By Steven Ellis, former Chicago Cubs pitching pro
Baseball is more than just a physical game. It takes mental preparation, studying, and a desire to learn from your past experiences.
Pitching charts are a great way to keep track of your performance throughout a season (or a career) and learn which parts of your game need work.
Baseball pitching charts are also a great way to set goals and work towards achieving them.
When I played high school ball, my pitching coach was very big on charting our pitchers. Every game, he would assign one of the pitchers to chart the pitcher for that day's game.
The pitching chart consisted of the opposing team's batting order. For each at bat, the player with the chart would mark down which pitch the pitcher threw, whether it was a ball, looking strike, or swinging strike.
At the end of each inning, the chart was tallied up and the following stats were marked down: Total pitches, number of balls, number of strikes, number of first pitch strikes, number of walks, number of three ball counts, number of hits, number of earned runs, and finally a total pitch count for the game thus far.
When the pitcher was finished for the day, his chart was totaled up for the day. We had several goals that we all strived to achieve:
-15 pitches per inning or less
-less hits than innings pitched
-less than 4 earned runs per 7 innings
-less 3-ball counts than innings pitched
-less than 3 walks per 7 innings
-60% first pitch strike
These goals are all reasonable, and when a pitcher met all of these goals, they usually came away with a win. If your school does not use a goal system such as this, it might be a good idea to develop your own goals. You can even have a buddy chart your games for you to study later on.
After each game, my pitching coach would give all the pitchers a note card with our "goal stats" at the top. He would highlight the goals that we met, and he would give us a brief write up on the things we did well, and the things we needed to work on. These note cards were very valuable in my pitching development.
Without baseball pitching charts, this type of learning tool would not be possible.
If you'd like to receive more of my best tips and techniques to throw harder with better control while reducing the risk of injury, I invite you to subscribe to my free baseball pitching tips here: www.pitchingtips.com/free
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