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Pitching Articles



Concentration / Focus
                  Tunnel vision (mental/physical)
                  Pitchers control the game…  Nothing can happen until you throw the ball...
                  Scouts/recruiters look for this…
                  How do you deal w/ adversity (umpire, errors, walks, runners on base, pressure)
                  Lucky rock story
      Mental Toughness
                  Are you soft?  Do you have heart?  Can you control your nervous system?
                  Do you like to compete?  Do you like the pressure situations?
      Visualize Success (Power of the Mind)
                  Major James Nesmeth-  Visualizing perfect golf shot before every swing
                  Darts game-  Visualizing bullseye before every throw
                  Nervous system can’t tell the difference between imagined failure and real failure
      Pitch-By-Pitch Approach
                  Focus on where and how you are going to throw the next pitch (not past or uncontrollable)
                  Stay in the here and now
      Controlling the things you can’t control
                  Don’t worry about things you can’t control
                              Umpire, mound, weather, errors, last pitch…
No excuses!
Be Positive and Optimistic
      In your practice routines
      In your game outings
Setting up hitters
     What is your % of first pitch strikes? 
     What should it be?  (65% or higher)
                  What is the best pitch in baseball?
                              Strike One
                  Transitional count 1 – 1
                              Need to throw a strike here
                  Hitters batting averages with different counts (1-0, 0-1, 2-0, 0-2…)
                  Hitters batting averages in different zones (9 zones)
                  Should we try to strike hitters out?
                              Are there strikeout situations?  What are they?
                  Soft contact (end of bat, handle, top, bottom…)-  How do we keep pitch counts down?
                              What should our pitch count goal be per inning?
                  How many pitches should we try to get hitters out in?
                              We want soft contact within 3 pitches
                  Every pitch must have a purpose!
                              No waste pitches.  Even pitches out of the zone have a purpose.
                  Identifying hitters weaknesses
                              Long swing– sweeping or looping
                              Lunging– no balance
                              Flies open or pulls off the ball
                              Must lock in weaknesses and strengths into your memory
                  Can you throw off-speed pitches behind in the count for strikes?  Pitching in reverse.
                  When do throw the change-up?  When not to throw the change-up?
                  Why don’t we throw inside more?  Do you have to throw hard to throw inside?
                              You must move some hitters feet…  3-6 inches off the black
Hitting Spots and Changing Speeds-  key to becoming effective pitcher
                  Hitting Spots-  it is all about consistently throwing to spots and targets (warm-up…)
                  Changing Speeds-  3 pitches while using info below
                  Real Velocity vs. Effective Velocity
                              Real Velocity-  actual MPH that can be measured by radar gun
                              Effective Velocity-  what actually feels like to hitter (inside, outside, up, down, travel distance...)
                              Elevation Differences
                                          Knee to Chest-  roughly 6 mph increase of Effective Velocity
                              Lateral Differences
                                          Outside to Inside-  roughly 6 mph increase of Effective Velocity
                              Changing differentials
                                          Don’t repeat same effective velocity back-to-back very often
8 Important Aspects of Mental Management during Skill Development
            1)  Measure progress (bullpen charts, goals…)
            2)  Allow time for experimenting
            3)  Make everything game like
            4)  Slow everything down
            5)  Dry Throwing / Pitching-  eliminates results
            6)  Don’t throw without a routine or a target
            7)  Plan your bullpen sessions before hand
            8)  Don’t judge every single pitch-  move on

Being your own best pitching coach!
Don’t go to the instructor who thinks he has “all of the answers” or wants to show you how much he/she knows about pitching.
Cognitive scientists- 
They study how the brain solves problems, concentrates, processes information, retains skills and information.  Studies show that self-discovery is a more efficient way of training the brain to be able to recall information and movements than passively following directions.  Learning environments in which individuals are encouraged to actively use their curiosity, imagination, and problem solving skills are simply more effective. 

                  Game time adjustments
                  Perfect mechanics or repeatable motion?
                         It is all about being able to repeat your delivery.
                  Right View Pro-  MLB Pitchers

Fielding your position
                  Bunts, come backer, covering 1st base, covering HP, backing up bases…
Control the running game
                  Good move to 1st and Home Plate
                  Mix your looks– change tempo
                  3 Moves to Home Plate
Slide step, Knee to Knee, Full Knee Lift
                  RHP to 1B-  Quick feet, short arm path on pick off move
                  LHP to 1B-  Your look to HP and to 1B is the same
                  Moves to 2nd– inside move (deceptive) and jump pivot (quick)
All successful pitchers can do 2 things (hit spots and change speeds)
                  Locating the baseball (telephone dial, spots 1—9)
                  Do we throw to the strike zone or a spot?
                  Do we throw to the catcher or the hitter? 
                  How do we focus on hitting spots?
                              Throw hand to the spot (hand on a string)
                              Throwing pipeline
                              Catchers funnel          
Pitch development
                  Grips of different pitches
                  Arm angles.
                  Where and how do we throw each pitch?
                              Finger pressure, finger location
                              Must get out in front on all off-speed pitches
                              Do you have a pitch that sinks or moves to each side of the plate?
                  Pre-game routine (stretch, run, throw, bullpen…)
                  Pre-inning and in between inning routine
                  Pre-pitch routine (visualize)
                              Should we work fast or slow on the mound in games?  Why? (Strasburg)

What is functional strength?
            There’s strong and then there’s pitching strong!  Bodybuilders can’t throw a ball hard!
Must train Accelerators and Decelerators
Flex, don’t stretch
            Avoid too much static stretching
How to build velocity?
            Repeatable motion
            Stride Length (drag line)
            Hip/Shoulder Relationship
            Med Ball
            Core Strength
Balance Ball
            Throwing program
            Leg, arm, core strength and shoulder stability
                  If you make it to the collegiate level or beyond you will see what it takes?
                  You must have legs to make it past the 90 pitch mark!
Nutrition / Hydration

All three components listed above are critical to pitching success! 
You must figure out your Roadmap to Success:
1)  Where you are?
2)  Where you want to get to?
3)  How you are going to get there?

Statistics from the Absolute Performance Institute on how you should spend your training time:
            40% on Mechanical/Fundamental-  Skill Development (Practice/Instruction)
            30% on Timing or Actual Games
            30% on Physical Side of Training (speed/conditioning/functional strength)

Most athletes spend way too much time on the mechanical/fundamental side and not enough on the physical side.