Arm Rest in the Off Season?

[quote=“douglasbryantwhite”]My first reply on this forum was for keepitfun…

This reply is in regards to scorekeeper…

A lot of valid points…just too tough to cover in a forum like this…a lot of things can be taken out of context and misunderstood when words like mechanics and velocity are thrown around…LOL

But I fully understand your points…when I answer some of these replies I am always thinking of a short term process and a long term process…everything will be covered but in due time all depending on the type of individual you are working with…it is just so tough to do this over an email type process, that’s all.[/quote]

You bet it is! And its why I really try to be very careful about how I word something. It doesn’t take much to make someone mad or hurt their feelings, but an even bigger problem is, trying to be too brief in an explanation.

Too many people today try to communicate in Twitter length sentences. That’s fine when dealing with going to an ice cream parlor or hamburger joint, but it really doesn’t work too well trying to explain something as complicated as how to throw a pitch. :wink: And making it even more difficult, many people mix levels, assuming that because they all play baseball, they’re playing the same game, and that isn’t even close to being true.

I really believe part of the problem is that we all have different values and value systems. FI, there’s absolutely nothing in my makeup that could possibly justify me taking part in something like this post I just saw on another board.

[quote=“Jake Patterson”]I haven’t jumped on this soapbox for a while… But I found this at the USSSA site

http://www.usssa.com/sports/FindTourn2.asp?optSelection=2&WTD=Tournament&ParkID=0&ClassID=6109&State=0&StatureID=0&TypeID=0&SeasonID=15&BeginDate=12%2F7%2F2010&EndDate=

6U National Invitation Qualifier - $125 gate fee which includes two balls and water.

6U Georgia Super National Invitation Qualifier - “…“The Who’s Who of Travel Baseball” and that’s exactly what it is…year in and year out! Anybody who’s anybody in travel baseball comes to Atlanta to play in this early Spring USSSA Super NIT.” (What?)

They actually have 5 Nationally Ranked 4U teams. These are 3 and 4 year olds. (I wonder what they aspire to be when they are say… 6?)

4U Tournament - $1,520.00 - and 14 week 4U season. [/quote]

The way he feels about the 4-6YOs, is the same way most people felt about 9-11YO’s when my boy was that age in 1995. And believe it or not, people were calling it “diaper ball” when 9-10YOs were playing a LLI AS tournament. I admit I cheered and got my blood pressure up over my kid’s 12U games, but the thought of a 9YO travel team, playing more than 1 or two local tournaments a season, or for sure paying $25-50 for a pitching coach every week didn’t even occur to me, even though I could easily have afforded it. :frowning:

Doug,

It just occurred to me that you might be able to answer a question. How do you teach command to pitchers, and would that work at any level?

4U? … Nationally ranked? … Tournaments? … 14 week season?

And I though we were extreme starting them at 5 and 6.

Say, are 2 year olds eligible for 4U? And can they wear diapers?

:shock: :lol: :frowning: :roll: :laughing:

[quote=“south paw”]4U? … Nationally ranked? … Tournaments? … 14 week season?

And I though we were extreme starting them at 5 and 6.

Say, are 2 year olds eligible for 4U? And can they wear diapers?

:shock: :lol: :frowning: :roll: :laughing:[/quote]
I’ve played since before I can remember, and I started remembering things at about 4 1/2…

Let me clarify just a bit about the velocity statements I make so often…

First, whether people like it or not the professional game is highly focused and based off of velocity…this means that if you are a RHP in college and you get the world out but only throw 85 mph you will have a very tough time getting signed…and now if you do get signed you better perform, because if you did not get a lot of money to sign you will have a very, very short leash…

So, from that perspective, that is how I normally take my focus to velocity development for younger kids…

Second, research shows that in the process of developing young pitchers it is more advantageous to begin with focus on velocity over accuracy. The reason being is movement pattern development. To throw a baseball hard, it takes a certain type of internal sequencing, patterning, energy building (whatever fun term you want to put to it) to do so…the younger you are the more important it is to develop a base pattern of movement to build upon…hence the reason to focus on velocity first, then accuracy…this is not to say that a young child can’t pick up the base arm action and body movement necessary to throw a baseball with power or velocity so now they can move on to other things such as the combination of velocity and accuracy, but I still would never let an accuracy session just be an accuracy session…in baseball you have to throw a baseball at a certain location with a certain amount of speed…so I am not going to just let a kid throw strikes and then clap my hands and tell Timmy he did a great job…there is more to it and the kids who pay me for the attention deserve more…again, these are for kids who want the dream…the kid down the street who just loves to show up to the field and play doesn’t care about me or how I think I know how to teach pitching, they just want to have fun and play…but there are kids out there who want the dream and there is a process to go after the dream…let me repeat that…there IS a process to go after the dream…in every situation there is process, preparation and focus and you can break that down to as small of a fraction as you want…but I definitely won’t be doing that here…LOL…I have already been on my soapbox for about ten minutes too long…LOL

Now, in response to scorekeeper…I definitely see your point of not wanting the kids in the field to be picking clovers (that was a funny comment) and I understand you wouldn’t just pick a kid to pitch because he throws hard…I just was saying that in response to letting kids pitch no matter if they hit every kid up there or not…at the young age of course…but seeing as how youth baseball has all these special rules on pitch count and innings now you could let a kid who is wild still get his work and not have to leave him out there…

I bet NCCY is reading this forum now and asking himself…what the heck did I start here?? I just wanted to see if my child was getting proper rest or not…LOL

Scorekeeper, good question and at the heart of my post. My son’s coach has been emphasizing an “aim small miss small” type of focus on the glove.

Ok scorekeeper…I am guessing you are asking what is my approach during a workout to help a kid with command…if I don’t answer your direct question then give me more specifics but for now I will give it a shot…

First, we do not start with command type workouts until the athlete has an understanding of how to move their body athletically down the mound and maintain a specified velocity so that they do not turn the command workout into slowing down and aiming and practicing bad habits…we also aren’t focused on mechanics at this time because if they have to think about how they are moving when they throw then they are not focused on command or hitting a spot and now it defeats the purpose of the workout…that is why this is advanced work…

Once they are up to par and ready for mound work there are all sorts of things you can do…if we are talking about strike zone practice then you would start with a full zone and let the kid confidently fill it up without worrying about high, low, in or out…the focus is just on the complete zone…at the same time you are doing this you should have a velocity gun making sure they stay at a specified speed you both agreed upon…the focused work should be a small amount of time at first and maybe have the kid do it more often during the week then just one long session during the week…

As the athlete is showing improvement with the general zone start tightening the zone down or specify certain areas inside the zone…always start bigger at first then get smaller as you go…make sure and measure results so they can see the improvement and also know what the challenge is…

You can then add in outside factors such as hitters standing in, distracting noises, anything you can think of that will be in play when the game is under way…it is just more of a load for the athlete to handle…but this would be a ways away if we are talking about a young kid…plus then you can add in off speed pitches as well…

I am not sure if you are familiar with Perry Husband but he has great ideas of command work in his 3rd book on effective velocity…

Hope this is what you were looking for…let me know if you wanted something different…

[quote=“CSOleson”][quote=“south paw”]4U? … Nationally ranked? … Tournaments? … 14 week season?

And I though we were extreme starting them at 5 and 6.

Say, are 2 year olds eligible for 4U? And can they wear diapers?

:shock: :lol: :frowning: :roll: :laughing:[/quote]
I’ve played since before I can remember, and I started remembering things at about 4 1/2…[/quote]
Well, sure, I had a big plastic bat and plastic ball at 1 or 2 … and my son had a big red plastic bat and big white plastic ball at 1 or 2 … he then moved up to a blue foam bat and blue foam ball at 3 or 4 … and at 5 went to a real “Level 5” baseball and aluminum bat for Little League … but I’m talking here about organized league baseball with tournaments and national rankings for 3 and 4 year olds!

At 3 you were in organized baseball playing tournaments and seeking national rankings? Please.

[quote=“south paw”][quote=“CSOleson”][quote=“south paw”]4U? … Nationally ranked? … Tournaments? … 14 week season?

And I though we were extreme starting them at 5 and 6.

Say, are 2 year olds eligible for 4U? And can they wear diapers?

:shock: :lol: :frowning: :roll: :laughing:[/quote]
I’ve played since before I can remember, and I started remembering things at about 4 1/2…[/quote]
Well, sure, I had a big plastic bat and plastic ball at 1 or 2 … and my son had a big red plastic bat and big white plastic ball at 1 or 2 … he then moved up to a blue foam bat and blue foam ball at 3 or 4 … and at 5 went to a real “Level 5” baseball and aluminum bat for Little League … but I’m talking here about organized league baseball with tournaments and national rankings for 3 and 4 year olds!

At 3 you were in organized baseball playing tournaments and seeking national rankings? Please.[/quote]
It was just t-ball with aluminum bats and stuff, nothing worth watching let alone ranking. As a youngster the point is to get them to have fun. haha

[quote=“douglasbryantwhite”]Let me clarify just a bit about the velocity statements I make so often…

First, whether people like it or not the professional game is highly focused and based off of velocity…this means that if you are a RHP in college and you get the world out but only throw 85 mph you will have a very tough time getting signed…and now if you do get signed you better perform, because if you did not get a lot of money to sign you will have a very, very short leash…

So, from that perspective, that is how I normally take my focus to velocity development for younger kids… [/quote]

I completely understand what the pro game is centered on, but as I’ve said many times in the past and will likely say many more times in the future, there’s a world of difference between pro ball and amateur ball. To me there’s just no good reason to conduct youth baseball on the same terms pro ball is conducted.

I would be very interested in reading any research like that. Would it be possible for you to provide some links? Thanx.

I completely agree, but I don’t know that anyone ever suggested anything like that. I can only say what I was suggesting for sure, and that was that none of the components, velocity, movement, or command should ever be put “in the back of the bus” for amateur pitchers.

The only difference between us as I see it, is I don’t see any reason at all for some 8YO kid to start thinking or acting like a HOF pitcher.

Right on. But unless you watch an awful lot of “kiddyball”, its hard to imagine how much the idea that size and velocity are “everything” permeates the game at that level. I’ve never denied that velocity isn’t a great trait for a pitcher, but when that’s what used to cull players out of the process long before they have the chance to mature, it bothers me a great deal.

The trouble is, no one ever answers with a simple yes or no. ROFL!

Well, while there’s quite a bit of very good information in that, you gave me chapter 31 when I was looking for chapter 2. :wink:

Unless they’re hiding someplace, I don’t suspect there’s a whole lot of amateur pitchers ready for that lesson, and darn sure not many below HS age. Let’s face it, of all the things haunting pitchers, none are worse than issuing walks or hitting batters, and the lower the level, the more troublesome those things are.

And for that reason, its not at all unusual for a coach/manager to not let kids who don’t have much ability to simply throw strikes to have a lot of time on the bump. Trouble is, it isn’t as easy as just tellin’ a pitcher to throw strikes and have it magically happen. In fact, there’s little doubt in my mind that every pitcher is trying his hardest to do just that, but doesn’t know how.

If there isn’t an “easier” route to command/accuracy than what you described as “advanced work”, there’s a real gap between theory and reality, and there’s sure one Devil of a lot of resources being wasted. :wink:

So, if you were dropped into a team environment where you’d never been before and only had an hour or so and asked to help the pitchers gain a bit of accuracy, what your approach be? Remember, this might be a team of kids who all plan on being ML pitchers, or it could be just a bunch of kids who hope to just get to pitch on their rec team.

[quote=“scorekeeper”][quote=“douglasbryantwhite”]Let me clarify just a bit about the velocity statements I make so often…

First, whether people like it or not the professional game is highly focused and based off of velocity…this means that if you are a RHP in college and you get the world out but only throw 85 mph you will have a very tough time getting signed…and now if you do get signed you better perform, because if you did not get a lot of money to sign you will have a very, very short leash…

So, from that perspective, that is how I normally take my focus to velocity development for younger kids… [/quote]

I completely understand what the pro game is centered on, but as I’ve said many times in the past and will likely say many more times in the future, there’s a world of difference between pro ball and amateur ball. To me there’s just no good reason to conduct youth baseball on the same terms pro ball is conducted.
[/quote]

I disagree w/ scorekeeper’s assessment. It is absolutely imperative at some point between the ages of 13-15 that young pitchers start getting dead serious about their pitching velocity and start focusing on those things that will give them the best opportunity to “make it” … otherwise, they’ll be done at 17. No college ball. No pro ball. Nothing. And then, what’s the point? If it’s that baseball teaches “life lessons,” I agree, but so does band and glee club. We’re baseball players. And to reach the highest levels, you’d better start getting real about your velocity or pick another activity. If this doesn’t happen in youth ball, when will it happen???

Remember now scorekeeper…I prefaced this at the beginning of the statement that the command workouts are after a child has started to really pick-up how they move their body…

It is interesting to me you thought this was chp 31 stuff…lol…it really isn’t…for younger kids you just start working with, yes, this is far off, but after a bit of time they are going to be ready for it and that is how you would build a solid program for them to follow…

If we are just starting and I just have an hour and just met a bunch of kids I am working arm action first…I want the kids to learn how their arms are supposed to work together and also how they work separate from their body…so they do not incorporate any body movement when we just start…

I am going to put this stuff on youtube in the near future and I will let you know when I do…you should sign up for my newsletter on my site and when I get to it you will be the first to know…lol

But seriously, if you want command to improve almost instantly (for the young kids) start with giving them an idea of how their arms work separately and together (if that makes any sense) As they get a feel for the timing up of their arms they will start to understand how to throw and how to throw more accurately…I would bring film to the hour workout first and show them…then line them up and have them try a couple drills and then work from there…

Ok, so is that a better Chp 2 answer??? :lol:

But let me also add just a bit here at the end about information…because that is really what all this is about…understanding information…

No matter what the age or level of the child I teach with the same information…my tone may change or my delivery may change or the type of drills may be more evolved depending on the client…but the information does not change…I do not dummy down because of the age of the child nor do I teach out of order because a kid just wants this or just wants that…whether you are a pro or amateur the info is the same and they will love all of it as long as you deliver it properly…but what I do with the pro guys is the same I do with my youngsters…the only difference is that the pro approach will be more of a suggestion and they need to find if it works for them and if they like it and how to mold their own process and preparation from their experiences…while a kid doesn’t have that background so I can be more direct and not as suggestive per se because they wouldn’t know what else to try anyways because of the lack of experience…but that being said I never force anything on anyone…if a kid doesn’t really like something and it feels bad we go another route…of course feeling bad and feeling awkward are two different things so we need to communicate on that…but you get the point…

Doug, you’ve said the magic words!

As they get a feel for the timing up of their arms they will start to understand how to throw and how to throw more accurately.

That is almost exactly what my friend said when I asked him the same question 15 years ago. Its all about timing and getting all the parts working together, and that’s exactly the way my son was taught.

But I see so many people complicate it with inverted W’s, strides the length of one’s height, tall and fall, drop and drive, torso torque, leg drive, arm slot, spine tilt, power L, and at least a gozillion other things. And while each may well be a tiny piece of the puzzle, still all have to be ordered such that the timing used accomplishes the goal.

What a lot of people don’t seem to get is, its impossible for every player to execute every factor imaginable the same way. And that’s where the problems begin. Every LHP can’t be Sandy Koufax, and every RHP can’t be Nolan Ryan. Players need to figure it out for themselves, and the only way to do that its to pitch.

No one throws 90+ off a mound, can make the ball move the same way at will, or throw it where he’s trying to without ever having pitched before. In fact, even though some find certain aspects of pitching easier to execute well than others, it takes a great deal of practice for anyone to do it at a professional level. And the effort never stops, does it, and there isn’t any magic answer is there?

What it boils down to, is pitching at a high level is very hard work, and takes a tremendous amount of dedication. I get it. But I also get that when people expect the things it takes to be a pro in a kid, things can go bad quickly. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want any kid before he’s got hair in private places, to be treating baseball like it’s a job! Its just not necessary.

Yes, I do get the point. Sadly though, that’s not typical of what happens in team environments, and not every player has the wherewithal to avail himself of your services. :frowning:

Thanx for your patience and thoughtful responses. I don’t get the sense you feel I’m attacking you, and you shouldn’t because it isn’t at all true. If anything, I find myself agreeing with most of what you say. I just don’t like to see all levels of the game treated as though all the players have the same goals, are in the same stage of development, or that all the coaches have the same abilities.

I have no idea where this vitriol is coming from!

You’re putting words in my mouth that I didn’t even come close to saying. Where did I put any age limit on when the thinking about life beyond HS should begin. Doug didn’t either, and that’s where he and I disagreed, so if anything, I took the stance you’re taking now.

All I’ve done is state what I believe to be true, that there are 3 components to pitching. Velocity, command, and movement. I never once said any one was more important than any other, nor that all 3 weren’t necessary for any pitcher to advance into professional ball. But I don’t live in a world where every ball player has the burning desire and ability to make it to the pros, nor do I live in one where every coach is of Doug’s caliber! Instead, in my world every player is different and so is the combination of those 3 components. And at any given level, its possible for players to have success without having Nolan Ryan velocity.

I live in the real world where only about 1 coach in 1,000 comes anywhere close to Doug’s caliber, and maybe 1 player in 10,000 has EVERYTHING necessary to get offered a contract by a ML club. If all you are concerned with are the elite coaches and players in the game, and ignore the reality of what actually takes place in amateur baseball, I’ll just step away. No harm, no foul.

Re: "I have no idea where this vitriol is coming from! "

-----First off, the man only said he disagreed with you. Only a true drama queen would translate that into “vitriol”.

Re: “You’re putting words in my mouth that I didn’t even come close to saying.”

-----You may or may not be correct about that but I suspect most folks here are trying to get better at pitching, and they might not have the time or energy left over to perform a complete due diligence on your voluminous posts. Maybe you could shorten some trails for us.

Thanx for your patience and thoughtful responses. I don’t get the sense you feel I’m attacking you, and you shouldn’t because it isn’t at all true. If anything, I find myself agreeing with most of what you say. I just don’t like to see all levels of the game treated as though all the players have the same goals, are in the same stage of development, or that all the coaches have the same abilities.

Scorekeeper…in no way do I take our back and forth discussion as anything but that…discussion…I am having fun with it and love your view…we agree on most and where we differ is just fine as well…

In the end though I feel like teaching each boy as though they have the ability and opportunity to be as good as they want to be is where it is at…so then the boy can choose whether to drop out or not…I am not talking only private lessons…if I am running a practice I am teaching kids to always play above their level, never at their level…the ones who like that stay, the ones that don’t choose other things…and that is ok as well…the sooner they choose what they love and are passionate about in life the better…life is all about the different experiences right???

I had to look up the definition of the word vitrol. lol.

“Abusive or venomous language used to express blame or censure or bitter deep-seated ill will.”

[quote=“scorekeeper”]
I do differ a bit about the long toss program. There’s absolutely no way to know if or how much long toss helps pitchers. The reason is, no player can do both a long toss program and no long toss program at the same time so the results can be compared. So, while I do believe it will help, to me there’s no way to tell how much the player’s normal growth and improvement in his timing contributes than his throwing the ball long distances. Again, I’m not at all saying it doesn’t help, but I do question its value when compared to everything else. [/quote]

The long toss debate gets all bogged down in “the arm angles are different,” and “we pitch from 60 feet, so why train at 150+,” and “it’s never been scientifically proven,” etc., etc.

The simple fact remains that long toss is such an incredibly valuable tool in teaching the “intent” that’s needed for actually speeding up the body/arm to throw harder. Medicine ball training (and some Olympic lifts) is perhaps the only other tool I can think of that accomplishes this total-body-speed-of-movement training. Everything else we do – pitching drills, flat ground pitching, lightweight shoulder exercises, tubing exercises, etc. – is all SLOW movement stuff.

With long toss, you can’t be “slow” and have the ball reach a distance of 150+ feet. Don’t need science or research to prove that.

I have to agree with Steven big time on this one…

I wasn’t going to respond but since Steven started it I feel I can confidently talk about it and nobody can beat me up for it because the creator of this site said it first… :lol:

But in all seriousness I have been doing instruction now for more then a decade and I first learned about long toss when I was 14 years old…if I would have never learned about long toss during my playing days I would have been done my senior year of high school and I would have never pitched in college or independent ball and I would not have ever followed my dream to coach in the big leagues…(currently in the process…lol)

With long toss it gives you the freedom to let your body experience movements it needs to create arm speed to get 90 mph or more on a throw off the mound…athleticism, arm speed and arm endurance are what I think long toss is most beneficial for…now, if you are able to take the movements and aggression you use when throwing long toss and bring it onto the mound you will be able to see how long toss benefits you on the mound as a pitcher…but it is not just automatic, you have to figure out how to blend the two…you don’t just throw a ball 300 feet and then are able to throw 90 on the mound, I know this because in high school I could throw a ball well over the length of the football field but on the mound I was 75-80 because I had no clue how to blend the movements to the mound…but now that I know how the body should move to throw a baseball on the mound I am able to pass that along to the people I work with…I have coached kids that have gained all sorts of mph on their FB and all they did with me is long toss work and mechanics work, nothing else…no med balls, no weighted balls, no crossfit workouts, nothing…just good old fashion long toss with some awareness of how your body should move on the mound…I don’t need science to verify what I see and the results that have come from it…