Baseball Pitching Tips: You Absolutely Must Use Checkpoints!
- Updated: May 9, 2012
Making good use of checkpoints is one of the best baseball pitching tips anyone will ever give you. Checkpoints are very simply mental reminders that a pitcher gives to himself before every pitch. They are something that will help any pitcher be the most effective! Usually, baseball pitchers have about three or four and they will vary from pitcher to pitcher. I would venture to say that at the professional level of play, almost every pitcher uses them. Nobody can tell you what your personal checkpoints are. You have to know yourself as a pitcher and you must decide what they are. If you occasionally get into a bad habit while on the hill, then that particular thing would then become one of your checkpoints. It can possibly be that you have a tendency to rush your windup. Maybe you “fly open.” Just remember that they should be done before every pitch.
1. Step toward your catcher’s target.
2. Keep the front shoulder closed when driving toward the plate so you don’t “fly open.”
3. Throw the ball and don’t overthrow the ball.
4. Don’t rock left and right and keep everything straight during the windup and delivery of the pitch.
5. Remember not to tilt your head and to keep it straight during the windup.
6. Remember to “stay back on the rubber” if you have a tendency to get your body ahead of your throwing arm.
7. Keep the windup slow if you have a tendency to rush and it causes pitching problems for you.
8. Get the legs involved in the pitch to take some of the work load off your throwing arm.
9. Stay “on top” of your pitches or they will flatten out and be much more hittable.
10. Turn the hip enough when pivoting.
11. Raise the throwing elbow up to shoulder height.
12. Break the hands apart early so you don’t have to rush the throwing arm.
13. Raise the front knee to at least waist height.
The list can go on and on. (And it almost did.)
Don’t make a mistake here and undervalue how important checkpoints are. If you have two or three weaknesses, wouldn’t it be terrific if you can eliminate them almost all the time? As an individual pitcher, you have to decide what the three or four things are that should be your personal checkpoints. Think about them before every pitch! Trust me, it’s not nearly as complicated as one might think.
Simply think of an abbreviated form because it’s not like you have to think of thirty, forty or fifty words before every pitch. A typical checkpoint list may be staying back on the rubber, front shoulder closed and point the landing foot to the catcher’s target. A more logical and abbreviated version would be “stay back, closed and foot.” It takes about one second at the most. Using checkpoints should be right near the top of your list of outstanding baseball pitching tips.
To me, making very good use of checkpoints is a total no brainer. It will keep you totally focused and you will cut down on your number of mistakes. I truly hope you realize how spending this one second will help you tremendously as a baseball pitcher!