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The Importance of Playing Catch

The Importance of Playing Catch

"Every time you throw a ball is an opportunity to learn.  A pitcher is not able to pitch in a game every day, but playing catch is something you do most every day.  PLAYING CATCH IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN.  Play catch with a purpose, it’s an opportunity to work on the mental art of focusing.  It’s an opportunity to learn how to hit a spot and find a consistent release point.  An opportunity to work on the feel of a change-up.  An opportunity to work on mechanics.  Don’t throw away these opportunities, use them to get better.  Paying attention to these “little things” while playing catch with a goal and focus will help you get better. 

Your game of catch then goes to the bullpen.  You may be on flat ground or on a mound, 45 ft or 60 ft and either with your partner or a catcher.  How you throw these bullpens is important.  You do not throw a bullpen simply to get loose.  You are taking your game of catch to another level.  Always have a plan or a routine in your bullpen.  Your bullpen routine will help you to have a goal, stay focused and throw with a purpose.  A good bullpen routine consists foremost of working on fastball location, plane and movement.  The fastball is your anchor, the pitch that all your other pitches work off of.  It also consists of change-up location and speed, and your breaking pitches location and rotation.  Having a plan during a bullpen will allow improvements in release points and mechanics.  Strikes are in your delivery.  Consistent mechanics equal consistent strikes. 

Pitching in a game is just an elevated game of catch.  If you can make the pitch in the bullpen than you can make the pitch in the game.  We have played good catch, executed good bullpen routines and now we reap the rewards in the game.  Our goal is to roll over all the focus and concentration from catch, to bullpen, to game."

For more great tips from Coach Justin Blood, come join the fun and get better this summer at University of Hartford Baseball Camp!

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