental weaknesses such as nervousness, ab anxiety and arrogance.

The hitter will tell you his weaknesses if you only pay close attention and know what to look for. As the game goes on, you will have the opportunity to gather much more information as well.

Understanding strategy not only means understanding your opponent, but also yourself. You must know your own skills, abilities, strengths and weaknesses. Are you a power pitcher? Do you have a great curveball? Do you have to rely on pinpoint control because you lack a good fastball? Baseball is such a complex sport with so many different potential situations that a pitcher must be able to navigate through.

Understanding baseball pitching strategies of all types that cover all situations is information you must possess in order to be successful and win games you must be able to put together a pitching strategy that combines all the knowledge you have about you, your opponent and the situation. Take time to learn how to play baseball and you’ll better understand how to pitch and get hitters out. Be a master at understanding strategy and you will have more fun on the mound and be more successful than you ever thought you could be.

There are three things in my life which I really love: God, my family, and baseball. The only problem - once baseball season starts, I change the order around a bit. ~Al Gallagher, 1971

Pitching is my Passion, and my goal is simple. It’s to provide you with unbiased and useful information you need to succeed as a pitcher. I encourage you to take advantage of this, and really use this as a resource to build on your skills, use every useful piece of information from this that you possibly can. You have to want to it! Some of the pitching tips you may find more helpful than others; find what will work for you and run with it. Succeeding in the game of baseball as a pitcher can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. There is no feeling like winning a championship and achieving something that you have worked hard for. I sincerely want to make sure you have all the tools you need to do just that. Love every minute of it. Blessings

PHILL 4:13 For I could do all things through Christ who gives me Strength

A brief Bio on Coach Luis Villarreal: Drafted in 2002 by the Boston Red Sox. Played 9 years in the minor leagues. Currently is the pitching instructor at Xtreme Speed in San Antonio, TX.

Pitching Instruction Part 1

Pitching Instruction Part 2

Pitching Instruction Part 3

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