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What to look for in finding a good Pitching coach???
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Dave'sdad
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Joined: 13 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sep 05, 2008    Post subject: What to look for in finding a good Pitching coach??? Reply with quote

My son is really looking forward to playing HS ball, and of course has visions of going all the way just like everyone else does. We've sent him to some local camps, with mixed results. Some have helped him get better and of course some offer some less productive advice, a polite way of saying they shouldn't be offering their services.

There's a few places in the area that offer training facilities, but what do you look for in picking one, or do you try to find a more one on one coach to work with him? After reading some of the places programs saying they will get him to gain 8-10 mph, while I'm sure they could but how much will they be looking out for the well being of my son's health?

I know some parents that enrolled their kids there. The kids were on the lower scale of abilities, and yes they got good improvement to the point where their kids are good average ball players. But I haven't seen anyone that was more above average blossom into a superstar. Anyone have similar experiences, or recommendations?
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Roger
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PostPosted: Sep 05, 2008    Post subject: Reply with quote

This may be easier said than done but...

Look for an instructor who adapts to your son instead of forcing your son to fit his mold. Avoid instructors who impose a cookie cutter approach. For example, avoid instructors who teach a specific arm slot. Avoid instructors who base their instruction on unsupported conventional wisdom. Focus should not be only on velocity. The instructor should have an appreaciation for the importance of strength and flexibility to go along with good mechanics. The instructor should be able to teach grips, pitcher defense, pitch sequencing, the mental game, etc.
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Dave'sdad
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PostPosted: Sep 06, 2008    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like pretty much will be trial and error. Didn't know if there is any sort of organization that would sort of register quality coaches. Almost like a union board. But I guess that wouldn't be too easy to do.
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jdfromfla
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PostPosted: Sep 06, 2008    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Sounds like pretty much will be trial and error


Not necessarily, from any of the clinics attended, did you find anyone in whom you felt had a good approach? If so contact them. We had used a local university as our main resource to uncover who was or wasn't a quality coach (Coincidently we found our best coaching from that school or from folks affiliated with that school). I think the bench mark is what is the motivation of the coach? Is it to pad their own travel squad..or is it to improve a kid no matter where the chips fall? College coaches are as a rule very expensive but I'd say the quality of what they present is worth it. I wouldn't consider it in the way you presented (Superstars don't generally get "made" by coaching) As with my son, what happened was I identified that his skill surpassed my ability to compliment it. The kids desire, athletic skill and natural ability will determine if they move forward. My recommendations are always look for someone with an interest in arm health and maintenance first and then a skill at understanding mechanics improvements and last looking for someone who knows and can assist at conditioning.
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Zita Carno
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PostPosted: Sep 06, 2008    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roger---that's exactly what I've been saying all this time. DON'T EVER MESS WITH A PITCHER'S NATURAL MOTION!!! I will never forget the first time I met Ed Lopat, and while I was familiarizing myself with the slider he was watching me and making some mental notes---about my delivery, my release point, what have you---and what he was doing was forming a jumping-off point from which he could work with me. I quickly found out that his basic idea was that each pitcher has a natural motion and so what he would do would be to show said pitcher how to make the most of it. I remember that from the very beginning he made me feel comfortable and kept me relaxed and receptive to the information, advice and instruction I received from him over the three-plus years that followed. As he said, "It's what I do."
jdfromfla---you're on the right track! It's absolutely essential for a good pitching coach to know where it's at when it comes to mechanics, and even when to leave them alone. There have been pitching coaches (?) who insist on messing with a young pitcher's mechanics, who try to change things even when nothing really needs changing, and the results have been nothing short of disastrous, when all that might have been needed is a bit of fine tuning. You're indeed fortunate to have access to coaches who know their elbows from third base.
I'll never forget the time when I mentioned to Steady Eddie that I was using the crossfire a lot, and he said "Let's see what you're doing with it." I went through the move, and immediately he noticed that I wasn't getting quite the momentum going into it from the stretch the way I was from the full windup. And he came up with an idea that I could put to good use to work up the speed I wanted, then put it aside when I had achieved my objective. Lopat never had to tell me very much with regard to mechanics---he just showed me things I could do here and there, and I picked up on them and took it from there. Smile Cool
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hoseman18
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PostPosted: Sep 06, 2008    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was at a loss until I lucked into a situation with a hitting coach. This coach introduced my son and I to a pitching coach who is top notch in every regard.

My boy had worked for 2 years with an NFP coach who was excellent at developing strength and conditioning, but his skills as a pitch-teacher and situational instructor were less so. My son's present coach is able to bring his MLB experience to bear on the development of my son.

We got lucky. Point is, find a coach with connections, bone fides, and a willingness to work with you and your child regardless of what he teaches (hitting, fielding, whatever) and he will undoubtedly know a great pitching coach or two. Then make sure that you and you son can work closely with this coach.

And incidentally, I wouldn't trade the training my son received as a 14 and 15 year old with his original pitching coach for anything. He did a great job of improving my son's mechanics and made him much stronger. But as he moves on to the next level, he needs a next-level instructor.

A good coach can help you determine what level of development your son needs right now, and direct him to appropriate instructors as he grows and develops. Keep track of all the coaches and contacts you make along the way, because it all comes around again at some point.

Good luck!

Hose
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jdfromfla
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PostPosted: Sep 06, 2008    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zita, it would be such a treat to be able to see you in that glory..Do you have any pictures or even better yet did you ever get some film? I have a picture in my mind and I'd love to see if it's what I suspect.
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hoseman18
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PostPosted: Sep 06, 2008    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zita Carno wrote:


So are you posting under your own name? If so, how far did you go in baseball?

Hose
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Roger
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PostPosted: Sep 06, 2008    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave'sdad wrote:
Sounds like pretty much will be trial and error. Didn't know if there is any sort of organization that would sort of register quality coaches. Almost like a union board. But I guess that wouldn't be too easy to do.


\You could try the NPA website.
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Dino
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PostPosted: Sep 06, 2008    Post subject: Pitching Coach Reply with quote

I got lucky. My area is the sahara desert for pitching coaches. I'd have to travel an hour and a half to get to a year round training facility and then it wouldn't matter because I couldn't afford to pay what they are asking.

My son's pitching coach saw him at the end of his sophmore year and walked up and volunteered to coach him. This is a guy that has coached several players that went on to pitch in college. Here are some of his attributes that you might look for in a pitching coach:

He is dedicated to gradual improvement and constantly gets feedback on the health of my son's arm.

He has a plan and is willing to share that with your son and you.

He was a DI college pitcher himself.

He monitors my son's game performances by talking to him about the game by phone sometime later.

He explains all facets of the game, mental, mechanics, conditioning respect for the game (coach), you name it.

He genuinely wants to see my son succeed and he expects him to.

He uses his contacts to get exposure for him. He has volunteered to take my son on several ocassions to tryouts or showcases.

He is not being paid a dime, however I have tried to take care of some travel expenses.

He reinforces the academic priorities it takes to get into a good college program.

The one thing a pitching coach can't supply is the desire. The kid has a certain amount of talent and potential but the desire has to be there. It's alot of work for the average kid.

Someday my kid will realize just how lucky he has been. He will have the option to early sign this fall going into his senior year if he choses.
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hoseman18
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PostPosted: Sep 06, 2008    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roger wrote:


\You could try the NPA website.


Thought I'd leave that one to you, Roger. Nolan's first pitching coach is NPA certified, and he's a great coach in my opinion.

Hose
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Zita Carno
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PostPosted: Sep 06, 2008    Post subject: WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A PITCHING COACH Reply with quote

Note to jdfromfla: Oh, do I wish! But it was so long ago...Anyhoo, it seems we're all on the same wavelength on this issue.
Note to hoseman: I don't know how far I could have gone---after all, we played strictly for the fun of it, organized as it was. But we had a manager who went by major league rules, and that was how we did things, and the way my pitching coach worked with me was major league all the way. (No wonder I got the nickname "The Exterminator" pinned on me!) I do know that I had to stop in the early- to mid-60s when my work schedule caught up with me and I lost my free weekends---but I have all those good memories. Cool
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