Baseball Magazine

The Drop-Step Drill for Pitchers

By Meachrm @BaseballBTYard

In my opinion, one of the more important aspects of good pitching is the ability to stay on that imaginary line that leads from the middle of the pivot foot on the pitching rubber to the location they want to throw to at home plate.  If their body weight can successfully travel down and finish on that line, accuracy and even more velocity can be the result.  To many, this would seem like common sense.  However, in reality, it’s amazing how many pitchers deviate from that line and screw their performance up as a result.

The off-season is a perfect time to start mastering this basic pitching concept.  There are several ways this can be done but one of the better ways is the Drop-Step Drill.  A Drop-Step Drill has largely been a quarterback drill that helps QB’s master the 3 or 5 step drop back on a pass play in football.  Below is a video of the football version of the drill run by Peyton Manning.

For pitchers, the same drill can be effective to teach them to stay on their lines.  However, one big adjustment needs to be made for it to work for pitchers.  In the video, Manning and the other QB’s drop straight back on the line for just one step but then change directions to pass to one side or the other.  For pitchers, it is important to stay on that line from start to finish.  A pitcher would drop back on that line and then travel forward again (3 to 5 hops back and 3 to 5 hops forward) on that same line to throw.  Like the video, using an actual line on the floor/ground gives a good visual for the pitcher to see how well they stay on their line on the way back as well as on the way forward.

Pitchers can use this drill to throw from a variety of distances to a squatting catcher, another player/pitcher, or even a wall or net.  On the field or in a gym, the process is the same.

Note:  In the video, the “Tips” that pop-up on the screen as well as Manning’s verbal tips for the quarterbacks apply perfectly to pitchers as well!  He could be a good pitching coach!

Next post: Using wood bats in the off-season


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