The best drills for pitching are those with the aim of repetitive movements to improve balance and control when in a game situation. Drills can be to improve balance while also improving mechanics of the arm and throwing motion while also increasing velocity. Pitching involves a combination of mental and physical attributes that combine the tall and fall approach with and aggressive lunge like aggression toward the hitter and added hip rotation to torque the body in the direction of home plate.
The most popular drills for pitching include the “Rocker Drill”, long toss, the towel drill, and the balanced T drill and the airplane drill.
Drills should be done repetitively to create muscle memory and further improve overall balance of the body when performing a pitching motion. If your youth pitcher is suffering from poor control this could be attributed to no releasing the ball far enough out front towards the hitter and “finishing” each pitch off completely.
If you find that your youth pitcher is experiencing arm or elbow issues this could be due to not fully rotating the hips toward the hitter after front foot strike thus causing the pitcher to throw up hill while leading the arm away from the direction of home plate. Another cause of arm issues is over rotation of the hips causing the throwing arm to throw across the youth pitchers body. This is normally cause from opening the shoulders to the hitter prematurely and not keeping the front elbow and shoulder perpendicular to the direction intended to be targeted.
Having your youth pitcher perform throws from the balanced T position as shown above forces the pitcher to rotate the back hip toward the hitter thus causing the back foot to step over the imaginary plane and release the ball closer to the hitter. The aim for this drill is to incorporate as much of the body as possible into the throwing motion. The further the pitcher releases the ball towards the hitter the less reaction time the hitter has to make contact on the ball. The balanced T drill is a great tool for starting in an athletic balanced position.