I admit, I’m a very stubborn person, but with pitching, I want to listen to all the advice and get all the help and practice I can get. But my dad hasent been helping me at all, I guess its because I havent asked him to coach me. But he hardely knows anything about baseball or pitching. But I really want him to help me. My plan was to ask him to study pitching and read “The act of pitching”, and help me as much as he can. Should I go with this plan or just keep reading my “act of pitching book” and practice by myself?
Ask him to read the book with you. I think that’s great!
What you’ll find as you continue to advance in baseball is mom and dad are truly a big part of the equation in your success as a pitcher. The more they’re behind you, the better you’ll be… so I’d encourage you to simply ask your dad to read “The Act of Pitching” with you, if that’s what you’re reading and enjoying right now.
Here are some other books worth checking out, too:
The Mental Game of Baseball by H.A. Dorfman
The Mental ABC’s of Pitching by H.A. Dorfman
Nolan Ryan Pitcher’s Bible by Tom House and Nolan Ryan
Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz
Mental Training for Peak Performance by Steve Ungerleider
Even though he is only 10, Jon’s dream is to become a major league pitcher. It has been his dream for about five years. and it was mine too up until about this time last year. You see, after his third outing against a live batter, Jon told me that watching kids swing at strike three gave him the best ever feeling he could ever have imagined. It was then that I realized that watching him get that much enjoyment and being allowed inside his world, and to be able to spend as time with him as I do, well, I was already living a dream some dads will never get the chance to experience.
Don’t hold it against your dad. If you do you might just grow up turning cornfields into baseball diamonds! Maybe you just need to ask your dad to have a catch. Playing catch is still the best way to get ready to pitch.
I am Jon’s primary coach and even though five years ago I knew next to nothing about pitching, he continues to listen to me describe and coach on the techniques I have read about in books, videos and websites. (BTW Steve, this is THE BEST site yet for getting ideas and sharing information. Thank you!). Some days Jon just needs to be a kid and we just play catch or goof around (he is pretty good at being a kid too!). My point is RedSox, the relationship between you and your dad is one that cannot be compared to coach/player. You’ll have many, many coachs but only one dad.
Hey, RedSoxRepeat (and sorry about their demise today, but maybe it’s the Pale Hose’s turn this year, eh?):
I had a Dad like yours, and now, 40 years later we’re closer than we ever were and I’ve long since come to realize that his interests were somewhere other than baseball, which is fine. I was lucky that my best friend’s Dad was really into sports and took us out all the time to work on our games.
You mention elsewhere that you’re 15 and trying to play high school ball, so you’ll want to get some serious personal assistance anyway. Unfortunately, you’re probably at a stage where you don’t have anyone who’s coaching you on a regular basis, and if you’re not on the high school team, the coach of the team may not want to devote the time to work with you. Ask around and see if there are some part-time pitching coaches who you might be able to work with; it’ll cost money, but if they’re good, it should be worth it to get a few sessions with them to analyze your motion and make suggestions.
Where to find them? Ask around. The high school coach likely has someone in mind; if not, contact the top pitchers on your school’s team and see if there’s someone they’ve worked with. Maybe a former pro pitcher (like Steve!) who still handles younger players. In our area, there’s a Division 1 college pitcher who went through our youth league and works with a ton of kids for $30 for a 45 minute session. Just make sure when you interview with the guy (he should be willing to give you five minutes on the phone to explain his philosophy) that he seems compatible with your personality and pitching style. This is where your Dad may come in handy, using his adult skills to sense if the guy is full of BS or really can explain why he thinks certain techniques will work. Also beware of coaches who throw in a lot of kinesiological mumbo-jumbo to back up their theories (a la Dick Mills). And, I’d ask him at the end of your sessions for key points in your delivery for you to focus on: say, make sure you don’t bring your arm forward until your foot strikes, or something, so you can monitor your adherence to his instruction as you practice on your own.