How do you deal with a horrible mound?

Ok so i started my first game pitching about a week ago, I was doing just fine, that is until the landing spot of my foot got messed up. This was like stepping into play-dough. The dirt was absolutely horrible! I ended up missing up and outside on every pitch and walked the bases full. At this point my coach pulled me out(even though I only gave up 3 runs, not bad eh? 8)).

I just know that this landing spot was messing up my mechanics and causing me to miss! :x My arm felt great, but it was head level and outside every time! Now I tried to fill the hole in and pack it down every time i went out between innings, but it was to no avail. Also, I noticed that the other teams pitchers were having trouble throwing strikes too.

So my question is, how do you deal with a horrible mound?

I wouldn’t of tried to fill it in especially if it wasn’t even wet dirt/sand.

Nothing you really can do about the mound though. I always try to figure out what type of shape it is in before I pitch on it. And you just gotta be able to make adjustments quicker on it.

Well it was dirt, just dirt with the consistency of play-dough. :lol:

Unfortunately, the condition of the mound usually seems to depend on the integrity of the home team’s management.

I’d like to tell you that any pitcher who finds the mound unsatisfactory should have the right to call time and have the mound fixed. That’s what I’d like to tell you…unfortunately, most people (even some coaches) seem shockingly unaware of how important it is to pitch from a stable, even surface that has the proper slope (1" of drop for each foot of distance from the rubber). Nevertheless, it is worth a try to mention to your coach that the mound surface is a big problem. If he is good, and has his pitchers’ interests at heart, he will do his best to intercede and get the mound repaired. However, don’t be too disappointed if he can’t get it done when you’re not on your home field, unless he is such a good coach that he carries around bags of clay and mound tools in his car.

Fields are not well-equipped unless the equipment shed contains several bags of clay to repair the mound and the correct tools (like a heavy tamping pole) to make the necessary repairs. Unfortunately, many fields are not well-equipped (again, because the adults in charge of them are basically not aware that the integrity of the pitching mound is extremely important to all of the pitchers).

I’m just guessing, but I’d be surprised if Coach Baker didn’t have some experience and good advice for this situation. Good mound condition seems like one of those basic Constitutional Rights for Pitchers to me, but it never fails to amaze me just how badly kept some of them are.

One of my pitchers was tryin to warm up the other day during a tournament. This place had the worst practice mounds I have ever seen. I could have taken a tractor and dug a mound of dirt right there on the spot that would been better than their mounds.

half the time my team doesnt even have mounds because we play on the softball fields

A Coach Baker classic;

laflippin hit it on the nail.

Even the best fields seem to lack the basics of mound maintenance and materials composition. And you’d think- after years of play, up and down the competitive latter, some one would state the obvious - “what a pile of junk!”

A very close friend of mine volunteered a considerable amount of time and money re-building a first class ML mound, with cover. I assisted in spec’s and what for.

After it was completed, I drove by one day after a bad rain storm on my way to the store and low and behold the cover was gone, the surface was completely washed away, deep holes from lack of any kind of reasonable care were apparent, and all in all, his work and money was a big waste of time.

It seems that the public parks and rec employees got bent out of shape becuase they weren’t paid to do the work, the users of the ball field felt as if the fees that they were being charged didn’t require them to do even the smallest thing after using the field -and this included every Little League Incorporated team, Legion, AAU, Babe Ruth, Mickey M, Connie M, and every other youth ball going. High School freshmen, JV, and varsity included.

I know the money it takes to gather a bill of material for that mound - try $800 bucks, and that’s dealer cost becuase of friendships. Delivery, labor was also donated - and for nothing.

At this stadium/park it’s right back to were it was - I know because I drive by it from time to time.

It’s a shame, I know. But over the last twenty years or so, I’ve notice a “me-myself-n-I” mindset by so many in youth baseball. Even the simplest things like picking up all the water bottles and other trash after the games is hit and miss. Around where I travel anyway.

A club that my son use to play for when he was very young, was gutted for players by parents that pulled their sons off the field so they could play other sports- right in the middle of an inning. Needless to say the games they gave up were nothing compared to the lessons in selfishness and the lack of commitment.

In any evenbt, perhaps a posting a made a while ago might be some assistance.

Mounds like one below will do little to assist your work. Deep holes and poor material composition will require a lot of attention and care on your part, nearly before and after every pitch.

Basically, and I’m sure you already know it, holes and poor material compositon are a pain - and I mean that. So, do the best you can in attending to these conditions.

Here’s a suggestion. This not a one-step-solves-all, but at least it will help you cope.

take an iron garden rake or your spikes and smooth out the surface until you have a reasonable amount of stability. In additon to “prep’g” your surface your also giving your eyes the appearance of landing on something that will not distract your attention from form/posture and delivery. And as much as you might think that your visual witness isn’t all that important with respect to what your eyes view and your mind thinks - it does. So, even though the surface may not be 100%, at least your eyes are telling you that you have some degree of stability -just when you’ll need it the most.

I wish I had a better answer for you. But, this problem is one that’s shared by even the best communities and all becuase of choices that are made season, after season.

Coach B.

Is there somewhere I can go to learn field maintenance? I was thinking about going to Myrtle Beach and watching the Pelican’s ground crew and maybe helping them a little just to learn the ropes. The Pelicans are the Braves high A team and they always have a very nice field. The coaches that I have coached under just fixed the field like they wanted and never had a set way of doing things.

I hate mounds that you can’t even pitch on… its ridiculous

Man, oh man! Life is starting to imitate art around here!

I was joking around with Scrappy Ron (if you’ve never seen his promos for Easton, which JD posted here at LTP awhile back, you have not really lived a full life!) about opening a school for professional field maintenance personnel. You know, something kind of analogous to the two Florida-based schools for professional umpires.

Anyway, the plan was to charge each student thousands of $$$ to come to our school and learn Major League Raking and Hosing mechanics, how to deal with gophers, the ins and outs of cross-hatch pattern mowing, etc.

Looks like we’ll need to add a special seminar and lab course on mound maintenance…lol.

You…you’ve actually chatted with THE Scrappy Ron…!!!
You owe me man!!
Did he grace you with wisdom and chat? Were you plunked by 95 mph gas…oh man are you lucky.
No matter the dollar amount who wouldn’t want to be one of these “Guardians of The Rake and Hose”. I’d intern on it, if I didn’t have so many mouths to feed (Anybody want a couple of horses some insane geese and way too many cats…my dogs bribed me to keep em :wink: ).

Look at it…all purty and sech…just like one of them thar ballets :dance: …

The mound I play on at my high school is treated like royalty. After ever practice/game any sort of activity on the mound we spend at least 30 minutes on it tamping, putting in the professional mud, watering.

Then again we get the luxury of playing on the Marlins and Cardinals minor league fields and they are strict with those fields. Any type of rain or wetness on those fields they will not let anyone on until it is completely dry.

The pitching rubber was green for St. Patty’s Day :lol:

Sorry the images are so big

[quote=“jdfromfla”]You…you’ve actually chatted with THE Scrappy Ron…!!!
You owe me man!!
Did he grace you with wisdom and chat? Were you plunked by 95 mph gas…oh man are you lucky.
No matter the dollar amount who wouldn’t want to be one of these “Guardians of The Rake and Hose”. I’d intern on it, if I didn’t have so many mouths to feed (Anybody want a couple of horses some insane geese and way too many cats…my dogs bribed me to keep em :wink: ).

Look at it…all purty and sech…just like one of them thar ballets :dance: …[/quote]
We’re not worthy. We’re not worthy. :bowdown: :bowdown:

Nice field, SS! Of course, the amount of use affects the quality of a mound. So does the amount and quality of its maintenance. Using a proper soil also plays into it.

They really do a good job with those fields in Florida. Once I was playin in the Disney Wide World of Sport tournament against Colby Clemens travel team and it was unusually cold that Christmas. The year before that, we won the tournament and it was a sunny 72 degrees. This time it was so cold the ground crew said that if we stepped on the grass, it would kill it. We had to wait until it was above 32 degrees to play the game. The Roger Clemens auto after the game made the cold worth it though.

Even though this is Phoenix, we have the same issue in the winter. At the Peoria Sports Complex which is the spring training facility for the Padres and Mariners, we can’t step on the field until the frost melts. But they are nice fields with good mounds. Fortunately, my 13u team becomes a 14u team in August and then we get to play on those fields.

Roger, how do you like coaching that age group. I am going to try and start an extremely competitive travel team with three different age groups. I thought about 16, 17, and 18 u but I remeber playing 13 and 14u when I was a kid and loved that age more than I did 16, 17u. There are a bunch more teams in the 13-14 age also, or atleast in SC.

I enjoy it. The kids are old enough that they can execute some things. But they’re not in high school yet so you don’t have to compete with high school. Once the kids hit high school age, it’s tough to keep a team together.