Thanks for the site. I have been a pitching coach for a top NAIA program for the past 11 years. I signed a pitcher last Fall who has a power arm, but he told me from the outset he was seeing a private instructor. I agreed to let him keep seeing the instructor when time permitted as a prerequisite to signing him. He has control problems which are easily identified, but when I try to work with him he says he’ll tell his instructor what I’m seeing and have the instructor work with him to correct the problems. I want to live up to my agreement but I find this ridiculous. How would you handle this situation ? Thanks.
Welcome to LTP Coach.
My Suggestion… Let him and his “Pitching Coach” Fail on the field. It is evident that he thinks his private coach knows it all. If you try and change him and he continues to fail, he will blame you and not the other coach.
Remember, 18yr olds know it all… Once he fails enough, realizes, on his own, that he needs to do something different and comes asking for your help, then and only then will you know he will be willing to listen to your advice. Then you can straighten him out.
FYI check out the “General Pitching Advice” forum. That is where many of the pitching questions like this are discussed.
Again, Welcome aboard,
Unless your philosophies are completely skewed from your pitcher’s private instructor, I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t work with your pitcher. I coach youth baseball teams and I often ask those who have outside instructors to simply talk to me whenever there arises a conflict between my instruction and that of their outside instructor. I don’t think it’s reasonable for a player to expect to play on a team yet not receive instruction from that team’s coach(es). The only exception I could see is if the outside pitching instructor was someone really exceptional with a well-known and well-proven track record (like, for example, a Tom House) and the coach agrees with this instructor’s teachings. But, in this case, it would be the coach’s decision to “relinquish control” of the pitcher to the instructor.
In your case, there is a matter of honoring your agreement and maintaining your integrity. But if you’ve given the pitcher fair time to fix things and it’s still not working out then that would seem to be reason enough for altering course. I would suggest imposing some constraints on the arrangement. After all, you have others to answer to. Maybe impose a deadline by which you expect to see specific, well-defined improvements?
Of course, if you’re not onboard with the instructor’s teachings, then that is a real issue. And a deadline or other constraints might not produce the results you’ll be happy with.
I have been trying to understand his private instructor’s philosophy and views and steering our pitcher’s outlook with persuasion. So, until he sees that what he’s doing is not working, and costing our club, he’ll be watching games instead of pitching. Thanks for your opinions. They are sound. I’ll sit him down and have a little talk.
Redefine the agreement.
You have an obligation to the program to get him clicking on all cylinders.
Your guy has great potential and may be dominant some day.
He can’t command his pitches so he’s not effective.
He is listening to your input.
He won’t implement your suggestions until he gets the second opinion from his private pitching coach. (You have to consider the possibility that he is just giving you lip service and not even discussing your suggestions with the private pitching coach.)
This guy is a freshman and doesn’t have a track record to speak of in college ball. So he’s motivated to make progress.
His allegiance is to the private coach.
I admire your integrity and wanting to stick to your agreement. However, things are not going as planned so adjustments are necessary.
The logical solution is to present him with an option. One of them will be that you are the pitching coach and there can only be ONE pitching coach. The other guy has to be lower on the totem pole. If he doesn’t buy into that he probably won’t be back next year anyway.
Another approach is to talk with the private coach. No private coach worth his salt would want to be interfering with the college pitching coach even if he thought his philosophy was better.
Or you could pretend you were Bobby Knight…and act accordingly! :chair:
I really appreciate the ideas. I have talked with my pitcher and we really got down to the details of what his coach wanted from him, and what I want him to do. It was constructive and he’s opened up to my teachings. There were more similarities than he realized once he started listening, especially after two bad outings and four games where our Head Coach didn’t let him sniff an inning. We worked on his weight distribution, arm angle and front side in two pen sessions. Well, he was called upon after that and had his best outing thus far ( 1.2 scoreless, no H, BB’s w/ 2 K’s ). He’s back in the fold and feeling better about life. Thanks again guys.
Excellent! Glad things worked out well for everyone.