Pitching Tips for the Baseball Enthusiast

This guide to pitching tips can help you improve your throw. There are some obvious factors that go into throwing quality pitches in baseball. Sure, it helps to keep your eye on the catcher's mitt and have a strong, healthy arm. However, it's also important to focus on other pitching tips as well.

Get a Leg Up
Although many don't realize it, throwing good pitches has a lot to do with sound lower-body movement and positioning. Start by lifting your front leg to the point where your thigh becomes parallel with the ground or higher. As you do so, rock your weight by pushing off your back foot towards the mound.

Aim with Your Elbow
Anchor your forward movement by pointing your glove-hand elbow towards the target (usually the catcher's mitt-unless you're going all crazy on someone, which of course we'd never condone).  As you step towards the plate with your front leg, extend your pitching arm as far as possible with the pitch. When your arm (with the ball) is parallel to your ear, smoothly rotate your elbow forward and release the ball on the way down.

Four-Seam Fastball
This is one of the great pitching tips as in generally considered to be the most reliable pitch to throw for a strike. Start by placing your index and middle fingertips on the perpendicular, or "horseshoe" seam of the baseball. This seam should face into your ring finger. Then, place your thumb directly beneath the ball, resting it on the white leather. Rest it in the center of the horseshoe seem. Do not grip the ball too tightly; there should be a slight gap between your palm and the ball.

Three-Finger Changeup
Center your ring, middle, and index fingers on top of the baseball. Your thumb and pinky finger should be placed on the white leather directly underneath the baseball. It can help to touch your pinky and thumb together, as this gives a better feel of the ball and pitch.  Now, hold the baseball deep in your hand's palm to take speed off the pitch. Throw the ball as you would a fastball-except at the last minute, use your elbow to bring your arm down as if you're pulling a shade or breaking a piece of chalk on a wall. This helps take some speed off, as well.

Curveball
There are many pitching tips concerning the curveball, but be careful learning and throwing a curveball, as too much repetition at an early stage can lead to severe arm, wrist and elbow injury. Grab the ball so that your middle finger is touching the horseshoe part of the seam as it narrows. Make sure that your index finger is just above the middle finger, side-by-side and touching, on the white part of the leather. As you throw the ball, rotate your wrist towards the plate on the release. This grip/rotation will give you the spin you need for a good curve. But again, be careful!

Slider
A good slider could arguably be called the best pitch in baseball, as it is effective in getting hitters out from both sides of the plate. Grip the ball with your index and middle fingers across the seams at its widest point, keeping both slightly toward the outside of the ball. Place your thumb under the ball and keep your ring finger and pinkie off to its side (neither should not make contact with the ball's surface). When you release the ball, exert pressure on it with your thumb and middle finger. Throw it like a fastball, except with a slider, you want to "cut" through the ball with the middle finger. Keep your fingers on the top of the ball until the actual release, at which point, turn the ball with your fingers. Try these pitching tips when you play baseball with your team or in a pick-up game with friends. 

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