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The Complete Pitcher Checklist

coaching baseball pitching

The complete pitcher has the whole package. This goes beyond baseball pitching velocity. Don’t get me wrong—pitching velocity is a good thing.

But, the best pitchers have much more than velocity pitching in their repertoire.

Some pitchers are very reliable at keeping their teams in close games. Consistently game after game the best pitchers are able to do many of the intangible things well that help their team stay competitive.

Here is a list of characteristics that are noticeable traits in consistently well performing pitchers at all baseball levels.

Enjoy with your pitching staff!

Characteristics of a Successful Pitcher

coaching kids baseball pitching Denny McClain windup

Checklist for Pitchers Strategy

1. Knows strike one is the best pitch in baseball. Get ahead in the count. One of the top (3)pitching tips!
2. Never concerns oneself over things which he has no control: Umpires calls, errors, bloopers and the opponents.
3. Understands the umpire is just part of the field and never shows emotion at his calls.
4. Never gets down on a teammate who makes an error. Never shows frustrating body language towards a teammate.
5. Never gives up a hit on 0-2 counts. Puts the hitter away with 2 strikes on them.
6. Knows they are only one pitch away from getting out of a jam.
7. The bigger the game the tougher they get.
8. Concerns themselves not so much with the win or loss but with the way they pitched.
9. Is always working on their game, trying to improve, and fine-tuning work in the bullpen.
10. Never slacks off during drills because they know they need to make these plays in the games.

Watch How the Hitters React to the Fastball

league baseball coaching tips for pitchers John Blue Moon Odom

11. Knows the way to pitch to a hitter is the way the hitter reacts to his fastball.
12. Changes speeds. One of the top (3) pitching tips!
13. Is not afraid to pitch inside.
14. Never loses emotional control after they give up a big hit. Backs up the bases.
15. Understands their mechanical faults and they do pitching drills to correct them.
16. Never displays negative body language on the mound no matter the circumstances.
17. Makes the hitter hit the ball. (or swing the bat).
18. Can throw pitches in baseball to locations.
19. Can make the big pitch. Certain situations come where you cannot give up a hit.
20. Has command of their pitches.

Make 'em' Swing the Bat

21. Does not think ‘strikeout’, they think, ‘hit this’ with two strikes on them.
22. Is not afraid to fail. Learns from their failures.
23. Has a pre-game, weekly and off-season routine and they follow it.
24. Throws the change-up for a strike.
25. Is “all business’ on the mound.
26. Game goal is “0” bases on balls.
27. Never walk hitters in the bottom of the order.
28. Is a student of the game.
29. Knows to be the best they have to work the hardest.
30. Never “gives in” to the hitter. 

How to Be a Complete Pitcher

books on coaching baseball pitching

31. Uses recall of past success to help them envision future successes.
32. Does not change speeds on weak hitters. (Hello pitching coaches calling pitches).
33. If they throw their best pitch and the hitter beats them, they tip the hat. That’s baseball.
34. Always knows their fielding responsibilities. Covers 1B on plays to the right side.
35. Moves the ball around in the strike zones.
36. On days they are not throwing the best, they battle hard and keep the team in the game.
37. Always acts like they are in control.
38. Knows how to “fine center’ and focus on the target.
39. Knows the #1 job is to hit the glove.
40. Never lets the away crowd undermine their focus.

Best Complete Pitcher Uses These Pitching Strategies

41. Fields their position well. Gets over to 1B on plays to the right side of the infield.
42. Acts confident because they know their job.
43. If they throw a bad pitch they never let the opponent know they didn’t intend to throw that pitch.
44. Takes care of their body. No drugs or alcohol.
45. Has good nutritional habits.

46. They love the challenge of baseball game pitching.
47. Knows how to control the temptation to “rush the pitch”.
48. Is mature enough to treat every failure as a lesson.
49. Knows what to do on 1-1 and 2-2 counts.
50. If they give up runs early they battle back and shut them down.

Work with the Catcher & Know the Baseball Signs

51. Sits with your catcher between innings and talks about pitching strategies, baseball signs and game situations.
52. Knows how to “close the deal” with two outs.
53. Can focus on one pitch at a time.
54. Throws their bullpens with a purpose using a planned pitching program.
55. Works hard to shut a team down after his team has just scored.
56. Understands the “speed of the game’. One of the (3) top pitching tips! Works fast between pitches.
57. Forces negative thoughts from the mind and replaces them with positive ones. 
58. Knows how to control the opponents running game.
59. Masters the fastball family of baseball pitches and pitch grips and uses the pitchers pitches.
60. Never misses baseball signs with the catchers and the infielders.

Use the Tips on Pitching
to be a Complete Pitcher

61. Knows the greatest baseball pitchers realize the secret of pitching is throwing strikes and pitching ahead.
62. Understands their pitching motion and can get back in-sync quickly.
63. Does not waste time throwing too many ‘trick pitches’ like knuckleballs.
64. Might consider dropping down as a submarine pitcher occasionally in a strikeout situation against a good hitter.
65. Tries to master command of a few good pitches instead of several mediocre pitches. 
66. Knows the importance of a change of pace pitch especially RHP vs. lefty hitters and LHP vs. righty hitters. 
67. The complete pitcher picks up their teammates after an error. Says, “Don’t worry, I will get the next guy.”

It Will Take Several Seasons to Be a Complete Pitcher

Pitchers, coaches and players can use these complete pitcher checklist points to review during the season. Use the baseball teaching points to help develop maturity in your pitchers little by little.

The ups and the downs of the game of baseball can be frustrating and euphoric from moment to moment.

The top baseball pitchers are able to use the characteristics here to help pitch consistently over the baseball seasons and show professional baseball like maturity and poise and work toward becomming a complete pitcher.

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