with Myndie Berka,
owner/pitching instructor of BreakThrew Fastpitch. Myndie Berka has trained hundreds of successful pitchers. Her pitchers have:
Pitching is a complex motion made up of several small movements of the upper and lower body, sequentially executed with proper rhythm and timing. Bad habits are hard to break, so it's important to teach younger players the correct mechanics and build a solid foundation from the get-go.
Pitching coach Myndie Berka explains the correct mechanics of pitching, and offers 13 drills to help reinforce proper pitching technique.
Upper Body and Grips
Every pitch begins with a grip and is crucial to great spin and control. Learn how to throw the basic fastball with two different grips, including the 2-seam grip, which can be easier for younger pitchers with smaller hands. Learn the correct mechanics of the wrist snap and create looseness with the arm circle, which causes whip and leads to speed. Coach Berka also offers a variety of drills using grips that help reinforce and create great spin. Additionally, you'll see drills featuring three training aides (such as spinners, socks etc.) to develop consistency and efficiency.
Lower Body Mechanics and Drills
Isolate the lower body and learn how to properly setup on the mound as Coach Berka teaches how a pitcher should create leg drive by loading the legs, shifting weight, and aggressively striding out towards the plate. Most of these drills don't even involve a ball, which helps the player focus on leg drive and reinforces great technique.
The Wind Up
After isolating the lower body, Coach Berka adds in the wind-up. In order for a pitcher to be successful, a fast and tight arm circle is necessary. Coach Berka offers three different wind up options with variations within each one to help pitchers generate power at the beginning of their motion. This is also where the pitcher begins to combine upper body and lower body movement to learn proper sequencing. Drills are added to help pitchers understand different checkpoints throughout the pitch, proper glove side mechanics, as well as drills for balance.
Full Motion Drills
Coach Berka introduces seven drills she uses with her pitchers to practice pitching fundamentals, in addition to reacting to balls hit back at them. No catcher? No problem! Learn how to improve pitching by throwing self-pitches, where the pitchers flip the ball to themselves. This will help your pitchers improve glove mechanics, as well as practice upper body timing.
You will hear Coach Berka give positive feedback to her players on what corrections to make and why they are important. She also includes different challenges and competitions for pitchers that will help them stay focused and begin to develop their competitive drive.
It is often said that the mark of a great teacher is breaking down complex material and making it easy to understand. By that measure, Coach Berka is a great teacher. She takes the complex pitching motion and breaks it down to the basics and makes it easy for anyone to digest, understand, and teach to others.
74 minutes. 2016.