I will admit it: I am a bit of a book worm.
To me, every problem that arises in life can be solved with a book or a class of some sort. Right now, my house is practically overflowing with books from the library. I find that I get as excited about going to the library as most people get about going to Disney.
Some things just can’t be learned easily through books, though. When I needed to learn how to change out the bulb for the headlight on my car, there’s Youtube for that. Unfortunately, I think this can put us in a little bit of a precarious situation when it comes to pitching.
You see, there are some amazing instructors out there and there are some really awful ones. The problem is, that ALL of them post on Youtube, social media, and Facebook, making it hard for athletes and parents to discern the good information from the bad. You don’t need any credentials to be able to post a video, so how can we be lifelong learners and continue to get the RIGHT information?
I will tell you what I do.
I am constantly in contact with other instructors across the country. I speak with them, I watch videos that they have created, and I even discuss my athletes with these other instructors at times. Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with the wonderful Bill Hillhouse and I realized that almost all great instructors share so many of the same qualities:
-They have pitched themselves at one point or another
-They study the game and the motion with fervor
-They do NOT teach every student of theirs exactly the same way. They allow for certain adjustments based on body type and comfort.
-They know at least a little about biomechanics and physics
-They are ALWAYS interested in learning and growing
This last component is EXTREMELY important. With every great instructor I have ever spoken to, there has been an exchange of ideas: it has never been a one-sided conversation. We want to help each other, and that’s how we continue to grow: not only as teachers, but as people.
So WHENEVER I have the opportunity to take a class on anatomy, biomechanics, corrective exercise, nutrition or skill development, I jump at the chance. Whenever I get a chance to speak with another coach about pitching, I jump at the chance. If that person is close-minded and has been teaching the same method for years and years, then I know I have the option of not using or sharing the information that they use. Fortunately, at this time, I have been able to learn from so many amazing coaches and I never plan on stopping. Here are some basic concepts that I find all great pitching coaches utilize:
-Straight, efficient circle
-Use of the powerline
-Compact glove side
-A landing that facilitates the best position for the knee and foot
-Emphasis on ball rotation
-The desire to create a well-rounded athlete through cross-training as opposed to pitching year round without a break
-Emphasis on pushing your limits
-Emphasis on personal development (for both the coach and the player)
Don’t know what some of these things are? That’s okay! Email me and let’s start a dialogue
In the meantime, be constant students of your craft. Strive to only learn from the best. Because of the internet, you have the opportunity to work with the best coaches in the world remotely! I personally do video consultations and have online programs and I know that many other good instructors do too. Don’t settle for less!
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