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How to Teach Kids to Pitch a Baseball

Pitching has long been considered to be the most important single element in baseball. Teaching kids how to pitch is necessary when teaching the fundamentals of the game. Kids need to know how to throw the ball properly and must also take care of their pitching arms. They must also learn how to stand on the mound, wind up a ball, deliver the ball and follow through.

  1. Teach kids to strengthen their arms with a throwing exercise. Have them stand with their feet shoulder-width apart. Tell them to extend their arms out and hold them straight. Next, they will make small forward circles with their arms for 30 seconds. Then, they'll repeat the same exercise making backward circles. Kids should also throw the baseball every day to build arm strength. Have a kid stand about 40 feet from a throwing partner, gradually moving backward and throwing until the players are approximately 75 feet apart. The two pitchers can play catch for 15 minutes at a time.

  2. Have right-handed pitchers stand with their right foot on the pitching rubber and their left foot facing home plate. Do the opposite if the child is a lefty. This is known as the stretch position. The child will then pick his front knee straight up until the front foot is at about the height of the opposite knee.

  3. Tell the pitcher to extend his front leg toward the catcher and bring his pitching arm up to head height. He will then bring his arm forward and release the ball as his front foot hits the ground, keeping his eyes focused on the catcher's mitt throughout the process.

    Tip

    Have players run in the outfield every day. Pitchers don't use just their arms and upper bodies. Running is essential for building power, endurance and balance on the mound.

    Warning

    Never make players pitch when feeling pain, and have them stop immediately if they feel stiffness or discomfort.

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About the Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.

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