20
Aug
2014

Youth Pitching Rotation

Youth Pitching Rotation
I coached a high school feeder program team for 10 years between my two boys and during that time learned the importance of developing a pitching rotation for my team. There are numerous reasons this is important, but to me the most important one is to save youth pitching arms! My whole point in developing a rotation was to make sure I didn’t overuse any of the pitchers. I developed a rotation of who was going to pitch when and stuck to it no matter what, sacrificing many wins over the years. Also children develop at varying speeds, so that boy that wasn’t as good as a youth may end up being the star down the road. Giving them an opportunity to pitch when they are younger will be a big benefit for them down the road. ...
28
Jul
2014

Unique-Sports: Pitching Aids

Unique-Sports: Pitching Aids
Having been practicing with my son and been a youth baseball coach for 15 years now, I have run across various baseball training aids and have mixed reviews on the effectiveness of them. I also see players struggle with various baseball skills and then run across a training aid that helps with it. One I ran into a few years ago is the Designated Hitter. The Designated Hitter is an approximately 5 foot 10 inch hitting dummy that will stand in the batters box for the pitcher to use during their bullpen session or pre-game warm ups. ...
17
Jun
2014

Unique Perspective: Practice Pitching Mounds

Unique Perspective: Practice Pitching Mounds
In the last few years I have discovered the benefits of using a practice portable pitching mound. A regulation high school or professional pitching mound is to be raised 10 inches higher than home plate. A practice-pitching mound is only raised 4 inches above home plate (or ground level). The dimensions of a typical practice-pitching mound are 4 inches high by 3 feet deep by 3 feet wide. You can get “game” portable pitching mounds much closer to the regulation dimensions of a real pitching mound, however the big difference between these and a practice mound is price. A practice mound can be purchased in the $300-$400 range and a portable game pitching mound will be in the $800-$3,000 price range. ...
28
Jan
2014

Baseball: Effective Pitching

Baseball: Effective Pitching
Different Baseball PitchesIn the sport of baseball, there is so much more to pitching than just throwing a ball to the batter. A lot of behind-the-scenes planning and practicing their craft must happen for a pitcher to become effective. In addition to learning and perfecting many different types of pitches, a pitcher must also work with the rest of his team to stop bases from being stolen and just be generally aware of where the other team’s base runners are at all times.Each type of pitch the pitcher throws differs in velocity, trajectory, movement, hand position, wrist position, and possibly arm angle. These pitches are usually just very slight variations on how the pitcher grips the ball at the point of release, however a big difference is made in how the ball crosses the base for the batter.Coaches are typically the ones who decide what pitch to use at any given time, they then relay the decision to the catcher via hand signals, and the catcher in turn relays the pitch choice to...
12
May
2013

Indoor practice mounds, cold weather state necessary evil

Purchasing an indoor practice pitching mound is a very large investment.  Most successful youth, high school, or college programs have these mounds for indoor practice.  If you are fortunate enough to be in a warmer weather state you can invest this money elsewhere, however in those cold weather states it is a necessary evil!  A good indoor practice mound will cost a program over $1,000, but as pitchers get older it is very critical when they are practicing pitching they use a mound.  Practicing pitching in the off-season is critical and to properly work on mechanics you need to pitch off of a mound.  It is typical that at the age of 13 kids will start pitching off mounds for games.  Up until that point they are throwing off of flat ground, so an indoor mound is not necessary.  Once a child starts using a mound, throwing off flat ground is not nearly as effective.  Simulating throwing "downhill" off the mound for practice is critical.  It...
24
Apr
2013

Protecting young arms

Being a youth baseball coach comes with a lot of responsibilities, being a good role model, teaching fundamentals, and teaching respect.  There are a lot of youth coaches that excel in those areas and then fail to protect the players from future injury. Having been a youth pitcher and pitching all the way through college, I learned quite a bit about taking care of the pitching arm.  Unfortunately for me my high school coach didn’t understand this and caused a lot of arm problems for me, however I learned from it.  As a youth coach developing a deep pitching staff is very important.  This coupled with making sure your desire to win doesn’t outweigh the safety of your pitching staff are keys at protecting young arms.  I have developed a rotation of 7 pitchers to make sure I never overuse any single pitcher.  Anyone that says they are not talented enough to develop that deep of pitching is kidding himself or herself.  I also adhere to strict...