The baseball chair drill is great for improving a pitcher's form and delivery and helps them focus on leg movement, extension, and follow through. Learning proper form and delivery can help a pitcher improve accuracy. The baseball chair drill is important for pitchers that tend to swing their post leg away from the body, causing them to close or open too soon.
The baseball chair drill helps pitchers that tend to swing their post leg away from the body which can cause them to close or open up too soon. This drill helps produce proper leg movement and follow through in pitching motion to maximize pitching reach and improve leg strength.
Take a folding chair and put it over the mound. Right handed pitchers place their right foot on the chair and left handed pitchers place their left foot on the chair. The foot on the chair should be flat and sideways. A left handed pitchers body and foot should be towards first base and left handed pitchers should be facing third base. Assume the wind up position with the front elbow up, the pitching arm back with the elbow bent and the hand down to begin delivery. As the pitcher finishes the body and foot rotate with the toe of the foot remaining on the chair. Use the same pitching position where everything pulls through while staying on the balls of the feet. When finished the front leg should still be strong with the knee flexed. Make sure the leg does not collapse, foot is down, pitching arm is forward in front of opposite knee, and head is still on the target. Remember to keep the chest up and follow through. This drill helps a pitcher reach out over the front foot. A lot of times a pitcher throws flat fast balls where the ball is not at a down angle because they are not finishing. Flat fast balls are the easiest balls to hit and go along way even if pitched at 98 mph. This is because there is no angle to it and is why the reach is so important.
Improving mechanics helps baseball pitchers advance in skill level. Optimizing body movement throughout pitching delivery increases stamina, accuracy and efficiency from the mound. This drill is also great for improving leg strength, flexibility and the reduction of injury. Stability, mobility and flexibility help pitchers perform at a higher level.
Strength of a pitcher's core is also vital to a pitcher's throwing velocity. The torso helps get the arm in position to throw the ball. Rotation of the torso throughout the entire delivery transfers power as well as helping reduce the chance of arm injury. Hip strength and flexibility for pitching is vital. The lead foot needs to contact the ground and the toes point toward the plate during acceleration. A pitcher must properly rotate their trail leg in order to put the lead leg in position to externally rotate which will make the trunk and throwing arm rotate towards the plate or intended target. Lacking range for internal hip rotation causes a pitcher to throw across the body and reduces the transfer of power from the lower body through the core into the arm. Increasing range of motion in the hips and torso increases the power transferred to the shoulders and arms to maximize velocity.
A pitchers lower body must be strong and stable in order to throw with great velocity. A strong push movement forward is necessary for a pitcher to increase velocity. Great pitchers can extend and plant the forward knee to produce a stable pitching motion. There is a high correlation between lower body strength and throwing velocity.
Great pitchers all have different styles, but through repetition and constant practice they all possess a movement rhythm that appears natural. Practicing with proper mechanics produces a higher throwing velocity. Pitchers also need a strong rotator cuff to succeed on the mound. A big percentage of force placed on the ball comes from the shoulder. With a strong rotator cuff pitchers are able to throw with higher velocity. Spending ample time strengthening the rotator cuff, forearm and wrist will greatly benefit a pitcher. Not only will this increase a pitcher's velocity but it will also help a pitcher's control during delivery.
Full body movement is needed for pitching. They must be able to perform at their maximum repeatedly with little rest. Rotational movement is the main action used in pitching. Pitchers must develop muscles throughout the entire body to be flexible and have appropriate external and internal rotation to be explosive and throw at high speed. Strong hips, legs and core are necessary for a pitcher to be able to transfer power from the ground, to the legs and core, through the arms, to the hands for a high speed whip release. Kinetic bands are a great way to add resistance to drills and exercises to build strength, flexibility, mobility and speed for pitching.