Southpaws can be especially effective on picking off runners at first, but only if their technique is sound.
In this drill left-handers can perfect their pickoff move and keep runners at first honest and on their guard.
Benefits of the Drill
This drill is one of my favorites in all of coaching. Not because it's easy to teach, easy for the athlete to perform, even easy to set up or even fun to do?but because the outcome of the drill makes runners on first base look like they are in a daze.
Setting Up the Drill
You need two players to run this drill. One, of course, is your pitcher, and then you can grab anyone else who can catch a ball, but it should preferably be your first baseman.
Have your pitcher sit on a chair, not a bench that has a back to it. Make sure his feet are just wider than shoulder width apart and that each foot has a good strong base (meaning that they are on the balls of the big toe).
Both of his feet should be pointing towards what would be first base and where your second athlete will be stationed. His front shoulder should be closed and pointing toward what would be the plate. Eyes should also be looking at where the plate would be.
How the Drill Works
Begin with glove and throwing hand at chest position. Break your hands on "go" from the coach. The left hand follows the arm action during a normal pitch as well as does the right arm.
The front side, or the right arm and shoulder should be pointing and having an action towards home plate, while actually on a path somewhere in between homeplate and first base.
Level of Difficulty
However, the left hand and the ball will throw towards first base. At first, this is very difficult for some athletes to do, but if you drill it, it will pay huge dividends.
Because of that difficulty, we isolate the upper half of the torso by sitting on the chair. You can incorporate the feet and hips when you first get the arms and head doing what it should. (The deception comes with the runners trying to see a tip from the pitcher indicating a move to home.)
Confusion of the Runner
Runners look at the head, the legs and feet, and the front side. Well, if that front side appears that it is going home, the runner will believe that the rest of the body will follow. Before he hears the umpire punch him out, he doesn't know what happened.