Pitching is so much more than just throwing

How to get on the mound and ways to stay there into your golden years.

Disclosure: This post does contain some affiliate links, which means if you purchase after clicking one of those links  I may receive compensation.

Back in January, I pitched 15 innings in less than 24 hours. I estimate I threw around 300 pitches that weekend, not counting pregame and between inning warm-ups. 

I wouldn't recommend doing that for most people. In fact, I wouldn't actually recommend it to anyone. Can some people get away with it? Sure. But it's risky.

Throwing that many pitches in such a short time can be dangerous. Overuse can lead to both short and long term injuries. No one wants to be on the extended injured list because they threw out their arm. 

I didn't go into that tournament expecting to start two games. But I was prepared to. We were desperately short of hurlers because a handful of players had to backout at the last minute.  We had games to play and innings to burn. So I stepped up to do what our team needed.

Randy smith pitching for redsox of the ventura NABA
Randy Smith delivering a pitch for the RedSox in the Ventura NABA

The tools of the pitcher

Pitching is the most specialized job the ball field. They have one job, to facilitate outs for their team. Whether those outs come from strikeouts or balls put into play, the pitcher uses what they have in their arsenal to challenge the batter. 

Velocity, location and secondary pitches are the tools available to the one taking the hill. 

Developing balance, leg strength and stamina while practicing regular arm care is a core of a pitcher's conditioning and preparation. 

Timing, focus and a calm but competitive mental approach are necessary to use developed tools to their greatest effect. 

Eric Larousse preparing to pitch for 35+ Chi Sox at a Roy Hobbs tournament in 2021
Eric Larousse on the mound for the 35+ Chi Sox at a Roy Hobbs tournament in 2021

They are the starters of every play. They have the responsibility of putting the team in the best position to win. They are front and center for all to see. 

Pitching is much more than just toeing the rubber and throwing. 

As specialized of a position as it is, it's equally as diverse in the way players approach it. 

Downhill fireballers, sidearmers and submariners all have roles in pitching staffs. 

Flame throwers, junk throwers and knuckleballers bring different approaches to fooling hitters. 

Some pitchers are more adept to going multiple innings deep into games while others do their best work in short stints of an inning or too. 

While a position player occasionally gets a chance to throw, those that call the mound home put in the time and effort needed to put the game on their shoulders. 

Edward Lamarr delivering for the Charelston Yankees at the Citrus bowl in orlando, fl during the MSBL holiday tournament in 2000
Edward Lamarr delivering for the Charleston Yankees in the 2000 MSBl Holiday tournament at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando , FL. 


Throwing hard has always been a sought after talent for pitchers. But in recent years it's taken on a larger influence on the position. 

From high school to the big leagues, more emphasis has been placed on developing and maximizing velocity.. Using analytics and new technologies, players and coaches work to eke out every mph they can from a throw.

 It's not done through sheer will, though a solid determination is a necessity to push to yourself to new limits. Velocity is built through developing and improving on throwing mechanics, building strength, increasing flexibility and measured recovery.

Increasing velocity relies on creating efficiencies in movement, explosive transfer of power and harmony between the lower and upper bodies. Along with that comes conditioning of leg, core and throwing muscles and the complimentary musculature.

Ryan hess at twins fantasy camp 2022
Ryan Hess preparing to throw at Twins fantasy Camp in 2022

Throwing faster has a solid reasoning behind it. Reaction time for the hitter is already short. With every increase in pitch speed, that reaction time is cut further. Even a 30 mph pitch takes less than a second to reach a batter. A 90 mph pitch gets there in under half a second, shorter than a blink of the eye.

When pitchers are younger and developing, following a proper program focused on good technique can increase pitch speed dramatically. Continuing to develop good training habits are important. Find a good coach or pitcher development program teach you how to maximize your pitch velocity.

For adult players, especially those at the lower end of the age spectrum, it's still possible to build pitching speed by nailing down good mechanics and a good throwing program. Unfortunately, aging is a thing and the older we get the more bad habits or sloppy technique can slow down our pitches or worse. Lead to injury. Following a good process is more important the older you get.

Tony catalano pitching for RI redsox in father/son division msbl world series in 2018
Tony Catalano of the Rhode Island Redsox pitching at 2018 MSBL World Series in the father/son division

That risk of injury should be a wake up call to any player, but especially those in their adult years. Don't cut corners trying to throw harder. Build your delivery from the ground up and keep your body healthy.

For older pitchers, arm conditioning becomes even more important. Making sure our arms and bodies can handle the stresses we put on them will keep us on the field doing what we love.

While velocity is the pitching attribute most talked about today, it's not the only one. And it may not be the most important one to distinguish a pitcher from a thrower.

Dave hick dealing for des moines bruins in 2016 MSBL World series
Dave Hick hurling for the Des Moines Bruins at the 2016 MSBL World Series


Throwing hard is a great skill to have. But if you can't get the ball in the strikezone or at least close enough for hitters to swing, it won't get you very far. 

Even if you aren't a hard thrower, you can be a solid and effective pitcher if you learn to locate your pitches. Up, down, in and out.

Greg Maddox wasn't a hard thrower by MLB standards. Early in his career he could hit the low 90s on occasion but during his prime years, his fastball sat around 85-87 mph. But he was one of the most effective pitchers of his era because his command was elite. He could paint the corners on every pitch, and he wasn't trying to strike every batter out. He once pitched a complete game in 78 pitches, 50 fewer pitches than an avg major league complete game. 

He pitched to his spots to induce the contact he was looking for. And more often than not, he got it. 

In MLB we see this locating to get desired contact a lot more today when teams employ a full shift of the infield. It's not just a hitter's tendencies that dictate it. It's the pitch locations being called to get those pulled groundballs. It's the pitchers responsibility to hit those locations when the catcher calls them.

Brandon Kindall at indians fantasy camp
Brandon Kindall at Indians fantasy camp

Command should be learned from the start for new pitchers. Like learning velocity, it necessitates good, repeatable mechanics. Remember, with every pitch you are training your mind-muscle control. Good habits in training lead to good results. Bad habits lead to frustration. Creating the control needed to locate pitches will take repetition but once it's learned it may be your most valuable pitching asset.

For adult pitchers, those that have good command will set themselves apart. It's not just aiming, but being able to put the ball where you want while going through your normal delivery with your entire stable of pitches.

Ryne O'Meara of the caribes in the metro tulsa baseball association
Ryne O'Meara dealing dirty for The Caribes of the Metro Tulsa Baseball Association 

Secondary pitches 

Some pitchers can go through their whole career with primarily just throwing a fastball, or variation, if they can locate it well. Mariano Rivera is an example of this. He almost exclusively threw his cutter to great effect for his entire Hall of Fame career. 

But most pitchers aren't Mariano Rivera. 

After developing a fastball ball, or at least a relatively straightball, and being able to throw it for strikes, developing effective secondary pitches ups the value of a pitcher. 

Curveballs, sliders, splitters, change ups and knuckleballs all can bring a challenge to a hitter. Once learned and perfected, a good breaking pitch is often a pitchers best tool. 

Neither Sandy Koufax nor Clayton Kershaw in his prime were feared for their fastball. They both located it exceptionally well though. Enough that each of their curveballs could have the best hitters knees buckling. Ted Lilly spent 14 years in the big leagues on the strength of his breaking balls. They can make or break a pitchers success.

When thrown for strikes, breaking pitches keep a hitter honest at the plate, preventing them from only sitting on a fastball. They keep a hitter guessing on every pitch, slowing down their reaction time on the fastball or getting them swinging early. 

They can often be used to great effect when finishing outside the zone. A good curveball, looking like a strike before the bottom falls out, can create a lot of swings and misses.

Likewise starting them out of the zone, only for them to break in for a called strike, can be one of the best feelings on the mound. I love throwing my slurve at a batter's head then watch it break to the middle of the strikezone while the hitter ducks. The look on the batter's face when it's called a strike is priceless.

Otis patrick elledge pitching for the osprey od the pssbl in seattle
Otis Patris Elledge of the Osprey pitching in the PSSBL in Seattle

To get your money's worth out of your secondary pitches, they need to look like every other pitch you throw coming out of your hand. That means every part of your delivery looks the same on every pitch, including your stride, arm speed and arm slot. If you tip what you're about to throw it can cut the deception you're employing with your pitch strategy. 

Like anything else with pitching, perfecting secondary pitches takes good mechanics, lots of practice and an understanding of how to get the ball to do what you want. While I don't want to get too technical in this article, one thing to learn more about is the "magnus effect". This is what makes a ball "break". Understanding the role it plays in the physics of your breaking ball and how spin rate affects it can take your pitching to a new level. 

Things to help you go the distance

Every ball player can benefit from a good workout routine. Conditioning for what you do on the field puts you in a better position to perform when your number is called.

There's a reason pitchers and catchers report early to spring training. As mentioned before, pitching is a specialized position. It necessitates special conditioning, individualized training and directed recovery. 

Rob Streib showing great balance
Rob Streib showing great balance in his delivery

Balance and coordination

Every ball player needs to have a solid foundation. Balance and being able to transfer it should be practiced by everyone on the field. But it's especially important for a pitcher too have excellent balance. 

Mechanics are essential to hurling and it takes exceptional balance to be able to perform them identically from pitch to pitch. It takes developing a strong core, solid legs and great muscle control. 

Incorporating asymmetric lifts in your workouts, like single leg dumbbell deadlifts and Bulgarian squats, can help to build both leg and core strength as well a balance. 

Strength training


Strength training should also be a part of every players routine. Working out with a deliberate intent makes it more worthwhile and gives you the tools to pitch effectively, safely and deeper into games. 

Core strength should be the starting point of any workout and conditioning program. This is the muscle group that makes movement and explosiveness possible. When any of these muscles are injured or underdeveloped, it will have a negative effect on every other athletic movement you make. 

In pitching, they are the muscles that turn the hips, rotate the upper torso and safely decelerate your body after firing a pitch. They are what help to create the torque needed to fire the ball. Neglecting them can hold you back from your goals on the mound.

Russian twists, medicine ball throws, planks, scissor kicks are all great exercises for pitchers. They create stability and rotational strength that you'll need in the game.

Also, don't discount yoga. Though not only for your core, almost everything you do in yoga will stretch, strengthen and stabilize it. It's worth trying if you haven't already.

David Roiger pitching at beaver valley campground in cooperstown
David Roiger at Beaver Valley Campground in Cooperstown, NY


Leg strength gives you a solid foundation. "Pushing off" the back leg isn't necessarily an accurate description. The back leg is facilitating the transfer of force from the ground to fire the hips to create rotational torque. 

The front leg when landing needs to be able to stay firm to stop the front side when it lands. That stop redirects the force from the lower body up through the trunk and to the arm at release like a slingshot. 

For the legs to maximize their output, pitchers should be incorporating compound lifts like squats and cleans to not only strengthen the legs but the core as well. Those lifts, unlike isolation lifts, develop better force production and muscle synchronization similar to what's needed in pitching. 

Upper body

Though it might be tempting to work your throwing side more than the glove side...don't. It's okay to do asymmetric lifts but work both sides evenly. Both halves of your upper body work together in throwing to produce extra velocity and good command.

Once again, compound lifts will be a foundation for a pitchers upper body plan. Compound lifts have the added benefit of working the target muscle along with all the complimentary muscles that are used along with it. A row might target the upper and middle back but will work the shoulders, biceps, and core at the same time. 

Pitching is a compound movement. Compound lifts help train the muscle groups to work together.

Edward Lamarr at disney Orlando pitchingat 2013 MSBL holiday tournament for the Nassau Yankees
Edward Lamarr giving his Nassau Yankees his best at 2013 MSBL Holiday Tournament in 2013

A pitcher's strength training plan should be balanced to slightly "pull" oriented. The pulling muscles like the back, back of shoulder and bicep go through just as much or more strain slowing down your arm as the push muscles do in producing power in the throw. 

Additionally, repetitive activities like throwing will lead to muscle imbalances if left unchecked. Those imbalances can lead to reduced range of motion and injury. Balance it out. Stay healthy.

A fast car without good brakes is an accident waiting to happen. The same is true of an arm without well developed "braking" muscles. It's a safety thing and should be taken seriously to keep you throwing in the long term.


Endurance encompasses the entire body. The legs need it to provide balance throughout the game. The core needs it to stabilize between the lower and upper body. And your arm needs it because your going to be using it a lot more than in any other position. 

A good lifting plan can help along with interval training and circuit training. If you don't know what interval training is, a simple explanation it going back and forth 50-60% exertion up to 85-90% exertion in the same exercise. An example might be jogging around a track but sprinting through the straightaways before going back to jogging. 

Interval training has a lot of benefits including training your breathing, building endurance and working both muscle types (type 1 and type 2) needed for stamina and explosive strength.

Circuit training is also good for endurance. It's taking multiple exercises and doing them one after another with little rest in-between. Going from one exercise to the next keeps the intensity high just like you want in your pjigging.

Having better endurance can keep to throwing at a high level longer in a game before you start to tire out. 

Edward Lamarr still pitching in 2021 for Nassau Yankees in the Long Island MSBL
Edward Lamarr in 2021 with the Nassau Yankees of the Long Island MSBL.

Arm care

Keeping that cannon ready to fire means taking care of the nuts and bolts. Your pitching arm is a complex machine and for it to work properly and last past its warranty you need to put in the maintenance. 

There are different stages of arm care that should be followed. All of them go toward preventing injury, allowing top performance and getting back on the mound after starts.

Your arm care program may look different from the next guy in the rotation. Your role, pitching style and pitch count will factor into it. But there are some things that should be followed universally. 

Starting off, make sure you are in the right condition to throw. If you have injuries beyond minor aches and pains, getting checked out by a professional is recommended. Don't throw away your future on the field to look tough. Soreness is one thing, a torn rotator cuff or ucl is another. 

Assuming you're good to go, here are some basics to follow. You can add to these to better suit your personal needs.

Before throwing

Stretch and warm up. These go together pregame or before practice. But stretching should start long before you get to the field. In fact stretching should be part of your daily routine. 

On days that I know I'll be pitching I start doing static stretching (stretch and hold) on and off from the time I get up until I get in the car.  This begins to loosen up tight muscles and joints. It gives me good range of motion for pregame.

During pregame, I switch to active stretching (stretching in motion) this further loosens the muscles while also beginning to warm them up. While I do this for my full body, I especially concentrate on the upper back,  shoulder, front and back of the upper arm and forearm and wrist. 

Some pitchers will use training aides to help them prepare. When used correctly bands and weighted can go further in getting you loose and getting your muscles engaging.

Always take the time to fully warmup before you grab your glove and a ball. Out of all arm care, pre-throwing is the most important for preventing injury.

Cliff Archer at double Day field in 2021
Cliff Archer toes the rubber at historic Doubleday field in 2021


Pitchers all have their own personal throwing routine on game day. This is what my mine looks like. Yours may be different but is probably similar.

When i first start throwing, I start slow and short. I start from 10 to 15 feet away and only use my core and upper body keeping my feet square to my throwing partner. I concentrate on getting the lower back, shoulder and elbow warm and loose. 

Every few throws I'll move back a few steps. Once I'm about 30 feet away I pick up the throwing speed, and go through a full throwing motion. Even now, I'm only throwing around 50% strength. 

As I keep backing up, I increase how hard I'm throwing. By the time I'm 90 feet away, I'm throwing at around 80% strength. 

I back up to about 120 feet for long toss and after a few tosses, I increase to full speed. I take 5-10 throws at this distance, making sure to go through a fluid throwing motion with a long arm path. 

Ron Andante pitching in a practice game in 2022
Ron Andante gets his practice innings in during an early 2022 scrimmage game

Once I'm satisfied that my arm is fully loose, I move back up to 75 feet and start throwing flat ground pitches from the stretch. I start off with my two fastballs, then work my way through my breaking pitches. At this point I'm "ballpark" locating, not worrying about precise placement, but focusing on fluid mechanics. This is also when I find out which of my breaking pitches are moving the way they should or not. 

To finish up, I get back to 25 feet and do some soft, short toss. My throwing warm up is usually around 50 total throws. After, I go to the dugout and put on a compression sleeve until it's time to warm up in the bullpen. 

If i'm starting that game, 10 minutes before game time, I head to the bullpen with my catcher. I go through the same "warm up" as I will between innings, 5 pitches with increasing intensity. After,  I go through my full bag of pitches, finding which ones are performing well that day or not. My bullpen warm up is 15 to 20 pitches.

Elbow compression sleeve from shock doctor
Shock Doctor elbow compression sleeves have many benefits for pitchers. I use mine to keep my arm warm pregame and between innings. You can find them here.

Now to wait for game time.

Note: Arm care doesn't end when the game starts, it takes on more importance.

During the game, stay loose between innings. If needed, cover your arm to keep it warm and ready. Listen to your body. If something doesn't feel right in your elbow or shoulder, pain beyond normal soreness, don't hesitate to exit your outing early. It may be nothing or it may be a small tear about to turn into a big one. Play it safe so you can play again soon. 

After throwing

It used to be that the first thing you did after coming off the mound was to go for the ice. Today that isn't recommended except in certain cases. 

Ice works by slowing down blood flood and nerve responses to the area it's applied. This is great for pain relief but delays the body's recovery process. If you have pain or noticeable swelling apply the ice. But limit it to only about 15 mins. 

If it's just normal fatigue or soreness, apply warmth, keep it moving and stretch. Jog a bit to get the blood moving through the area better. Try not to allow your arm to get tight or stiff.

Between pitching appearances

Depending on the intensity and duration you threw, giving a day or two to recover can be good. During that time continue both static and active stretching. Possibly do some band stretching and rotator cuff exercises. By 2 days after pitching its good to get out and play catch again.

If it's 5 days or longer between pitching appearances, get in a some strength training and bullpen session workout. 

I'll say it again...stretch. Yeah do it. If you do nothing else, stretch.

Your arm will undoubtedly have different needs, but these are pretty universal strategies for most pitchers.

Mike Leitner at goodyear stadium in2021 gor the 50+ seattle steelheads
Mike Leitner of the 50+ Seattle Steelheads pitching at Goodyear Stadium in 2021

Other skills to master

We've covered the physical aspects of pitching. But what really separates a pitcher from a thrower is the mental side of the game.

Tommy Lasorda took Orel Hershiser is his office one day and sat him down. He told him that he had good stuff but when he was pitching he was too timid. Tommy told Orel he needed him to be a bulldog on the mound. He needed the fire. The confidence.

From then on, Tommy called him "Bulldog" in the clubhouse, in the dugout and on the mound. It was a reminder that he needed that mental toughness in his pitcher. 

Most of us don't have a Tommy Lasorda around. We have to take it upon ourselves to remember we need the bulldog mentality when we toe the rubber.

You've got to be confident. In your ability to throw strikes. Your execution of breaking balls. Your approach to the game. You have to believe the game resides within your control. And you need to act on it. 

Scott perlman delivering for the westchester lumberjacks of the hudson valley NABA
Scott Perlman on the bump for the Westchester Lumberjacks of the Hudson Valley NABA

Staying focused on every pitch and situation you're in can put you in charge on the mound. Knowing what to throw. Where to throw. And that you will succeed is essential. There's no room for doubt. If you don't believe you will win the battle between you and the hitter you don't belong with the ball in hand.

You won't win them all. But you have to go in believing you will win that pitch. Then the next and the next. 

Building a timing strategy will keep you in control and hitters off balance. Having different delivery speeds (in general, not on different pitch types) can mess with the hitters reaction time. It also reminds the hitter that the play doesn't start until you say it does. It's a chance to mess with their head. 

Be willing to step off. Speed the game up or slow it down as you see fit. 

An extension of this is your pick off throws. Just like the hitter, you have to mess with the runner. Don't let them mess with you.  Practice those pick offs.. Have different ones. Show a slow one then come back with your best one. Lull them into a false sense of security then hang them out to dry. But don't ever let them get in your head.

Get to know your catcher. A good catcher is your best friend as a pitcher. Work with them on pitch calling strategies. Trust them. When I'm pitching, I rarely shake off my catcher. If I think our approach should change, I'll have him come out for a mound visit or discuss it in the dugout between innings. 

I also usually give the catcher authority to call pick offs to first base. This is a personal preference. They have a better view of the runner and by me not looking over all the time, the runner doesn't know there's eyes on them. I don't have a cannon for an arm and my move to first base is only OK. But I have gotten more than my share of pick offs at first base by having having the catcher call them. Something to keep in mind. 


I've mentioned injuries a few times in this article, but it wouldn't be right to talk about pitching without elaborating more on them. 

Getting hurt is a regular part of baseball. It's a game of stop and go. We play hard and push our bodies, sometimes beyond what they can handle.

When we are lucky, injuries are relatively minor. Pulls and sprains here and there. Bumps and bruises. Cuts and scrapes. 

But sometimes they go beyond that and can be devastating, at least in the time they require you to stay off the field. They happen at every position. But some are more often seen in pitchers and will make many people cringe, especially fellow players. 

Some relatively minor injuries pitchers face are forearm,bicep strains and back strains. Blisters on their throwing hand is common too. 

David roiger getting his face fixed after a 1st inning comebacker in a game
In the first inning of his Richfield Rockets game, David Roiger seeks medical attention after a 1st inning comebacker.

More serious ones might be contusions, lacerations or concussions from balls being drilled back at them. Or sprained ankles and knees. Or even broken fingers. None of these are fun and take time to heal. 

But there are 3 injuries almost every pitcher fears. The chances of them occuring can be reduced with good conditioning and arm care programs. But because the forces pitchers put on their arm and shoulder are explosive and repetitive, even the best conditioned athletes can suffer them. Making it scarier, often these three injuries happen without warning. They are painful and can take months or years to heal.

Rotator cuff tears are fairly common. They hurt and when there's a full tear there's no way to throw a ball with any force. Many pitchers will have some minir damage in the rotator cuff from  so much use. But here we're talking about severe tears, full tears or even detachment in the shoulder. Full tears and detachments usually require surgery. Recovery time is long and takes relearning how to use the shoulder properly. 

Too many times, we've seen a pitcher throw, sometimes hear a pop, then immediately they grab their elbow. We sit there knowing there went another UCL. 

The UCL is the ligament that attaches the ulnus bone in the forearm to the humerus (upper arm) bone. When pitching we put a lot of stress on this ligament. Over time the fibers can be damaged from shear force or bad technique and can eventually tear. A partial tear is painful, a full tear is excruciating. 

The repair for this is so common in higher levels of baseball that it was even named after the pitcher that first had it successfully to extend his career. The Tommy John surgery, or UCL replacement, is almost a right of passage for hard throwing pitchers in MLB today. That doesn't mean anyone wants it. For one the injury hurts. And secondly, the recovery time is usually a year or more. 

Maybe the most cringeworthy injury a pitcher faces is also the least common. Though it's not as rare as we would hope.

John Laine upper arm rotation fracture in 2009 age 36
Xray in 2009 of 36 year old John Laine's upper arm after suffering a rotational fracture of the humerus while pitching in a game.

A rotational fracture of the humerus is the thing of nightmares. One minute you're having the time of your life sitting down hitters. The next, you hear a pop so loud the outfielders can hear it and your arm tries to fall off. 

Pitching puts an exceptional amount of rotational torque on you upper arm. The muscles from your shoulder and forearm all attach there. During a pitch, the tension being put on the bone is intense. Sometimes the bone just eventually gives up. Sometimes a bad timed, random muscle synapse will cause a flex that tips the balance. No matter the cause, it's a devastating injury. 

Partial breaks may be able to heal without surgery. Full breaks will almost always require surgery with enough hardware to set of an airport metal detector. The healing can be long and it will require a lot of work to be able to step on the mound again. But many have. The game keeps calling. 

Pitching is great. But be aware, everytime you set on the field, there's a chance you won't come off the same. Not every injury can be avoided. But you can reduce your risk by being conditioned, following proper arm care and throwing technique and generally keeping yourself healthy. 

Ron Andante focusing before delivering a pitch at 2021 MSBL World Series
Ron Andante playing for Oklahoma, focusing before a pitch in the 2021 MSBL World Series

Putting it all together for my pitching style

I didn't plan to pitch 15 innings at that tournament in LA. But I did feel confident and believe  I could safely do it. 

I keep my throwing arm in game condition almost year round. I did take a few weeks off back in November this offseason. But at the beginning of December, I was back to preparing my arm for play. Before taking the mound, I'd gone through six weeks of arm conditioning specifically for that tournament.

And a big part of my conditioning involves building arm endurance. Face it, this is Adult league baseball. The chance of extended innings and high pitch counts is a reasonable expectation. Plus i play other positions besides pitcher and often still need to throw after pitching. Especially for tournaments where you may face a loaded line up, i know my innings can go long. So I always prepare to be able to throw more than I anticipate. 

My pitching style has a lot to do with it too. I'm not a hard thrower. My fastball can top out at around 70 mph but usually sits in the low to mid 60s. I am a junk baller, a pitcher that keeps hitters on their toes by changing speeds, changing deliveries and throwing multiple variations of different breaking balls. I frustrate them more than intimidate them. 

I throw a cutting 4 seam, a 2 seam, sinker, slider, slurve and three different curveballs. Lately I've been working on a splitter and used it a few times in my last appearance. I don't rely on velocity as a pitcher, but I use it enough to make all my other pitches more effective.

I call my pitching approach "serving poisoned meatballs". When it comes in to the batter it looks like batting practice. I want hitters thinking that they are about to tee off and take big daddy hacks at the ball. Because by the time it's reached the plate, they are committed but the ball isn't where they thought it would be. 

When my stuff is moving and I'm locating, I get a lot of weak groundballs and pop ups. I'll get some strikeouts too but those are a side benefit, not a feature, for me. I use what talents that I have to get outs. I don't try to be what I'm not. 

That pitching style, though, means I'm not putting a lot of added stress on my arm. And it allows me to run up a high pitch count before I start worrying about overuse injuries. 

It's not that I'm special. It's that I know my body well, train for more than I expect and take very good care of my arm. 

If you're not a pitcher but want to be one, go through the right steps to get there. Have a plan and stick to it. There are so many factors that go into being an effective pitcher. Take the time to develop all of the necessary skills. Don't cut corners, paint them. 

For those that have pitched for a while, I know you can relate. It's not for everyone and it takes time and training that's different from every other spot on the field. At the end of the day, the whole team is count on you to perform.

Keep those arms healthy, prepare for your time on the mound. And throw strikes.

Let me know what your pitching style is in the comments and keep on balling.


Play ball


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