Here are some suggestions for first year pitching coaches. Also, if your assuming the role as a pitching coach, regardless if you’re a first year pitching coach or veteran, some of these suggestions can be very helpful.
(1) Watch for conduct that’s out of the ordinary. Be mindful of your pitchers with respect to mood swings, rubbing the shoulders or arms, stiffness in the lower back, changes in appearance that doesn’t fit the personality, lack of focus.
(2) A pitcher that relies a lot on mostly off-speed and change-ups early in his appearance is holding back for a reason. What are those reasons?
(3) Be careful with off-speed and change-ups with the bottom of the batting order. Slower bat speed tends to make contact with these pitches.
(4) On any given day for whatever reason, the right or left side of the plate won’t work. Don’t dwell on it.
(5) Pitchers that rely heavily on breaking pitches, when normally they don’t, do so for a reason. What are those, reasons?
(6) Pitchers that rub the ball after every pitch are not on their game.
(7) A pitcher that’s sweating heavily on the back of neck is usually struggling.
b Be careful sending in a reliever or closer who will be facing the top of the batting order. In the amateur game it usually takes two full innings for these pitchers to settle in.
(9) Agree on a casual signal from the catcher when the pitcher is losing it. This signal should be confidential between you and your catcher. There’s no benefit at all, letting anyone else know - this includes other coaches, bat boys, scorekeeper, etc.
(10) Don’t talk to your battery during a game, let them work things out together - off to the side alone. Let your catcher take over here, that’s his job - not yours.
(11) With runners on, go to a second or third sign indicator - but don’t get fancy. Pitchers have enough on their plate without having to think too much.
(12) Avoid eye contact with your battery after every inning. Bury your face in a score book, calendar, SI swimsuit issue, anything.
(13) Game time is the time for the battery to work things out - it’s not a time to coach. If you feel differently, you don’t have faith in your batter to “deal with it”, tell them at the beginning of the season in front of the entire time. So, you might as well let them know where they stand at the outset - it’s only fair.
(14) Park yourself as far away from those on the bench as you can. You must focus on the rotation’s contribution to the skipper’s game plan. If you must talk to your skipper, do so out of ear shot of others on the bench.
(15) If your taking notes, keep them away from the eyes of others. It’s none of their business.
(16) Avoid being vocal on calls that you disagree with by the umpires. You’re a pitching coach, not a heckler or a bar-fly. Keep quite, stay focused, give it rest. Your strong suits are maturity and a stable disposition.