Are You Being Misguided In Your Pitching Instruction?

Pitching Mechanics Week
September 18, 2011
Pitching Mechanics: Throwing From The Windup
September 21, 2011

Last week while I was working with an athlete I asked him, “How do you know that what I’m teaching you is the correct way to pitch?” His answer was, “Because you’re a coach”

That comment sums up a problem and thus the topic of this email. How do you really know if the instruction your son is receiving is actually what the guys in the Big Leagues are doing? The only way to know for sure is to educate yourself on proper mechanics. And since this is pitching mechanics week, I’ll address it from a pitching perspective.

Here are a few things to make sure you’re doing on a regular basis to verify your athlete is receiving valuable and accurate instruction:

  1. Review a ton of pitching clips wherever you can find them. I have been using this channel on YouTube for the purpose of our own continued education as well as reference in our emails. We suggest you do the same and compare it with what you are learning from the coaching your son is receiving. If it doesn’t match up, time to find a new coach.
  2. Ask a lot of questions of your coaches. One good one is to ask where power comes from as a pitcher. If you’ve been reading our emails you’d know that power comes from leading with the hips and the usage of torque upon foot strike. It’s okay to question the instruction coaches gives. If done in the right manner it will show a coach you care about understanding his or her approach to teaching mechanics. Just take the answers from the questions you ask and review the teaching with what MLB pitchers are doing.
  3. Along the lines of the first point I made, you must keep up your own learning. I have a dad who jumps in the cage and wants to do the movements along with his son in order to make sure he understands as well. I think that is great on multiple levels. It shows his son he cares, and it will allow him to model the correct movements when they both are away practicing at home.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to make sure you are an active learner in your quest to understand pitching mechanics. There is nothing like having your son find out in middle school that he’s been learning the wrong skills for a half dozen years.

Honestly, this issue was what inspired Dan and I to produce our Pitching Series. We wanted to make sure that you had access to instruction that you could watch and then teach to your athlete or team.

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