• September 30, 2022

So do you want to be a consistent pitcher like Greg Maddux?

After “how can I get more speed on my fastball?”, the next most frequently asked question as a pitching coach is how to become a more consistent pitcher.

We have all seen it. Regardless of age or level of play, the pitcher shuts down one game and can’t find the plate the next.

Now speed is one of the first ways to get the attention of coaches, scouts, fans and just about any baseball fan.

But let’s face it, consistency is the reason big league guys get paid a lot of money.

Is consistency genetic?

Well, like most athletic activities, there is natural ability involved. But your consistency with your delivery can be improved.


Through smart work, planning and proper exercises.

Notice I didn’t say hard work.

I’m more for smart working. Get the most out of your time.

I have a friend who is a professional golf instructor. We’ve had long talks about coaching and what successful athletes do to prepare and compete at the highest level.

The only thing that stands out in my head about our conversation is how focused the professional golfer is while training. My friend Todd said that the difference between a professional golfer and an amateur golfer is structured practice and focus on each swing.

Todd estimates that during a bucket of 100 golf balls, the pro is concentrating on about 95 percent of those balls. What that means is that about 95 of the 100 golf swings the professional golfer takes, they do so with a purpose. He is trying to achieve something. Not just swinging the golf club for the hell of it.

Now look at the professional pitcher. In season, the pitcher has his exit. Throw about 100 pitches, let’s say. Before his next start, the professional pitcher will throw one or two bullpens working on his pitches, placement, speed, movement and many other things. He will also be working on flat terrain drills during the week, again working on something specific. Maybe his curve is struggling; maybe the change is a bit flat. When all is said and done, there will be a few hundred releases in any given week. I bet the same 95% focus of the professional golfer applies to the professional pitcher.

You have to ask yourself, am I fully focused with each and every pitch?

I bet not.

I see it all the time. Most of the guys are thinking and talking about the latest movie that came out, what’s for dinner, a girlfriend, whatever comes to mind as they pitch. I ask any pitcher what he’s working on during a session and he inevitably says, “I’m warming up.” That won’t take you to the next level and you’ll have consistent launch delivery.

You have to warm up to throw, not throw to warm up!

Use your warm-up time to relax your body, warm it up, and get it ready to pitch. Don’t use your pitch to warm up. That’s where you’ll hurt your joints.

You can look at almost any professional athlete and you will see that they prepare their body well before starting their activity.

Do you have a practice plan?

This is another big area where I see most pitchers fail.

They don’t have a plan to practice. I’m not sure why. It takes a little effort to plan. It takes discipline to execute that plan.

Exercising and practicing can be boring at times. This is what separates the high performers from the mid performers. High achievers get through the tedious stuff because they know it will make them better and they have a burning desire to be the best.

A good friend and mentor once told me that it’s not always the best athlete who comes out on top, it’s the best prepared athlete who succeeds.

You will need a set of exercises or teachings that will help you improve and also keep you on track.

That’s where I see a big drop-off with a lot of amateur athletes who do the drills, get into a comfort zone and shoot well.

They stop doing the exercises that got them there. I think they believe, I found it, I won’t lose it, I’m invincible.

Then they start having problems. They have a bad start or two. Your curve is not working well. They try to change their grip. The coach wants them to change their delivery. Still no improvement.

In the meantime, if they had continued to do what got them there, they would have stayed at that high level for a long time.

How smart are you willing to work?

Now I know I said work smart. It also takes sweat to go to the next level.

I have a couple of high school pitching students who are brothers. These guys are great pitchers. And I say pitchers. They don’t throw 100 miles per hour, but they have incredibly efficient, smooth deliveries as you will see.

How they did it? Well, they believe in our launch principles and practice them every day. And I mean every day.

They get up in the morning and do 100 towel exercises each before going to school. That’s 100 launch deliveries every day. They might mix some exercises in with those, which means it’s not the full delivery, but they’re working on it every day.

While the kids they compete against are still sleeping or passing the time texting their friends, these guys are working to get better.

If you ask them, it really doesn’t take that long to do 100 towel exercises. I guess they do about 20, they change and then they do another 20 and so on. How long can that take? I bet they are done in about 15 to 20 minutes.

Is it worth a college scholarship or even a lucrative professional contract to spend 15-20 minutes a day working on your delivery?

Your body is the engine that launches the ball

I probably should have started this special report by talking about how your body plays into pitch delivery and contributes to consistency.

It’s pretty simple. If your body doesn’t have the flexibility, strength, endurance, power, and explosiveness it needs for a great shot, then you don’t have the opportunity to be able to shoot the ball whenever and wherever you want, game after game.

We’ll explore your body and your pitch in another article, but know that proper training, at any age, is critical to a pitcher’s success.

The Post Game Show

Developing consistent delivery is pretty simple, it’s just not easy to do or else everyone would be doing it.

It takes persistence, patience and planning.

Work smart by using your time wisely. Base your pitch on a set of principles, not someone else’s style. Plan your drills based on those principles. To be consistent, you need to be consistent with your training. Every day.

You will also need to spend time properly training your body. Find your weaknesses in your body and turn them into your strengths.

Train like a champion!

Bill Mooney

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