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.
The list is divided into the four phases of pitching delivery:
- The Preliminaries
- The Coil
- The Explosion
- The Follow Through
Each of these are answered with a yes or no, both for the wind-up and for the stretch deliveries:
- Eyes - On target, concentration apparent.
- Grip - Hidden from opponent's view.
- Body - Facing the hitter directly.
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- Front Hip - Coiled to position, parallel to rubber.
- Striding Knee - Bent with foot close to pivot leg.
- Front Thigh - Parallel to ground.
- Back - Bent towards hands (not leaning or arched).
- Front Shoulder - Coiled, pointing at target.
- Pivot Leg - Slightly bent for push-off.
- Pivot Foot - Firmly planted along edge of rubber.
- Body - Compact and on balance.
- Body - "Drives" forward after hands separate.
- Front Shoulder - Drives, then explodes (opens) fully.
- Pivot Knee - Dips, then stays near ground during stride.
- Front Leg - Strides directly to ground (no "kick-out").
- Front Foot - Lands on open side of line from pivot to target.
- Throwing Hand - Passes behind back knee.
- Wrist - Loosely cocked, with hand on top of ball.
- Throwing Arm - Reaching out and over striding leg.
- Head - Still, with eyes on target.
The Follow Through
- Throwing arm shoulder - Finishes close to landing knee.
- Throwing hand - Close to ground, palm facing pitcher.
- Back - Bent forward and over landing leg.
- Rear end - Low.
- Feet - Recover quickly, ready position.