How Pitchers Should Use Their Backside Leg

Throwing quality pitches isn't just about arm velocity, it's also about ensuring a young hurler's mechanics are "loaded" and their backside is engaged in the pitch.

Here's an effective drill-that requires nothing more than a simple chair-to ensure your pitchers are fundamentally sound and ready to throw their best.

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Purpose of the Pitching Chair Drill

This drill is meant for the pitcher that likes to swing their post leg out away from their body and eventually open up or closing to soon.

Get a folding chair and place the back of it close to the rubber towards the third base side. If the pitcher is left-handed, place the chair close to the rubber on the third base side of the mound.

More: 6 Steps to the Perfect Pitch

How the Drill Works

Let your pitcher assume a wind-up position and begin their delivery. As the pitcher's left leg rises, watch it as it comes down and through the pitching motion.

If the leg hits the chair at any time, one of two things is happening:

  • That they are swinging it open, causing the hips to open up too soon.
  • They are driving towards the third base side of the plate (first base for lefties) causing them to throw across their body.

Finally, as the plant leg is placed, the arm comes through the slot and the back side is released. To ensure a good back side, the right leg must be lifted high enough so that it clears the top of the chair. This ensures that the pitcher is equaling out the force from their throwing arm.

It's all about physics, specifically, Newton's Third Law: for every action (the arm), there is an equal and opposite reaction (the backside leg).

As with any drill, do this in repetition, even while the athletes are doing pen work. It will pay off dividends later, and should keep the pitcher from some serious injuries.

More: How to Find the Perfect Pitching Arm Angle

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About the Author

Coach B


Coach B is a baseball coach and administrator who writes frequently on drills to help fellow coaches improve their teams.

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