My mechanics vs. tips from coach

I believe that my coach is a good guy and all, but sometimes when it comes to pitching, its not really his strongest area to teach. I learned alot on LTP, and the mechanics I have now is the best I ever had. My coach is now trying to tweek my mechanics. Its kinda of annoying and it takes off the speed off my fastball. Should I stay with my mechanics or follow my coach?

You want to play so you have to make your coach happy. Therefore, you will have to at least find a happy medium - do what he wants just enough to make him happy and no more.

But, you better be sure he doesn’t know what he’s doing before distrusting him.

Also, just because you’ve lost some velocity doesn’t mean what he’s teaching you is bad. It’s common to lose some velocity when making adjustments - even good adjustments. Any adjustment will push you out of your comfort zone because you’ll be doing something different than how you normally do things. But stick with it long enough to get comfortable and the velocity will come back.

I see a red flag going up.
You say your coach is trying to tweak your mechanics, and you’re not comfortable with this. The question is, does he know what he’s doing—or does he, perhaps, have an agenda you’re not aware of? I would proceed with extreme caution in this matter, and if it becomes clear that he doesn’t know what he’s doing, you should disregard him. This is particularly true if he’s trying to change something basic, such as your arm slot.
My pitching coach of many moons ago had a basic premise: that every pitcher has a natural motion, and what he did was to work with that pitcher and show him—or her—how to make the most of it. I was a natural sidearmer with a consistent release point, a slide- step which I used all the time, and a crossfire which I had simply fallen in love with, and he made no attempt to change any of this, just showed me a few things here and there which I could use to be more effective. If this is the sort of thing your coach is doing, okay, go along with it. And don’t worry about your velocity; as you make the various adjustments you should get it back to where it was before. But if the guy obviously doesn’t know what he’s doing—or, as I mentioned, he might have an agenda—you have every reason to distrust him.
I remember one case, long ago. There was a pitcher named Fred Sanford who was with the old St. Louis Browns in the 40s—not a bad pitcher, in fact, and the Yankees saw something in him and acquired him in a trade. But then the trouble started: he had a herky-jerky motion, and never mind that he was getting the batters out; pitching coach Jim Turner didn’t like it. It offended his esthetic sensibilities! Third-base coach Frank Crosetti didn’t like it either. They wanted Mr. Sanford to have a smooth, Spalding-Guide-picture-perfect motion, and so they started futzing around with him—and they ended up destroying him. When they got through with him he wasn’t a good pitcher any more, and at the end of the 1950 season he was traded. And this is the kind of situation you want to avoid. 8)

Coaching pitchers is not an exact science, nor is it etched in stone…“do it this way, or else.”

Your coach can not feel the “comfrot zone” that you get with a style and method that you yourself have developed, nor can he read minds either. He is, however, using his experience to guide him with helping you along. Now without actually seeing some video of you going through your paces, it’s kind of hard to say one way or the other… what’s what.

Post some video if you can and let’s take a look.

On a final note, the coaching process is an art, like I said. It’s also a very difficult process that some youngsters fight tooth and nail … I want to do it my way… because, I feel comfrotable doing it my way. Well, if push comes to shove, the proof is in the pudding == results… what actually happens when you do it your way? Do you command the strike zone, do you actually perform, do you do your thing with consistent dependability???

I had grown men come back to me with what you’re going through, and I’ve settled back in my chair, stretched out both arms and said in effect, “go to it, let’s do things your way.” If the man produced, regardless of how his form and style looked to me, so be it. Knock yourself out. As a pitching coach, I got the slap on the back, I got the “way to go coach, nice job!” On the other hand, if the man ripped himself up, out cold for four weeks with shoulder and arm problems, I’d have to say …" told you so."

So look, in this sport a pitcher has to take responsibility for his/her own actions somewhere along the line, and by the looks of things, it’s your turn. Command the position with a little bit of what you do, and mix and match a little what you coach is telling you. A true pitching coach understands this, no questions asked. Just don’t dig your heels in and be too stuburn about it.

Any questions?

Coach B.

I’m at school right now, but when I get home I will post my video that was taken last year. Not much has changed since then. The problem is that when I am pitching from the stretch, he wants me to not to lift my knee. He wants me to lift it a little and push it out right away. So the baserunner has no chance when stealing. I know it helps our advantage to stealing baserunners, but it takes of my accuracy and my velocity. It also makes me throw with my arm only. When I throw with my mechanics, my arm wouldn’t be sore the next day. But if I throw the way my coach wants me to throw, it would be sore the next day. (If I would throw a bullpen, I would always throw from the strech).

After a workout or an appearance in a game, at home take a hot shower with concentration on running the hot water around your shoulders and arms. Relax. Take your time to settle down and just relax. Rubbing the shoulders and the arms while the hot water relaxes the muscles is important.

After the shower, you’ll want to have two (2) towels ready, that have beens soaking in hot (not too hot) water. Wringe the two towels out so there not dripping wet, but moist and damp. Now wrap one towel around your pitching arm’s elbow, right up to your arm pit. Take the second towel and drap it over your back so it covers your pitching arm’s shoulder blade and up over the front side of your shoulder. Continue with the second towel so it starts to wrap around your pitching arm down to your pitching arm’s elbow. This warm, moist heat will penetrate the muscles and given them the treatment that they need. Leave the towels on until they cool off. Remove the towels then rub your shoulders and both arms down with Absorine Jr. Just be careful not to get this application under your arms.

As soon after the Absorbine Jr. is applied, cover yourself with a bathrobe.
Relax for about a half an hour, and I do mean relax. Watch some TV, hey even scroll through some ole LTP topics.

The following day you should notice a big difference in the way your arms and shoulders feel. Now if you feel some discomfort, that’s normal. Heck, even grown men in this business go through that.

In any event, you do know that “preperation” is everything here prior to a game or practice. Don’t go out cold, do stay covered, and above all pace yourself with a reasonable pitch count designed for you … not a one size fits all.

Any questions?

Coach B.