I’m talking good BP. The kind where the hitter can get in the groove and just focus on sweet swing after sweet swing. Balls fly off the bat like missiles and you swear you can see a comet-like blue tail following the ball. And, when BP is over, hitters revel in the balls they’ve hit and walk around with a bit of swagger. It’s a great feeling.
It’s all due to the guy throwing BP. The MVP. As BP goes, so goes the game. If our team hits missiles all game and scores runs, and we win…well, give credit to the guy who threw pre-game BP.
There is no overstatement here. Ask any hitter, and he’ll either speak well – or harshly – of the guy throwing BP. There is, without question, an art to throwing BP.
Be a machine
Guys who throw good BP are machines. Same arm slot, same speed, same location (generally). In BP, hitters can’t worry about making adjustments. There’s too much of that in the actual game, when pitchers are bringing the heat and changing speeds and mixing in nasty sliders. BP is the time to focus on the swing, and guys who throw it well are indispensable.
If you’ve ever seen a guy who throws bad BP…well, it’s not pretty. It goes without saying that they’re not the most popular guys around the field.
Maybe you’re a dad, or an aspiring coach, and you want to learn how to throw good BP. Where do you start?
Learn to throw good BP
The best place to hone your BP skills is in the 7-8 year-old coach pitch league. To be the guy who steps out onto the field with the weight-of-the-world expectations of throwing to your kids – you’ve got to have some moxie about you. And, serious BP skills.
You see, 7 & 8 year-olds don’t make an adjustment when they’re batting. They swing the bat the same way, the same place, every time. And, the same speed. If you’re throwing to 7 & 8 year-olds, you have to, well, hit their bat. You have to determine where their bat will be at a given time and what speed it will be, and then, time the speed of your throw, along with perfect placement so that the kids will put it into play. If you do that, and do it enough, you’ll win most coach-pitch games. You’ll be the favorite among parents, too.
I’ve seen some dads throw to their coach-pitch teams. Awful. High…low…fast…slow. The kids didn’t have a chance. We’d laugh after the game that the other team’s coach was the best player on our team. And, he led the league in strike outs, too. Not what you want when you’re pitching to your coach-pitch kids.
So, if you want to throw great BP, and be the real MVP, go throw some BP to some 7 & 8 year-old coach-pitch team. If you can do that, you’ll be a true artist.