Pitching Programs for Private Lessons?


#1

Hey guys, this is my 1st post on the forum so bear with me! First and foremost I’m loving all the content on this website that everyone engages with, and finding it was a godsend! Thank you guys!

So I just started offering private pitching lessons to kids in my community as a side-hustle as well as to scratch that itch after a couple years out of college ball.

I figured I would be able to help with mechanics, workouts, throwing routines, etc. session by session for my trainees.

But after talking to friends and family about my private coaching ambitions I’ve been hearing the question of whether or not I have a program?

Should I be setting up a program to follow? And if so, how long should it be(4 weeks, 6 weeks, etc.)?

Also, after doing some research there are MANY pitching programs for sale online. Is this what they are talking about for a “program” that I should be using? Purchase and follow?

I’m offering all my first couple lessons for free because I’m new to this. But when the parents and trainees start handing me money, I want to make sure I’m giving them the best possible services. And if I do need a training program for an allotted time, how do I keep my clients after the program is finished.

Thank you for the time in reading this! Any info you guys have is greatly appreciated, all the way from Hawaii! Mahalo Nui Loa(Thank You Very Much)!


#2

I would take the question of if you have a program as… have a plan.
Know what you want to teach and at what stage of the learning cycle. Write out what needs to be taught and figure out across how many lessons you can accomplish it. (Remember, you teach, the student needs to practice and perfect).
If you have your lesson plan in stages you can determine what stage to start in or what parts of that stage should be reinforced based on the individual.
Have specific drills that reinforce the lessons of that stage. etc. And tailor which drills, by individual, based on what they need most help perfecting…

And for gosh sake don’t be one of those instructors who sits on a bucket and catches while yelling… “you have to get more out front…” as their only value to the lesson.

Video tape, both to determine where student is and to establish a “plan” for them - from your overall program and to evaluate their progress.

I think it will take a little while to perfect how much and how quickly you go through the stages of your “Program” to determine what is most effective. You need to tailor things to be age appropriate while still being correct, think scale-able rather than different for youngsters, you don’t want to so simplify a movement as to make it incorrect, but you may need to work on how to simplify the language or be more visual.

Here’s also the question, how to teach correctly to really young ones without making them go backwards as much as the right movements often do until learned correctly. You don’t want to discourage so be incredibly positive. Stress changes are done and perfected in practice before they can be moved to the mound during a game.
It takes 20 weeks to change a behavior to make it an automatic motor skill.

Parents want to hear how their kid is doing… Be positive but honest on what they need to continue to work on. Discuss with the parent away from the kid and give Parent a reminder if they are going to help practice at home to be positive. This is not easy, if it was, everyone would do it :slight_smile:

Hope this helps.

PS. I do not give lessons, this advice comes from me working with my son’s and also that a major part of my job is training clients on software tools, so I need to develop training plans.


#3

I take private baseball lessons myself and I can say that my private baseball instructor doesn’t have a program for me (at least an online one). He just helps me with my mechanics and sometimes gives me some drills. I have my own online program that I do at home so to answer your question, I would say no you don’t need an online program for your private baseball lessons. I do know that there are people on this site that also give private lessons so I would check with one of them.


#4

I start out with a simple evaluation of the student and I offer no advice at all. I observe and keep quiet. I chart every “block” of 5 pitches on squares I’ve drawn on a piece of paper that represents the strike zone. I get a couple of velocity readings over the course of the evaluation after he gets loose. I record it on my phone for future comparison.

I give the student and the parent some homework. Some basic questions about what they hope to get out of the lessons. How much time, outside of lessons, are they willing to commit to improvement? They can’t compare notes. I will later let them know if they were aligned. Let’s put it this way, if they are aligned, I know they cheated. If they cheat out of the gate, I can tell they are not going to get much out of the lessons.

Then we come up with a next step and a timeline for that step to be ingrained/learned. It will not be mastered, but it will at least be a habit we can continue to refine as we keep moving the progress bar.

You won’t be able to put a time frame on a program because every pitcher is different and start out from a different place in their development.

We aren’t cutting cookies, we’re training pitchers.


#5

I totally get what you’re saying, thanks for the response. As a matter of fact, during my first lesson I was the guy on the bucket that you were talking about :sweat_smile: I think what I’m getting here is to break down what I expect to see from a pitcher with “good mechanics” and dissect them into trainable and actionable drills and lessons without being too intense on correction. Someone told me that I need to have written consent to film trainees, but I’ll need to look into that on my own.

I really appreciate the answer! Thank you!


#6

That’s kind of what I was hoping to do with my trainees, but realized I need at least a little bit of structure. May I ask how a typical private lesson goes for you? 10 min dynamic stretching? 25 pitch flat-ground? 20 min drill work? Does he take video of your progress? Etc. Etc.

Just curious on to what an established instructor does with their client, as I don’t really know any friends or family that takes private lessons

Thank you for the response!


#7

Hey Coach Paul, thanks for your answer!

It definitely sounds like you have this private lesson thing down! And if you don’t mind I’m probably going to adopt these strategies. I really like the one about the parent and student homework!

So far my first lesson consisted of me getting to know the parent, walking him through some dynamic stretches and showing him a structured throwing warm-up. I then caught a flat-ground with him seeing what pitches he had and if he could hit his spots. It would have payed to have a little more structure though, as I was kind of going on the fly. What does a typical lesson look like for you? I would love to learn more.

For me, the problem I noticed right away was that I wasn’t able to really see the kids mechanics except for in the front(since I was catching him). Do you right down the pitches in the block while you’re catching the kid? And if so, it seems like I would need some video reference from a different angle to really get to see the kid’s mechanics in motion.

Again, thanks for your response!


#8

I only tape the pitcher from the front or the side. I don’t get the pitch in the video frame. When I watch the pitches, I get behind a screen set up behind the catcher. Rarely do I catch. My son’s a catcher. You can have the parent catch, too. It usually keeps the unsolicited commentary to a minimum. The first lesson is running through dynamic warm up, a throwing session, and dynamic warm down. All future lessons, the pitcher is responsible to be warm before our time starts. Warm downs are also done on their own after the lesson. Focused drills and skills, a focused bullpen, and video review is a typical format. An email of our status and observations and the accuracy stats the next day.


#9

Good stuff Coach Paul! I like that format really well. Have you had any problems with parents about them catching or taking video?


#10

The younger the student, the more likely the Dad is going to catch the bullpen if you ask. You gotta play it by ear. Often a catcher will volunteer, if asked, just to get some work or to break in a new mitt, etc. Once the student starts throwing heat, the less likely a parent is going to catch the bullpen. There are also targets with strike zones painted on them. Sometimes I set up a batting tee and have the pitcher try to knock the ball off the tee.


#11

My lessons usually go something like this:

Option A: 30 min pitching lesson- Usually will start off playing catch and get my arm loose and all warmed up. After that, we start off with a drill to improve my mechanics. Once we do that, we start the pitching. My instructor and I will work on my mechanics now at game speed. We will also work on my pitches and improve my command and control for my fastball, changeup, and curveball. We also work on being able to maximize my movement while being able to control my curveball. While doing this we mix between the stretch and the windup.

Option B: 30 min batting lesson- Start off with some kind of hitting drill. Then we will move on to working with the tee to fix any issues. Then we move on to soft toss. Next, he will then throw some pitches working on my timing and hitting in different parts of the strike zone. While doing all this, he is analyzing me helping me with mechanics, timing, etc.

Option C: 1-hour pitching lesson- Kind of same as 30 min pitching lesson, just with more drills and more time to work on things (and cost more $ :sweat_smile:)

Option D: 1-hour batting lesson- same as 30 min batting lesson, more drills and more time to work on stuff, once again cost more $.

Option E: A 30-minute hitting lesson and 30-minute pitching lesson combined into one lesson.

Feel free to ask me any more questions about my lessons