Pitching Technique Checklist for Coaches

It is a good idea for a coach or a parent to have a "checklist" when teaching their young player or son how to pitch. I use a checklist for my pitchers at UCLA, whenever I observe them in practice or in games. 

More: 6 Steps to the Perfect Pitch

The list is divided into the four phases of pitching delivery:

  1. The Preliminaries
  2. The Coil
  3. The Explosion
  4. The Follow Through

Each of these are answered with a yes or no, both for the wind-up and for the stretch deliveries:

The Preliminaries

  1. Eyes - On target, concentration apparent.
  2. Grip - Hidden from opponent's view.
  3. Body - Facing the hitter directly.

The Coil

  1. Front Hip - Coiled to position, parallel to rubber.
  2. Striding Knee - Bent with foot close to pivot leg.
  3. Front Thigh - Parallel to ground.
  4. Back - Bent towards hands (not leaning or arched).
  5. Front Shoulder - Coiled, pointing at target.
  6. Pivot Leg - Slightly bent for push-off.
  7. Pivot Foot - Firmly planted along edge of rubber.
  8. Body - Compact and on balance.

More: Beginner's Guide to the Slider

The Explosion

  1. Body - "Drives" forward after hands separate.
  2. Front Shoulder - Drives, then explodes (opens) fully.
  3. Pivot Knee - Dips, then stays near ground during stride.
  4. Front Leg - Strides directly to ground (no "kick-out").
  5. Front Foot - Lands on open side of line from pivot to target.
  6. Throwing Hand - Passes behind back knee.
  7. Wrist - Loosely cocked, with hand on top of ball.
  8. Throwing Arm - Reaching out and over striding leg.
  9. Head - Still, with eyes on target.

The Follow Through

  1. Throwing arm shoulder - Finishes close to landing knee.
  2. Throwing hand - Close to ground, palm facing pitcher.
  3. Back - Bent forward and over landing leg.
  4. Rear end - Low.
  5. Feet - Recover quickly, ready position.

More: How Pitchers Can Keep Hitters Honest

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About the Author

Gary Adams

Gary Adams retired as the head coach of UCLA Baseball in 2004 after 30 seasons at the helm of one of the most successful and respected collegiate programs in NCAA history.

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