How to find a GOOD pitching coach


#1

There are a few baseball “schools” around here that teach hitting and pitching. The one that many of the local dad’s take their kids to I don’t like. They teach pitching by a cookie cutter approach, and you can see the kids who have learned there. They all have a choppy windup where the arm is extended straight back, then they pause and deliever. I just feel that this is not a good approach and hae avoided using them.

So, how do you locate a good pitching coach/school? One is West Coast Baseball School that has a number of locations. Anyone in So. Cal heard of them or used them? Any other suggestions out here? Thanks


#2

You can find an NPA-certified pitching instructor at this link: NPA Instructors
http://www.nationalpitching.net/certified.asp?


#3

I agree that what they are teaching is questionable, especially the pause.

Here’s what I advise people to look for in a pitching coach…


#4

Thanks for the replies. Seems there are no NPAs around me.

Chris, thanks for the article. That is the approach I have with my son. He already can throw hard but I have been preaching to him that as he gets older, the hitters will be better and can all hit fast balls. He needs to learn to keep them off balance. I have him working with a palm ball and circle change. Also, he keeps trying to throw a splitter and it does dive sometimes. Is there any concern about arm injury with that pitch? I mean, it’s not like a curve or anything.

Also, in your article you say to stay away from anyone who teaches the “inverted W.” Can you tell me what that is? Thanks


#5

Some people have expressed some concern about it, but I don’t think it’s bad as long as you don’t twist the wrist. My biggest question is whether a younger kid’s hands are big enough to throw it properly.

The Inverted W is something that is advocated by some people (e.g. Paul Nyman) as something that supposedly improves arm action and thus velocity. I don’t think that’s the case. I think making the Inverted W – as Mark Prior, Anthony Reyes, and Joal Zumaya do – increases the risk that a pitcher will experience shoulder problems.

Also, greats like Ryan, Maddux, and Clemens don’t make the Inverted W. Instead, after they break their hands their elbows never go above the leve l of their shoulders.


#6

Tom House says the only time the splitter is hard on the arm is when a pitcher lets his thumb creep up the side of the ball towards the index finger as that creates a tendency to supinate. The correct grip is to make sure the thumb is centered under the “V” formed by the index and middle fingers.


#7

Thanks again guys, especially for the photos (I need to see things to get a good understanding of them). He does not bring the shoulders up like that and I’ll make sure he isn’t coached to do so. I still need to get some video shots of him and I’ll post them.


#8

dmatt,
Sounds like you might be from my area. Send me a pm if you want and if you are from near where I am I can give you some leads.


#9

so called pitching coaches are a dime a dozen. go to area high school games and ask parents and umpires about the coaches who are good baseball teachers; ones who understand the nuances involved in skill teaching as well as the mental necessities. you will notice that the mechanics forum draws more attention than the mental forum. check out a well stocked book store, compare pictures, read about the author. some of my most valuable baseball teaching books are written by lesser known coaches. we read about million $ major league pitchers speak about learning how to pitch. read about the mental aspects of pitching and the physical aspects will also improve.


#10

Thanks guys. I’ve actually learned quite a bit from this forum and some links provided. We’ve been working on his balance and follow thru. He looked real good tonight.

CAdad: PM is on the way.