[quote=“jdfromfla”]My contention is that “flat ground” work has a value, only I view it as one of many developmental tools a pitcher can use.[/quote]Agreed. The task would be to identify what you can effectively “develop”.
[quote=“shermanreed”]Perhaps it does keep them throwing to a target, and it allows them to work on their grips of different pitches. [/quote]Agreed on the grips and different pitches part. Not so sure about the value of the throwing to a target part.
[quote=“jdfromfla”]I feel that the biggest majority of kids don’t have regular access to a mound in a private situation.[/quote]You got it. I personally think this is the biggest reason for flat ground work.
[quote=“jdfromfla”]I feel that flat ground shouldn’t be the “only” method of training a pitcher uses. [/quote]I’m witcha there.
[quote=“jdfromfla”]These are possible benefits of doing such work;
A) minimal arm impact
B) can be done anywhere at any time
C) good for conditioning
D) keeps em off the street…so to speak[/quote]I’m on board with all of this, except A) re: minimal arm impact. I’ve heard this many times, as we all have. I’m not going to make an emphatic statement about this on any one side of things but it seems to me that there is another possible way of looking at this and I’d like your comments. Could one not say that just the opposite is true? That attempts to pitch on flat ground at speeds desired in games, from a mound, would be more stressful because of the lack of the “help” from gravity. In order for it to be less stressful on flat ground, one would have to have conscious intent to NOT try to throw at game speed AND, if that is true, why could one not do the same on a mound? Would not the assistance of gravity actually reduce arm stress by facilitating the use of the rest of the body and gravity thus avoiding the negative effects of a kid trying to “throw with just the arm”?
[quote=“jdfromfla”]I do agree emphatically that all pitchers should work off of a mound in practice, I think that yes it does translate to a more real “game-like” simulation, which in fact does make it more meaningful. But does that mean that we should disregard other methods of training? My contention is no. [/quote]Mine too.
[quote=“jdfromfla”]We as coaches should incorporate any training method that we feel will safely enhance a kids ability to pitch.[/quote]You bet.
Just to wrap up on this long post, my ravings about this is purely to say that I believe the “bang for the buck”, in terms of efficient use of time and effective training specific to locating pitches, is in mound work that is as close to the game situation as possible. I temper this by acknowledging that not everyone has unfettered access to a mound and you do what you gotta do and that there is value in flat ground work, as long as we’re clear as to what that value is and what it is not.