Help yourself


#1

No matter how much coaching you will have, or about to have, will be of any value if you don’t have a dependable surface to work off of. Money spent, and poorly I might add, is for not when working off of poorly constructed and maintained pitching mounds. Add injury to insults, complaining about sore arms, Tommy John surgery potentials, lack of control, velocity problems and so forth, all fall victims to poor mound surfaces.

Surprisingly, this should be a no-contest subject. This should be common sense, This should be so self evident that it amazes me how 99% of all amateur coaches-parents-umpires-leagues-league officials and players will stand by and know this is the wrong way to go.

In the picture below - (1) this is what you should see when you approach your pitcher’s mound. A well groomed surface, the top of the mound even with the rubber, the rubber shouldn’t stick out of the ground, no holes, no rocks or pebbles, no mud. The back of the mound, likewise should be well manicured. This surface should reinforce your confidence of a secure surface to work off, reinforce your balance completely, and land on with your stride foot

In the picture below - (2) this is what you should see upon closer inspection and ready to work. You should feel very confident - inning after inning, that this mound will stand up to your performance, and the pitchers that you will follow. The landing surface that your stride foot is planting on should reinforce your complete motion, regardless if from the windup or the set position. Anything less will destroy your mechanics, regardless who you received your coaching from. Notice the “path” like impression on this surface in front of the rubber. This is deliberate. This underlayment is composed of special material that resist the constant landing of spikes and the sometimes churning motion of the pitcher’s movement(s).

Now this mound wasn’t built using sand and dirt. It was constructed with materials especially designed for athletic competition of the sport. Bottom line here - it cost $$ money. Bottom line here - the health and well being of the player taking this surface and competing on it were considered that important. And as simple as this may sound, the basic tool to keep it that way during game time, is as simple as using an iron rake to groom the surface back into shape. A picture of a simple garden iron rake is below. By the way, if your club brings a rake, and the other club across the field doesn’t - tough, that’s their problem. See picture (4) below.


#2

Interesting. Just had a conversation with my 16 year old son yesterday about mounds. He is getting ready for a Headfirst Academic Showcase next week in Long Island, NY, and we went to our local ballpark to throw a bullpen. The main 60-90 field was locked, so we had to use the 50-70 field mound to throw the bullpen, with me setting up at catcher 10 feet back from where the 50-70 catcher would set up. My son started to complain that the mound was flat, and hard, and had a slight left to right slope, etc. I got my butt off the bucket and walked out there and told him he needs to deal with it and learn to pitch from different mounds, because they’re not all going to be the same, and they’re not all going to be good, at least not until college. He nodded and went on to throw a very nice bullpen! :rofl:


#3

If and when your son develops wrist, elbow, shoulder and lumbar discomforts or pain, remember what you told him, then repeat to him … "deal with it…"


#4

That’s right. “Deal with it” is a way to “Help yourself,” which is the title of your post. Hate to break it to you, but if you think all mounds at the high school level are like that mound in your photos, you must live in Beverly Hills. My son just got back from pitching in a national 16U tournament at the multi-million-dollar Perfect Game baseball complex in Cartersville, GA, and let me tell you something: all the mounds sucked. They were artificial turf and all had significant depressions in front of the rubber from pitchers’ strike foot landings that could not be repaired as it was artificial turf, not clay. There were 385 teams from around the country in that tournament, and all the pitchers “dealt with it”.


#5

I don’t like disagreeing with someone as knowledgeable as @Coach_Baker but if you don’t deal with these shitty mounds
, you’ll never get better because you’ll never pitch. No mound will be the same quality as a professional mound, I had the opportunity once to pitch at the yankee Staten Island field, my velocity was up a mph just from a better quality mound that allowed my mechanics to flow a little better and I felt great after.


#6

The point of this posting was not to accept justification(s) of any reason or reasons. In my posting I offered a way to DEAL WITH these conditions. If you take the time to read - instead of accepting the condition as I stated, you’ll both - south_paw and Bunyan236, that bringing a simple tool like an iron garden rake can do a proper job of making these mounds that your both using - usable.

So, take away what you will, and leave whatever. Dealing with mounds that are nothing more than crap is your choice. My posting was to tell you - you don’t have to. In other words. as south_paw’s son tried to tell him about the conditions that he was dealing with … unfortunately south_paw wouldn’t listen or make any attempt to correct the conditions. He got off his bucket and told him to deal with it. And by the way, just because 385 teams were satisfied with using poor pitching surfaces, doesn’t mean you have to. Take charge of your game more than accepting what’s not acceptable.

And south_paw, your postings in the past have been creditable and worth reading. This Beverly Hills remark was not appreciated, nor was the sarcasm that followed. Your willingness to allow your son to accept your reasoning is not a pattern that I’ve read in the past from you.


#7

The pictures take above where on a public ball diamond in Springfield, Massachusetts prior to a game. Springfield, Massachusetts is my home town and is a far cry from Beverly Hills. Granted, some fields need more attention that others, but all in all, these fields and mounds are manageable for the most part. .