Baseball Rebellion – How to Throw Batting Practice

Parents, coaches, Chas Pippitt here from Baseball Rebellion. So as moved into the new facility, we’ve had a lot more parents and a lot more coaches coming to do extra work with their hitters. And I wanted to talk to y’all about something that’s extremely important for their development: how you throw batting practice. So first, let’s talk about the setup. You want the L-screen (this is a straight screen but you know what an L-screen looks like) it sticks out. You want the L-screen set up to where the pole of the screen is just to the right of the center of the plate if you’re a right-handed thrower. If you’re a lefty, it would be over here more. Just to the left of the center of the plate. The reason I say that, okay, is because you are going to be standing completely behind the screen. I can’t say that more clearly. Completely behind the screen. I see way too many parents like out here, flipping it in like this. Obsurd. You’re going to get hurt. You’re going to get hit and it’s going to hurt your child’s development because you’re not going to be accurate. Because you’re not going to be confident in how you’re throwing and whether or not you’re safe. So, more setup stuff. Once you’ve got the L-screen in place, we’ve got to get the balls on the throwing hand side completely behind the screen. We don’t want a bucket standing out here. It’s going to ricochet off the bucket. It could break the bucket. It could hit you. Come back and hit the hitter. We just don’t want that. Now, once you’ve got everything setup, alright, what we’re looking for is a firm toss and we’re looking to get some repeatable rhythm to the hitter, based off your delivery. So, if you’re standing right here you’re too close. There’s no way you can throw. You’ve got to make sure you give yourself some room, again, completely behind the screen, step, throw. Now, we’re looking for firm batting practice. When I say firm, I don’t mean you’re crow-hopping and chucking it at your kid as hard as you can. What I mean is you’ve got to give them a straighter toss because that’s going to give them a much more realistic pitch plane that they’re going to see in high school, middle school, Little League, in their games. That’s what we want. If you’re lobbing it in, you’re going to get this big uppercut and while some people probably think that’s what we want, we don’t want that huge uppercut. We want a mastered pitch plane. You’re going to give your hitter the most opportunity to make the most contact. How you throw BP is a huge determining factor in that. So, I’m going to give you a couple throws here, alright. So, I’m holding the ball, four-seam grip. We’re not just grabbing, chucking it. Four-seam grip. That means all my fingers are touching a seam. Ring, pointer, middle, and thumb, four-seams. And I’m just going to step and throw. So, right here, I am completely behind the entire screen and this L part of the screen shouldn’t be protecting you really, because if you’re throwing behind the screen properly, again, your whole body is here, step, throw. Do a firm BP making sure that you’re getting your hitter timing, arm action, a rhymic delivery over and over so they can have the best opportunity. The last thing I want to mention before I go is once you’re done with your BP or between rounds, you don’t want to be coaching while you’re throwing You, you’re job is to throw the ball straight and accurately. So if a hitter’s constantly, you know, reaching for everything or jumping out of the way, obviously, that’s not perfect. I know you’re not a professional BP thrower probably if you’re watching this so you’re going to be wild some. Pick a target on the net or behind the net, like the bottom of a chair or somebody’s shoe behind you or even set something back there that you can throw it, like a tee, and focus right on that target. Don’t try to coach and throw. Just throw. Be there to have fun with your hitter. Give your hitter the best BP and that’s the best coaching you can possibly do. I wanted to go over two different ways to throw front toss that I think are extremely important that you know how to do, okay. First off, I see a lot of coaches throwing front toss where they are standing. This is not how we do it here at Baseball Rebellion, but it is a way to do it. And just like BP stuff, you want to give yourself enough room back from the cage to give yourself a walk-through that you can be consistent. It’s almost like bowling. So, you want to right, left, throw and that’s what we’re looking for. Right, left, throw. Just like BP, right, left, throw. Now, we do front toss this way. We sit, okay, and we put the bucket between our legs, and we give ourselves at least two feet off the L-screen. If you’re sitting like this and you’re trying to toss, you’re going to get hit. This L- screen is not made of metal. It’s net. It moves. So let’s be smart and let’s give ourselves some room. So, what we’re looking for then is a four-seam grip, okay? and a lot of parents they really lean out like this and they flip the ball and they’re floating it in and some of that is because coaches I know you’re not confident tosser. Well you’re not a confident tosser because you’re not trained. So, let’s fix it. Let’s give your hitter a great opportunity to get a ton of positive reps in, make your practice and time with your hitters much more efficient. Because if there’s a bunch of balls sitting at the back of the cage instead of this side of the cage because you’ve thrown a bunch of balls, that’s not what we want. We want strikes. We want firm strikes and strikes that are similar to a game. So, what we’re looking for, four-seam grip, you want a slow arm swing back, slow arm swing back, and then speed up in the release, okay. Slow arm swing back. Go. You’ll notice with my hand, I’m giving you a little bit of a flip action with my hand here. That gives the ball a little bit of spin. May go a little straighter. If your wrist is very stiff, you’re going to get this really awkward deceleration in your arm. You’ll pull a muscle in your back. You’ll get really, really, really sore. So what you want to do is be much, much looser. Almost like bowling. As I’ve said before, arm back, flick the wrist. Arm back, flick the wrist. You’re not tring to coach and toss. Toss five or six, talk to your hitter. If you have to something to say, say it then, but instead of trying to look at the hitter and toss, which is extremely hard to do, you’ve got to pick a target, focus on that target and do your best to give the hitter every opportunity to make good and repeated swings on the ball, not jumping out of the way or taking a bunch of pitches. Now my entire body is behind the screen obviously, and you shouldn’t have to lean way, way out to throw like right now my whole is outside the screen. It’s very easy to get hit that way. Obviously, we don’t to do that. So, we want to have slight lean, slight lean and toss. So my head is squarely behind the screen, and the screen setup is extremely important too. Very similar to batting practice, you want the pole of your arm side just over the middle of the plate away from a left-handed hitter for a righty or away from a right-handed hitter for a left. So, this allows my head to be right on the kind of white line the batter’s box on the left-handed inside corner because I’m a right-handed thrower and I’m going to go back, and flip firm. Back, flip firm. Make it easy, make it positive, make it efficient, and make your hitters better.

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