Slamming your leg with your glove is common with pitchers, so if you do it then you’re not alone. And while it might be normal for you now, the problem comes when you try to get faster since the faster you pitch the harder you slap your leg. Pretty soon, pain wins since nobody likes to be in pain.
And just like most habits that are easy to get and hard to stop, it’s not easy to stop slapping your leg with your glove. People can tell you you shouldn’t do it. You can look at the big red spot on your own leg and figure out you shouldn’t do it, but just like a lot of bad habits we all have – knowing we shouldn’t have them and stopping them are two totally different things!
Well fortunately I’ve come across two pretty simple drills that I’ve used to help pitchers stop this habit in one day! Actually, in 30 minutes! That sounds simple, doesn’t it? So let’s get going and I’ll show you how they work.
The best time to try and change a pitching habit is when you’re going slow, and this usually happens during warm ups. In fact, the slowest most pitchers ever throw is the very beginning of warm ups when you’re the closest you’ll ever be to your target. So, let’s start our glove slapping prevention drill right there. Before I go over the two drills, another important thing to mention is that going slow is REALLY important to getting better because you can better control all your moving parts, and because your brain learns slow things much stronger enabling you to do them faster much better.
1st Step – 2 Balls, No Glove:
- Start about 15 feet from your catcher and have a softball in each hand.
- Slowly pitch the ball in your pitching hand, using your complete motion. The key is to go slow at first and avoid rushing your pitch.
- You’ll be surprised to find out that you won’t slap your leg with your glovehand because the ball would hit your leg – so your brain prevents you from hurting yourself by breaking your own habit.
- Do this about 15-20 times never going very fast but trying to relax and make your motion as natural as possible.
2nd Step – 2 Balls, Glove On:
- The next drill involves you putting your glove on, moving back to the pitching rubber and placing a softball in your glove as well as having one in your pitching hand.
- Start by pitching about half speed to get used to having a ball in your glove. Again, you’ll be amazed that you won’t slap your leg with the glove simply because the ball is in it.
- As you get more comfortable with this drill and confident that you won’t slap your leg, you can pitch closer to full speed.
- After doing about 15-20 pitches with 2 balls and your glove on, try alternating between 1 pitch with a ball in your glove followed by a pitch without a ball in your glove. Remember, you’re working on not slapping your leg with your glove so try having your glove move down and back just past your stride leg.
- After alternating for a few pitches, if you find that you’re slapping your glove when you don’t have the ball in it then go back to pitching with a ball in your glove.
Remember that change takes time and it took you a long time to create the habit of slapping your leg, it’s going to take some time to break the habit as well. But, keep practicing at it and good luck!
For pitching drills to help you check out the following: