Listen close… What I’m about to tell you is very important.

Learning to throw harder with better command is EASY.

Yup. It’s true, and I’ll stand behind that.

Now I’m NOT talking about mastering your craft and becoming the absolute BEST pitcher you can be. That, my friends, is HARD. That takes work… Lots and lots of it.. Years and years of it, in fact. It’s the ideal. And there’s nothing more rewarding in the long run.

But for short-term velocity gains or quick improvement in control/command? For 97% of aspiring pitchers out there, that’s a cinch.

For instance.

Take a kid who doesn’t throw very hard. Show him some good drills to work on leading with his hips, engaging his back leg.

Then spend some time working on it for 10 minutes for next 7 days.

Just 10 minutes…

EVERY DAY for the next week.

In 7 days, if he isn’t throwing with more power and velocity, shoot me an email an I’ll send you $5.

Or if a kid’s wild and lacks control. Two likely causes…

[h5]Issue # 1:He can’t even come CLOSE to repeating his delivery.[/h5] [h5]Issue #2:He hasn’t built up the volume of throws to learn what throwing a well-located pitch FEELS like.[/h5]

Very easy to address both of these…

[h1]Addressing issue #1:[/h1]

Work on improving his foundation with dynamic balance drills. Your mechanics work from the ground up. If you’re sloppy with your foundation, what do you think happens by the time momentum works it’s way up the chain?

[h4]Step 1) 5 minutes of dynamic balance work (working on controlling your body & CONNECTION with the ground)[/h4]

 

pitching-balance-drill

 

[h4]Step 2) 5 minutes working on your pitching delivery. Focus on being CONSISTENT.[/h4]

mirror-pitching-motion

 

REPEAT EVERY DAY for the next 7 days.

Again, just 10 minutes a day. You can do more if you want, but that’s the minimum, and you WILL see results if you do this.

[h1]Addressing Issue #2:[/h1]

You need to spend more time throwing to a target. Learning what it feels like to hit a spot… And repeating until it gets hard-wired into your nervous system (that’s how Greg Maddux could hit the catcher’s glove with his eyes closed).

Now here’s the thing. It’s the quality throws that matter most. Seeing the ball hit the glove, and remembering what that feels like. If you’re hitting the glove 1 out of 16 times, it’s gonna take a LOT of throws to build that muscle memory.

But there’s a way to shortcut this process.

[h3]Here’s what you do…[/h3]

(this is one technique I’ve been using with my remote coaching guys, and the results are awesome)

1. Take video from behind the pitcher (from over his throwing shoulder). Be sure to get at least one well-located fastball (you can do the same for his changeup, curve, slider, or whatever other pitches he throws)

2. Take the best pitch from that video and cut it out into a separate clip. 

3. Loop it so it plays over and over (recommend ~10 times). 

[h3]Then here’s what you need to DO with that video if you’re a pitcher to DRAMATICALLY improve your command.[/h3]

1. Watch this video for 5 minutes. 

 

pitching-video-visualization

 

2. Close your eyes and play it over and over in your mind for 5 minutes. 

Pay attention to what it looks like. Get inside your delivery and focus on what it feels like hitting that spot.

REPEAT EVERY DAY for 7 days before you go to sleep. 

Here’s what one of my remote coaching pitchers said:

“Hi Phil, everything is going well. I have been watching the videos and I have been visualizing every day, and when I threw a bullpen yesterday I noticed an improvement in my control, with all my pitches.”

Again, 10 minutes a day is all it takes.

EASY.

So why do so many pitchers struggle to throw harder or improve command? If it’s so easy, why wouldn’t everybody do this?

Good question.

[h5]Answer: Because it’s also easy NOT to do it.[/h5]

You have a choice. You can decide you want to get better and put in the extra bit of work every day (and be diligent about it). Or you can decide it’s not worth the effort and spend 10 minutes watching TV or goofing off on the [computer/phone/ipad].

The choice is yours. I can’t make it for you. Your coaches, teachers, parents can’t make it for you. You have to WANT it.

Doing the thing that needs to be done is EASY.

But it’s also easy NOT to. Don’t fall into that trap.

Until next time…

Committed to Your Pitching Success,

Coach Phil

Pitch counts…

Do they matter?

Absolutely.

And as a general rule, I’d say following the PitchSmart guidelines are a good start.

But they’re just that. A start.

Because (like anything) you have to factor in the big picture.

Here’s what most “pitch counts” don’t tell you…

They don’t tell you how STRESS-ful those pitches were.

How tough were the conditions? Did the pitcher have to battle and grind through it, or did he cruise?

I probably don’t have to tell you this, but 30 pitches in ONE inning is a LOT tougher on your arm than 30 pitches spread over 3 easy innings (with rest in between).

Plus, a “pitch count” doesn’t tell you anything about whether the pitcher’s putting added stress on his arm due to mechanical inefficiencies?

They don’t tell you anything about real FATIGUE…

(studies have shown pitching with fatigue increases the risk of injury 36x!)

But what if there was a way to measure all of these things in REAL time?

That would be cool…

And guess what, it’s getting closer to reality every day.

In fact, there’s a new motion sensor technology out there, maybe you’ve seen it.

Will Carroll called it “The Sleeve That Could Save Baseball”.

It’s the Motus mThrow sleeve (and motion sensor system).

And it’s not just about the sleeve. The iOS app allows you to easily track and analyze all of this data…

Things like force on the UCL (that’s the Tommy John ligament), workload, arm slot, shoulder rotation.

Very cool stuff.

If you’re a parent or coach, imagine having a whole new level of insight into the state of your pitcher’s arm.

Or, if you’re an instructor… Well, the possibilities are endless.

Imagine being able to verify in real time whether a mechanical adjustment was leading to increased velocity while ALSO reducing stress on the arm…

So why am I going on about this?

As much as I wish I’d invented this device, I didn’t (you could lock me and 100 monkeys in a room for a year and we wouldn’t come anywhere close to figuring out how this stuff works).

So I’ve teamed up with the folks at Motus for an exclusive One-Time Offer.

Enter To Win Your Own mThrow Sleeve Complete Package

This package normally retails for $169… Here’s your chance to get the mThrow sleeve (along with the Magic Blue Doohickey) completely free. 

A winner will be drawn (at random) next Wednesday, June 3rd.

Take 2 seconds to Enter Now before you get sidetracked

Until next time…

Committed to Your Pitching Success,

Coach Phil

Wow… didn’t expect THAT to happen…

Yesterday I sent you a short “Coaching Youth Pitchers” survey…

Here’s a snippet from that email in case you missed it:

Do you work with young pitchers (ages 12 and below)?

I'm working on putting together some new HIGH-Value (and fr-ee) content for you... But first, I want to make sure it's something you can actually USE.

Please take 1-2 minutes (tops) to fill out this short survey:

Working With Young Pitchers Survey

Here's what you need to do:

  • Fill it out
  • Hit "Done"...
  • And I'll get right to work on the new guide or free video series

Simple... Your responses will dictate what I put together!

Thanks so much for your support!

Coach Phil

With the goal of giving you some HIGH-quality information you can put to use right away if you’re a youth baseball coach or parent.

Apparently this is something a LOT of you are interested in.

I’ve heard from over 130 of you so far (and the responses are still coming in)!

[h4]You even made me UPGRADE my survey software![/h4]

(Apparently I was limited to 100 responses, but you quickly blew right thru that #…)

Doh!!! Looks like I’m out $26 bucks this month… (note to self: switch to Google forms)

Oh well, a small price to pay for getting all of your feedback – your comments have blown me away!

And as far as what topic you want to cover (I threw out 4 options), the data backs up your commentary…

Basically, you’d like to see it ALL…

I got comments like, “The above was very hard as they are really all #1’s,” and “All topics from question 3 would be really good.”

You speak, I listen.

Just got back from the facility after shooting a slew of new videos for you…

More to come… stay tuned. 

Committed to Your Pitching Success,

Coach Phil

 

PS - Since this post was initially published, I've gone through ALL of the (close to 200) survey responses... And based on your input, I've put together a free resource to help you in your work with young pitchers (older pitchers, too).

CLICK BELOW for a FREE Youth Pitching Lesson Framework

youth-pitching-lesson

Download Your Free Youth Pitching Program

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