I was teaching pitching lessons yesterday when a parent approached me about his sons pitching coach. He informed me that his coach taught him a pitching drill he didn’t feel was right.
The drill is called the “hat drill”. I’ve seen many coaches all over the west coast teach this same bogus drill. Basically the coach puts a hat on the ground (at the end of the pitching mound) and has all of the pitchers reach out and grab the hat off the ground as they finish their throwing motion.
I created this brief video to demonstrate the hat drill to you and will then show you a few videos of MLB pitchers throwing so you will know not to do this drill yourself. Where this pitching exercise came from; I don’t know but it’s wrong!
After he got done showing me the hat drill I knew it would destroy his son’s pitching mechanics and velocity.
In situations like this I like to explain why the drill doesn’t work and prove that Major League pitchers wouldn’t have anything to do with a drill like it.
I showed him these pitching mechanics videos of Randy Johnson and Justin Verlander. I pointed out that if there was a hat on the ground would Randy or Justin be able to pick it up? Let me ask that question to you. What do you think?
Here are the two videos I showed him.
Randy Johnson Pitching:
Justin Verlander Pitching:
As you can see both Justin and Randy would not be able to pick up a hat. J Their momentum is clearly going straight toward home plate at release of the ball. If you look at where there head is at release of the pitch it is level to the ground as well. They don’t throw their momentum toward the ground.
For a more detailed look about how MLB power pitchers really throw I created Teaching Pitchers Mechanics DVD! This will help you understand how to throw the ball using proper mechanics and get the most out of your fastball.