As a youngster, the game of baseball can be overwhelming. Learning how to play all of the positions on the field while figuring out how to become a successful hitter can be demanding, especially as the level of competition picks up. Drilling is a must for kids regardless of position, however, the most important may be pitcher. This is because navigating an ever-changing strike zone is rather difficult and pitching often presents the biggest learning curve for young ball players. Considering the distance between you and the strike zone increases as the competition does, you need a way to prepare yourself for what is to come. 

Here at BRUCE BOLT, we aim to be your one-stop shop for baseball gear and informational guides to help in your development. Youth baseball players, parents, and coaches better get their notepads out because this is an important one. We will be discussing why focusing on pitching is important for kids, our favorite drills, some notes, and how we can continue to take your pitching to the next level. Let’s not waste any more of our pitch clock and get right into it!

Why Focus on Baseball Pitching Drills for Kids? 

To master the art of controlling the strike zone as a pitcher you have to focus on doing drills that get you moving in the right direction. It is like any other skill you are trying to get the hang of, you practice it until it becomes second nature. Repetition is one the main things we preach in all of our guides, if you aren’t working on repetitively getting the right outcome, the skill it is designed to develop will not come as quickly as you want it to. Luckily, you are starting at a young age so you get a head start on the fundamentals of pitching. 

The Importance of Pitching Drills for Youth Players

Some youth players think that the only way that you can get better at something is by playing a game at full speed. While that is true, it isn’t the end-all-be-all. Using slowed-down drills to focus on the keys that develop skilled youth pitchers is a great starting point. Using a combination of full-speed games as well as slowed-down focus is the way to improve confidence, throwing motion, pitching mechanics, muscle memory, and arm strength. 

Note: Pitching drills are just as important to prioritize as a youth baseball player as hitting drills and fielding drills. Pitching can have positive side effects by helping you understand how to attack a pitcher at the plate and identify changes in motion that may indicate an off-speed pitch.

BRUCE BOLT’s Favorite Pitching Drills for Kids 

Now that we have explained how important drills are for kids, let's get into the specific drills that we want to bring to your attention. These four drills will cover different skills that will make you a more dynamic pitcher who only needs three pitches to get your next strikeout. 

Drill 1 - Load-and-Go Drill

Infographic breaks down the load and go pitching drill.

Step 1: We are going to start at the top of our pitching motion where our front leg is bent and we are loading on our back leg. We want to find a comfortable balance while we are at the top. 

Step 2: Repeating this three times, we are going to tap our front cleat on the mound and move our hands from right under our chest to right below our belly button, while trying to stay balanced and keep our load on the back foot. You need to focus on engaging your core and keeping the rest of your body in a still position. 

Step 3: After the third tap we are going to finish the drill by delivering a pitch to our catcher. We want the transition from the taps to our pitching motion to be fluid. This is a great pitching drill to get your session started as it slows down the process so you can focus on your balance and weight transfer. Therefore, enhancing your pitching motion. 

Drill 2 - Release Drill

Infographic breaks down the release pitching drill.

Step 1: In this drill, we are going to focus on finishing with a wrist snap and targeting the strike zone. We are going to start in the final position of our pitching motion where the ball is about to leave our hand. Our feet are outstretched in our final stride toward the plate and our pitching arm is 90° from our shoulder with the ball by our ear. 

Step 2: In this position, we are going to pump our arm three times towards the plate with our hand facing the ground in the final position. Making sure to keep our balance and not let our shoulders drop in the process. 

Step 3: After the third pump, we are going to release the ball from our final position. For this to work we are going to focus on snapping our wrist and releasing the ball at the correct time to attack the zone. 

Step 4: Hold the final position for three seconds to take a mental note of how you finished on pitches that were placed correctly. Would you be able to field a line drive or ground ball from your finishing position? This is important if you do not like taking baseballs to the face.

Drill 3 - Stride Separation Drill

Infographic breaks down the stride separation pitching drill.

Step 1: This drill is going to test the middle position of our pitching motion. Our stance is going to be with our arms out the side and our front foot striding toward home plate. Our back arms are in a pitching position with the ball stretched out to second base and our glove arm bent - pointing to where the ball needs to go. 

Step 2: While in this position we are going to make sure to keep our balance with our chin in line with our belly button. While keeping our balance we are going to load the back leg with our weight and bring our leg up like we are about to pitch. 

Step 3: Just like we have done prior we are going to repeat the motion from step 2 three times, making sure to go slow on the way down. 

Step 4: After the third pump we are going to finish with a pitch to our catcher. Again make sure to hold the finish as we should make a mental note of how we are finishing our pitches. For each drill, our whole pitching motion is being tested with a focus on one aspect in each of these drills. 

Drill 4 - Low Balance Drive Drill

Step 1: In this final drill we are going to focus on our throwing mechanics during our balance point. Being balanced will help increase accuracy, pitching velocity, and much more. We are going to start with the low balance point where our front foot is in the middle of our stride about two inches in front of the back foot and off of the mound. Our hands will be at the load point which is right at the belly bottom with our thumbs facing inward. 

Step 2: After finding balance in this position we are going to start our pitching motion from this point. Deliver a ball to the catcher and hold your position after you have released the ball. Even though this drill is only two steps making sure to repeat until you are comfortable and getting the outcome you like is of utmost importance. 

Final Thoughts from BRUCE BOLT 

The four drills above are great for young pitchers who are looking to get better at pitching. However, it is important to remember these drills are used by every skill level and are not just beneficial to the kids. If you stop drilling something when you hit a certain age, bad habits are likely to start showing themselves again. Another note is to practice different pitches when performing these drills. This will help you keep the same mechanics across different pitch types - a skill that is crucial when facing great hitters. 

We also wanted to mention that it is important to get in the weight room once you have reached a healthy age to do so. Exercises from simple push-ups to overhead presses can work wonders to improve your pitching velocity. Last, but certainly not least, keeping your arm active is necessary for all pitchers. Here are a few different ways to do this:

  1. Stretching is crucial for young pitchers who want to avoid serious arm injuries down the road. 
  2. Monitor your pitch count, even when practicing.
  3. Arm sleeves, like the ones we sell at BRUCE BOLT, are specifically designed to help distribute blood flow and keep your arm active.

How BRUCE BOLT Can Help

As we reach the end of this blog BRUCE BOLT wants to emphasize that these baseball drills are not the only ones out there, but they are a fantastic place to start. Making sure that you understand the importance of each specific skill that you are drilling is truly one of the only ways you can get better at the sport. Baseball coaches who are involved with youth baseball are going to love these drills, and so are the young players. To make them even more enjoyable you should take the time to check out BRUCE BOLT’s premium baseball gear as well as other informational guides that deliver some great insight into the world of baseball!


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