The Baseball Zone Blog

Ryan Armstrong | Dec 20, 2014 6:30:00 AM

Baseball Drill of the Week | "Pendulum to Pelvic Load"

This week's Pitching Drill of the Week is the "Pendulum to Pelvic Load" drill.

This baseball drill is used to help players incorporate the hips into the delivery. Leading with the hips will help players establish a direct line to the target. Moving our hips toward the target will also help us with rotation. More rotation can result in more velocity and allow the arm to have more room to decelerate, decreasing the overall stress of the throw.

The pendulum aspect of the drill allows players to relax and find a natural spot to lift their leg. The pendulum swing also allows players to stay loose as they begin to move forward. This can be very effective for players who are to tense as they begin the delivery.This drill can be done by anyone who is looking to develop an efficient move forward; it is also effective for player who may lack rhythm and tempo. We do this drill in season and off season and is usually followed by the actual pitching motion.

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Topics: baseball drills, pitching tips, pitching instruction, throwing drills, pitching drills, pitching velocity, pitching rotation, pitching mechanics, velocity drills, delivery, rotation drills, pelvic load

Ryan Armstrong | Dec 3, 2014 6:00:00 AM

Baseball Drill of the Week | "Mariano Rivera Drill"

This week's Pitching Drill of the Week is the "Mariano Rivera Drill" aka the Pre-set Pelvic Load drill.

This baseball drill is designed to help players lead with their hips in their delivery. Leading with your hips can help with velocity, rotation and finish. Using the hips to lead can also promote more of a total body throw. When we lead with the hips we are really initiating rotation starting with the back hip. If we don't do a good job starting rotation it will be very tough to continue rotation when we land. This can lead to more of an upper body throw and may place more stress on the arm.

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Topics: baseball drills, pitching tips, pitching instruction, throwing drills, pitching drills, pitching velocity, pitching rotation, pitching mechanics, velocity drills, delivery, rotation drills

Ryan Armstrong | May 8, 2014 6:30:00 AM

Baseball Drill of the Week | "Jump Backs"


This week's Pitching Drill of the Week is "Jump Backs".

Jump backs are a lower body drill that helps to promote a positive, explosive move to the target. This will help with accuracy, velocity, and promote more of a total body throw. They can be used by anyone but especially helpful for players who have trouble directing energy/momentum to their target. We recommend a couple times a week, and we usually implement them closer to the season.

The athlete will start in a stretch position and hop back towards 2B. They will then want to focus on gathering themselves as quickly as possible and ridirect their energy and momentum towards the target.

Please watch Coach Army (@tbzarmy) as he demonstrates below:

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Topics: baseball drills, throwing drills, pitching drills, pitching velocity, momentum drills, throwing power, throwing velocity, pitching accuracy

Rick Boutilier | May 7, 2014 6:30:00 AM

Baseball Exercise of the Week | "External Rotation w/ Pulleys"

The SST Baseball Exercise of the week is the External Rotation w/ Pulley from our Rotator Cuff Series. 

Using a pulley system with relatively light weight, the athlete locks the elbow of their pulling arm at the same hip and externally rotates the pulley away from the body. It is important to try and keep that elbow as close to the body as possible throughout the movement to maintain focus on the Teres Minor. We'd often place it at the beginning of a lifting program, especially for baseball players and athletes with shoulder issues, and keep the rep range from 8-12 reps with a tempo of 1 second out (away from the body) and 3-4 seconds back to the body. As with all lifts, tempo and grip and repetitions can be varied depending upon purpose, timing, experience, variability, etc.

In the video we have John Mariotti demostrating the exercise. At the time, John was training with us in preparation for his representing Italy in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

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Topics: in-season strength training, baseball strength training, strength training for baseball, off-season strength training, pitching velocity, shoulder injury, rotator cuff, throwing velocity, glenohumeral joint

Ryan Armstrong | Apr 30, 2014 11:27:32 AM

4 Things Pitchers Can Do the Night Before They Pitch

One question I often get asked by pitchers here at The Baseball Zone is "I have a practice the day before my next start - what should I do or avoid doing?" This is a great in-season baseball training question. I love when it is asked and will soon share the options that I give to them.

However, unfortunately I am not asked this question as often as I wish I was. So I have to go on the offensive and ask pitchers what THEY are doing the night before they are scheduled to take the mound - and the answer I sadly get most often is "NOTHING". Well in my opinion, that is an opportunity missed to get better for the next night and for the long term. There is often - at the heart of it - a "concern" for being "too tired" for the next night which is...well...kinda funny. We are not suggesting anyone climbs Mt. Kilimanjaro the day before, but simply takes the opportunity to put in productive work for both the short and long terms. You wanna get better? Then work at it. Don't get me wrong - I don't expect people to know this. That is why there are coaches and instructors - to help provide answers and guidance. But when you don't ask the question and assume you know the answer already, you are likely missing out on at the very least educating yourself on options for your own best path.

So back to the question of what to do the night before a scheduled outing, here are 4 options I would give to pitchers when they ask (and when they don't ask!):

1) Play productive catch: 

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Topics: pitching, pitching tips, pitching instruction, pitching velocity, playing catch, playing better catch, batting practice, pitching advice, cool down, long toss, flat ground

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