One thing I’d like to talk about is the simple phrase, “Aim to your target.” I can’t stand the word aim. Yes, in theory it sounds great. Aim small, miss small. I get it. But when pitchers are developing, sometimes it has the opposite effect. When we aim, there are times when we subconsciously slow our body down. We may even push the ball at times. We care so much about aiming at the target that we forget the most basic principle in baseball; THROW THE BALL.
We want to get ourselves into the mindset that I am going to throw the ball to and through the target. When we throw it, we are reaching back and letting it fly. It is also a sign of confidence. How many times do you see a ball thrown on a 3-0 or 3-1 count that completely misses the mark? The reason is simple. The ball was being thrown, it was being aimed with the hope it would hit the target. I’d personally rather have a guy miss the target that reared back and tried to fire it in there than the guy that misses because he’s hoping to hit the target. The difference is in the mindset. One guy says, “I’m coming right at you” and the other guy is saying, “Please don’t hit this too hard.” I’ll take the first guy hand down, even if he doesn’t throw as hard as the other guy.
But in order to get to that point, you have to work at it. You have to trust yourself and your stuff. You have to trust the fact that you’ve put the time in to making yourself get better to the point that you can just let the ball fly with any pitch on any count. Point is, you have to throw the ball to start building confidence. Once you have the confidence, the aiming goes away. You believe that the ball is going to go where you want it to go when you throw it.
It is a simple concept and some people may not think same as I do when it comes to the difference of the words “aim” and “throw”, and that’s completely fine. This is just something that I personally believe and the reason is because I have seen it. When you ask a player to aim at a target, watch his mechanics very carefully. Watch how he releases the ball and his body movements. Then ask a guy to just fire away and throw the ball. He’ll use more of his body and reach back to launch the ball. This happens more times than not from what I have seen personally. If a guy uses his whole body, reaches back, and gets aggressive with his mechanics as he’s trying to launch a ball, then why wouldn’t we want to transfer that mindset and throwing ability directly to the mound? You don’t need perfect and upright mechanics to pitch strikes. You need to believe in throwing that ball through the strike zone. Less aiming and more throwing, just my opinion.