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There are a wide variety of baseball tips and drills available to help players improve their game. The following are a few of the best around.
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Drills for Pitchers
Former Chicago Cubs pitching pro Steven Ellis shares a number of drills on The Complete Pitcher website that are designed to help pitchers improve accuracy and speed.
One Knee Drill. One drill designed to help with proper arm action is the One Knee Drill. How this drill is performed is that first the pitcher kneels on his or her posting leg. The posting leg is the leg that matches the arm thrown with. For example, a right-handed pitcher will kneel on his or her right knee.
From this position, the pitcher will hold a ball in his or her hand and then rotate his should toward his target. He or she will then bring the arm back, with the hand on the top of the baseball. Using good circular arm motion, the pitcher will then throw the ball, making sure the elbow is bent and that the throw is completed with the throwing elbow being past the opposite knee.
Quick Hands Drill. One drill intended to help with pitching speed is the Quick Hands Drill. For this drill, the pitcher begins with the ball in the glove and both hands together. The stance used is with the lead leg toe facing the pitcher’s target, and the legs in the proper pitching stance-just a little more than shoulder-width apart. The pitcher will not step or alter the distance of the feet, but will pivot the back foot when the ball has been released.
Using speed and control, the pitcher will part the hands, rotate the hips, and throw the ball. The follow-through should result in the elbow of the throwing arm being brought to the opposite knee.
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Tip and Drill for Batters
Several baseball pros offers batting drills and tips on the Baseball Corner website. These tips and drills are all meant to help batters improve their swing, stance, and the power behind the bat.
Cal Ripken suggests picking a bat that can be handled easily and learning the strike zone so bad thrown are not swung at. He also suggests keeping the head fully facing the pitcher so the view is not ‘around the nose’, and to keep the head still.
Tony Gwynn suggests a drill that involves using a bag of wiffle balls and a batting tee. He states that when a wiffle ball is hit ‘cleanly’ off the tee, it will ‘act like a knuckleball’ and that the air can be heard going through it. Incorrect hits will cause the wiffle ball to go in random directions.
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Drills for Catchers
QCBaseball offers a wide variety of rated drills, including some for catchers.
Hockey Goalie Drill. One drill, designed to help catchers block pitches that are thrown in the dirt, is the highly-rated Hockey Goalie drill. For this drill, the catcher should be dressed in full gear and will need 2 cones and someone to throw the ball.
The cones are placed on either side of the catcher. The thrower or pitcher will stand about 30 feet away from the catcher. The pitcher should have good control of the ball, because while many of the throws should result in the ball going in the dirt, some will need to be in the air.
This drill will be done in sets of ten, for two or three sets. Track the results for each set. The cones may be widened when the catcher is showing progress in his or her skill. This will allow the catcher to take one step before dropping.
Throwing to Second Drill. This drill helps the catcher develop his or her technique as well as ‘quick feet’ when throwing the baseball to second base.
For this drill, the catcher should be in full gear and a stop watch will be needed. A pitcher and a player at second base will also be needed.
The pitcher will throw the ball to the catcher, as usual, but the catcher will throw the ball to second base as if a runner is trying to steal it. The catcher’s throws will be timed.
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The use of these baseball tips and drills can help players improve their game as well as their confidence in playing it.
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Pitching Drills. Steven Ellis. The Complete Pitcher. http://www.thecompletepitcher.com/pitching_drills.htm
Batting Tips & Drills: Tips from the Pros. Baseball Corner. http://www.baseballcorner.com/battingtips.asp
Baseball Drills by Category. QCBaseball. http://www.qcbaseball.com/drills/baseball_drills1.aspx