Pitching Tips for Baseball

Regardless of your level of play, your job as a pitcher can be difficult and complex, even overwhelming. You’re responsible for constantly making different pitches in different locations in different counts to different hitters. You have to be aware of base runners, field your position, and back up bases. No position allows a single player to have more of an impact of the outcome of the game than the pitcher, and so your teammates rely on you to give them a chance to win. It can be easy for a pitcher to place too much pressure on himself and lose control of the game.

The following are some helpful tips that can help anyone, at any level, succeed as a pitcher.

Attack, attack, attack!

You’re not just trying to hit a spot or make a certain pitch, you’re trying to get a hitter out. Great pitchers succeed in large part because of a competitive mindset. They attack the strike zone.

Throw strike one

Your odds of getting a hitter out increase dramatically if you throw the first pitch for a strike. Make it a priority to get ahead in counts.  

Keep the ball down

Regardless of how hard you throw or how good your stuff is, any pitcher can succeed by consistently throwing strikes around the knees. 

Don’t be afraid to pitch inside

You have to be willing to attack both sides of the plate. Part of your job is to not let the hitter feel comfortable in the batter’s box.

Don’t be predictable

Be able to throw a change up or breaking ball in any count.


Be aware of your pace. Fielders hate playing behind a pitcher who takes a long time between pitches, especially if he’s struggling. Maintain a solid, brisk tempo and you’ll find you can get into a rhythm with your pitches more easily.

Change the eye level of your pitches

A breaking ball thrown down in the zone, followed by a fastball up in the zone can be a very effective sequence.

Be able to finish an inning

Getting outs is difficult, so treat every inning like you would the 9th inning, and be a closer!

Put up zeroes after you score

Make it a priority to hold your opponents scoreless after your team scores. Baseball is a game of momentum.

Always maintain composure

You have to be relaxed both physically and mentally to pitch. No matter what happens in a game, you have to act like it doesn’t bother you. Never let your opponents see that you’re upset or angry on the mound, and never allow anything to ruin your focus.

Concentration is vital

Visualize the path of the pitch before you throw it.

Don’t be afraid to pitch to any hitter

Even the best hitters you will ever face make outs more often than not. The percentages are always on your side.

Pitch to contact

Strikeouts are great and sometimes you have to try to get one, but most of the time, you want the batter to put the ball in play. Make quality pitches down in the strike zone, and trust your stuff. Avoid walks and make the hitter put the ball in play. Your defense will thank you.

Don’t try to be too fine

Not every pitch needs to be precisely on the corner. Attack the middle of the strike zone and trust the movement on your pitches.

Be an athlete out there

Remember you are a fielder after you release the ball. Get yourself into a fielding position, and be prepared to field any ball.

Remember to cover first base

Anytime a ball is hit to the right side, get over to first base because you need to cover the bag if the first baseman fields it. Make this second nature.

Maintain leg strength

Your velocity and endurance will come mostly from your legs. Running is an extremely important part of training for pitchers.

Control the running game

With a runner on base, don’t be predictable. Vary your picks, and how long you hold a runner. Mix in a slide step if necessary. Most base runners will have a difficult time stealing a base if they cannot time your delivery.

Make every pitch with a purpose

On an 0-2 count, you usually won’t want to throw a pitch right down the middle. But never waste a pitch. 0-2 home runs count the same as 1-2 home runs, so don’t bounce one in front of the plate or sail one over the batter’s head just to avoid an 0-2 hit. Throw every pitch with a purpose. Ideally, you want your 0-2 pitches to look like they might be strikes.

Don’t forget to back up!

When a ball is put in play, you almost always have somewhere you should be. Most importantly, if there might be a play at third base or home plate, you need to sprint behind the bag in case a throw gets by the fielders. Get as far back as you can. It can save you runs!

Always take the out

If an opposing team is trying to give you an out with a sacrifice bunt, let them! Throw the batter a strike and be prepared to field the bunt. Always look to get the lead runner first, but most importantly, always get an out! Usually that will be at first base. Also, remember to listen to your catcher. If he’s yelling a particular base, throw it there. He can see the entire field better than you can.

Have confidence in yourself

Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re too short, too small, or can’t throw hard enough. You don’t have to be big to be a great player, and very few players can succeed solely based on athletic ability.

Take your practice time seriously

Every great player got to where they are because of countless hours spent practicing. Repetition is great, but the reason to do it is to develop good habits. So make sure you do every repetition right! Make every single pitch you throw important – whether it’s in a game, in the bullpen, or in practice. Baseball is a game of discipline.

Hot Tip: High and Tight

One of the risks of pitching inside is that occasionally you might hit a batter. Most hitters don’t like being thrown at, especially if the pitch is up near the head. In fact many of the bench-clearing brawls in the big leagues are the result of a hit-by-pitch. You’re almost never going to actually try to hit someone, but don’t be afraid of it happening. You have to be fearless and ruthless when pitching inside. And if a batter thinks the next one could be at his ribs, he’ll be less comfortable, and you’ll have a better chance to control the outside corner.

Pitch with Confidence

Being a successful pitcher entails more than the quality of your stuff or your ability to throw certain pitches in certain locations. Pitching is an attitude. In order to excel, you need to attack the strike zone and force hitters to beat you. The ability to attack consistently is something many pitchers never fully learn, and the reason for this is confidence. Everyone, regardless of talent, has lapses of confidence occasionally, and there will be days when you simply don’t have it. The pitchers who can maintain confidence through all adversity are the ones that coaches want on the mound.

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