Thursday Throwing & Pitching Tips
A big part of defensive play begins before the pitch. A key part of defense begins with the pitcher's ability to hold runners on base, so they cannot have big leads to easily advance to the next base. This is true at each base and not just for first base. Most people believe pitchers need a great pick off move in order to hold runners close, but that is not so. In addition, many people correctly think that holding runners on prevents players from stealing bases. That is one reason, but simply keeping base runners closer to the base is important for getting outs on close plays.
Keeping runners close to third base is often neglected but extremely important for obvious reasons. Pitchers should practice pickoff plays with the third baseman for this.
Finally, the onus to hold runners close to the base is on pitchers, but it must be a team effort with much responsibility on all the other infielders, too. Having a catcher with a strong arm and quick release is necessary.
After playing major league baseball, Jack Perconte has taught baseball and softball since 1988 and offered valuable coaching training too. He has helped numerous youth players reach their potential, as well as having helped parents and coaches navigate their way through the challenging world of youth sports. Jack is one of the leading authorities in the areas of youth baseball training and coaching training advice.All Jack Perconte articles are used with copyright permission.
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