Tic Tac Throw: The Pitcher's Pocket Training Game
You may have seen videos going around on instagram, tiktok, and even sportscenter of pitchers playing a game called Tic Tac Throw using the Pitcher's Pocket. The game is fun and the rules are simple. Tic Tac Throw adds a level of competiveness to pitching practice by emphasising pitch location and accuracy. We will go over the rules and set up for Tic Tac Throw, a training game for all pitchers regardless of skill level.
The Set Up
All you need is a Pitcher's Pocket or Pitcher's Pocket Pro and a few baseballs to play the game. You can set the Pitcher's Pocket up on a field, bullpen, or even flat surface. If you are using a Pitcher's Pocket place it just behind the plate, and if you are using a Pitcher's Pocket Pro place it on top of the plate.
The Pitcher's Pocket serves as your tic tac toe board. To see who goes first, each pitcher will throw a ball at the center square. The pitcher closest to the center square goes first as “Xs” and the other pitcher is designated by “Os” . Each pitcher will alternate throws until a Tic Tac Throw winner is declared.
Tic Tac Throw Game Notes
Just like tic tac toe, the first pitcher to get three in a row wins the game.
If the game ends in a tie or "cats game" the pitcher with the most occupied squares wins.
Once a ball hits and lands in a square, that square is occupied until the game has ended.
Why Pitching Coaches and Pitchers Love Tic Tac Throw
Anytime you can make practice or a bullpen session fun and engaging it's always a win for everyone involved. Tic Tac Throw adds an element of friendly competiton that enhances accuracy and pitch location. The game is very versitle and pitching coaches can mix it up by calling pitches and pitch locations all without having to dress out a catcher.
Other Great Training Games to use with your Pitcher's Pocket
Have two pitcher’s compete in a game of accuracy similar to HORSE or PIG in basketball. One pitcher calls his pitch location before he throws (down and in, bottom right) , and if he succeeds, the next pitcher must hit the same spot. If he misses the location, that pitcher receives a letter “O”. Play until one pitcher has three unsuccessful misses which would make him OUT.
Set up the Pitcher’s Pocket on the lowest setting and place it on top of first base. Pitcher’s now will be able to improve their accuracy and quickness of their pick off throws to keep runners close. By simulating their pick-off moves and throws, this a great training exercise for pitchers of all ages and play levels.
Set up the Pitcher’s Pocket next to second base and have your catchers work on their pop up times as they simulate throwing out base stealers at second base. A great drill to work on your catcher’s throwing accuracy and caught stealing percentage.
Set up the Pitchers Pocket on the highest leg setting and place it near the first base bag. Have your infielders throw into as they would during normal infield drills. You no longer have to have a first baseman to practice infield drills, double plays, or bunt formations.
Set up the Pitcher’s Pocket on the lowest setting and position it around home plate. Hit balls to your outfielders and have them simulate throwing runners out at home. A great way to train on outfield throwing accuracy to improve outfielders throwing confidence and increase their outfield assists.
The Perfect Umpire
Set up the Pitcher’s Pocket behind home plate during batting practice. Hitters will now be able to have better strike zone awareness based on where the pitch lands in the pocket. A helpful tool especially for hitters who are prone to taking certain pitches for strikes. Great for on field or in a batting cage.