One of the biggest subjects when discussing pitching and the wind-up is being able to create a repeatable delivery. For me, that means everything needs to be timed up, work in proper sequence, flow, be smooth, fluid, and of course under control.
That is a lot to cover when you are a young pitcher trying to figure things out. It is even a tough task for some of the professionals I work with in the Cardinals Organization. So how can a pitcher make sure he is repeating his delivery and that it will be the same the next time he comes out to practice? The Metronome is my answer to this question.
Does everybody know what a metronome is? It's a device that maintains a specific beat with a ticking counter so you know if you are maintaining a certain rhythm and tempo. Mostly they are used for musicians to make sure their timing is right for a certain song. What the metronome allows a pitcher to do is stay on rhythm, maintain a certain timing to the delivery and then it also makes sure the pitcher repeats the delivery on the same timing each repetition. Each time the metronome clicks or tick-tocks, it gives immediate feedback to the pitcher of whether or not they are in rhythm for that specific delivery. After a while the pitcher will not need the metronome, it will be cemented in their bodies timing. But what do you do before you get to that point in time? Again, that is why the metronome is such a helpful tool. You will be able to repeat the same timing over and over until it becomes natural to you.
The other thing the metronome does for you which is so great is that it lets you feel whether you are moving too slow or not. When I use the metronome with my professional pitchers they always ask me if they are truly working that slow or not. I usually get them on the mound and have them do THEIR normal motion. Then when I set the metronome to what THEIR current, natural rhythm is, they always feel like they are working too slow. I love that about the metronome. It is not me telling them they are too slow, they need to get moving, it is the feedback they get from the metronome that lets them know. Now, as we start to speed the rhythm of the metronome up, the pitcher themselves can decide on how fast or slow they want to move and they will always have that feedback to see if it is on time or not.
Look out for a youtube clip on my personal channel coming very soon on the metronome. I will show you exactly how to use it and how to time up your feet with the rhythm of the metronome. This is a great learning tool for all ages of pitchers, little league to the big leagues!!! Ok, gone for now, hope all is well with you out there in the pitching world!!!