This looks like a terrific forum–very well run and lots of high quality information. I am really glad to be here. Thanks for mentioning it to me, Roger.
I’m an old guy–father of a 13 yo RHP who features a pure side arm delivery.
I had almost no baseball experience from my own youth to draw on when my son realized he was deeply interested in pitching about 5 years ago.
On the other hand, I consider myself smart enough to recognize pure BS when its being shoveled my way, so instead of automatically accepting the typical Little League wisdom on pitching mechanics, appropriate conditioning for young pitchers, etc,…I decided to make a hobby out of becoming as knowledgeable as possible about pitching in parallel with my son’s interest in actually performing on the field. Best decision I’ve made so far in life, other than getting married and having my kid. For us, pitching and baseball have been a bond that we’ve enjoyed for countless hours together year round, whenever we find the time, for the past 5 years…and still going strong.
I started out 5 years ago by trying to buy, read, and analyze every book on pitching that I could find. Books were a real good way for me to start because it is so easy to read through them, think about what they are saying, then compare that with what the next guy has written. And the next, and the next, and so on.
After maybe a year of reading and maybe 25 books later I felt as though I’d developed a decent set of personal litmus tests for whether a pitching coach basically knew what he was talking about, or not, which was useful but certainly not the end of the journey for me.
At some point I decided that Tom House’s approach to teaching pitching mechanics, conditioning, and the rest, made the most sense to me–I especially liked the pattern in his work that showed he was willing to constantly refine his knowledge, admit and correct any past errors in his approach, and keep learning from his successes and his failures alike. That was huge for me. All the guys who wrote one book and then circled the wagons around their dated information were automatically off my list as a possible mentor for my kid. No matter how good of a pitcher some of them were, information just doesn’t remain static–it grows.
So to cut a long story short, my son and I have been going to Tom’s hands-on clinics since he was a 9 yo and we are more than pleased with what we have gotten out of the experience.
Along the way, I’ve also learned some interesting things about videotaping pitchers for coaching purposes, and I’ve managed to earn an NPA certification to coach pitchers. That has been rewarding as well, but nothing holds a candle to the great times my boy and I have spent together talking, playing catch, hacking our way through drills (I do 'em too, just to keep the kid laughing), working on mechanics, etc, etc, over the years.