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MIKE K's Pitching Steps

The off-season is the best time to work on your pitching technique.  Here are former Pro, Mike Kusiewicz's steps on pitching.   Mike offers personal lessons along with camps that he runs throughout the year (

Mike's 5 Key Steps to Pitching From the Wind-up

Step One - (The Step Back) Stand on top of the rubber with your toes hanging over the edge; righties on the right side of the rubber, lefties on the left side. Get your grip for the pitch you are throwing and step back 4-6 inches with your “glove side” leg. Make sure that your stride isn’t too far back because it will cause you to be off balance going into step 2.

Step Two - (The Pivot) Turn your “plant foot” and step in front of the rubber with the outside of your foot pressing up against it. You should feel your weight transfer from your back leg to your front. Your hands should be in a comfortable position; I prefer my pitchers’ hands around their waist, but if you are more comfortable with your hands a little higher or lower then go for it, wherever you are most comfortable and relaxed.

Step Three - (The Leg Lift) I choose to call it a leg “lift” and not a leg “kick” because I feel the word “kick” sounds as if the pitcher is swinging his/her leg up and I want the pitcher to control his/her leg as if he/she is “lifting” it. Your “plant foot” should be firmly against the rubber with all your weight on this leg. While turning your body 90 degrees so that your front shoulder (your glove-side shoulder) is facing home lift your leg so that your foot is at least a few inches off the ground. This is where everyone is different. Some have a higher leg lift than others, the key is balance. With your leg in the air, you should not fall forward or backward on the mound. This will allow you to stay “on top” of the ball as you throw.

Step Four – (The Throw) Your leg should now start to drop and slide forward in a sweeping motion. As your leg begins to drop your hands should start to separate with the ball coming down near your hip (preferably). Your lead elbow should begin to move up and pointed toward the catcher, don’t worry too much about what the glove is doing, if the elbow is in the right spot the glove should naturally follow. When your “stride foot” lands it should be pointed toward you catcher and your “landing leg” should be flexing into a lunging position. Allow your “lead arm or elbow” to come down toward your hip; avoid swinging it to the side as this will affect your throwing motion. Your “throwing arm” should now be coming over so that your fingers are on top and behind the ball. When you release the ball your hand should be headed right for the catcher’s mitt. Be sure to really reach for it as this will help your follow-through.

Step Five - (The Finish) After reaching toward the catcher’s mitt and releasing the ball make sure that your hand is coming down toward the ground and not to the side. Allow your body to help slow your arm down by bending both your “landing leg” and your back. This will help take pressure off your “decelerator muscles” in your shoulder. Try to finish with your shoulder and hips square to home plate, but if you absolutely can’t, try your best to get into a good fielding position so that you can pick up that groundball up the middle.