By: Casey Fisk
I don’t imagine that I’m the only coach who talks with both hitters and pitchers. I don’t know all of you, but I’m the only coach I know who intentionally disrespects each group to the other in order to instill honest confidence in each group. When I’m dealing with two-way guys, I give up the goods right away, telling them that I’m spinning the truth to benefit the group I’m talking to at the moment. I’m not really disrespecting anyone; I’m telling the truth about the deficiencies of each group, so you can get better and/or take advantage.
BY Matt Schissell (@shizzpeace13)
It’s that time of year again– the end of summer. Kids are going back to school and summer baseball seasons are over except for those lucky enough to play in the Little League World Series. The Little League World Series (LLWS) is fantastic. It promotes the game of baseball to a younger crowd and gives participants some memories they’ll never forget. One of the biggest issues with youth baseball today, including the LLWS, is pitching. It may be an old-school thought process, but 11-13 year old kids should not be spinning off curve balls every third pitch even if it leads to a ridiculous 16 strikeouts. While it may seem harmless at the time to the people who don’t understand baseball, kids’ arms aren’t fully developed. Their bodies aren’t made for that kind of use. This isn’t the player’s fault, and coaches and parents often just don’t know any better. Throwing curveballs and sliders with undeveloped muscles creates bad throwing habits and can lead to injuries later on in a player’s career. At this age the only off-speed pitch that should be thrown is a changeup. Developing a quality fastball with proper mechanics and a good changeup can carry a young pitcher all the way to college, and allow them to dominate younger competition. Instead of focusing on quality off-speed pitches, little leaguers should focus on the intent of their pitches (mainly fastballs), putting their whole body into every pitch, and creating momentum towards the plate. At the end of the day, an undeveloped body is unable to properly execute a curveball without creating bad mechanics, bad habits, or even injury.
“Our BP pitcher would tell us that a change-up was coming and he would still dominate us” Jim Vatcher, former major league outfielder
When was the last time you heard a hitter say, “I can’t wait to hit this guys change-up”. Possibly never. The truth is hitters love fastballs. It’s what they’ve grown up on. It’s basically all they see in batting practice and it’s the one pitch that they are most geared to hit. Pitchers too have grown up on fastballs. It’s the pitch they’ve been trained to establish, command and condition their arm with. It’s also the one pitch they traditionally throw more often in game situations than all other pitches combined (change, curve, slider, etc.).
Dr. Stephen Osterer and Dr. Michael Chivers
Twitter: @drsosterer / @drmchivers
It’s the middle of August and for some of us, the summer season is coming to a close. As such, high school and collegiate players are beginning to face some tough questions.
What am I going to do for off-season training?
Where am I going to accomplish this?
What should it be composed of?
In a world with an infinite number of ‘Ultimate Strength and Conditioning Programs” flying around social media, answering these questions can often be a confusing and difficult task for the uninformed.
I’m not going to tell you how you should prepare for a start. That’s for you to decide. Pitchers’ routines are as different as their throwing motions. I encourage you to find what works for YOU, and stick to it.
What I will do, is outline the different phases of a starting pitcher’s pregame routine and give you a few SUGGESTIONS on how to maximize each one.
End of Last Start
Preparation for your next start begins directly after your last. Whether you had a good outing or a bad one, process it and move on. Reflect on your successes and failures briefly, taking with you only positive thoughts and constructive critiques to work on. Discard the rest.