When pitchers come here they are looking for one thing…results! Well we are delivering! So far every pitcher that has come to The Baseball Mission and had AT LEAST 4 lessons has increased AT LEAST 12% in velocity. The way I measure this is simple, I get a reading when you first start with me and then go by the LAST reading with me. Many of these pitchers are still with me, but the major gains have already taken place. Now we are fine tuning the mechanics and working on the mental aspect. The largest increase was when high school pitcher came in throwing 53 mph! His whole team’s pitching staff was here and the coach asked if I would look at this kid. So I did. Told him to shorten his stride. He did it and immediately gained 12 mph. That is right, he SHORTENED his stride and gained 12 mph. He was collapsing bad and striding way too far. He had no ability to transfer energy to his upper body to deliver the arm. Then I told him to try and brace up and showed him what I meant. Boom, 7 more mph! I have NEVER had a more coachable kid in my life! By the time we were done, he went from 53 mph to 77 mph in 20 minutes and it was witnessed by two coaches, 8 parents and 6 pitchers.
My youth pitchers are averaging increases of 12% to 40% with one going up last week from 25 mph to 40 mph. Folks, I demand results and am able to get it out of the kids, come on in and find out how.
Here is an update on Cameron. He is now throwing over 80 mph and look at the differences that he has achieved so far! I have been very proud of the work ethic that Cameron has and the coachability that he displays. There are MANY talented players that will never make it because they are not coachable. They think they are great and refuse to listen to constructive criticism. Cameron is not like that. We are continuing to work and I have no doubt that he will be completely ready for his senior season to begin and will turn some heads with his new found mechanics.
Cameron is the latest major transformation and I must say up front, we are not finished. He still has a lot of work to do on his arm angles and especially his flexibility. I currently have over 70 students and last night was just amazed at what this young man’s determination has done for him. He had been taking lessons for quite a while at another business and was suggested to come to me after a recent college showcase. I am going to let the comparison pictures speak for themselves because this transformation has taken place in just 3 visits!!! The first picture shows what we changed the very first night. I don’t understand how someone could accept this as “okay”! I won’t get into everything wrong, but you can see the drastic change. Hip/shoulder separation is also obvious from the front angle of first impact in the 1st picture. I remember going over the video for the first time with him and his mother and Cameron asked me, “So is this why my elbow hurts every time I throw?” Yes it is. But look at the second picture. We are now using our legs!!! Elbow has come down considerably and we still have some work to do on our arm angles, but I have no doubt he will get there. The third and fourth pictures are showing the release. This young man has shown an amazing amount of drive and determination to perfect his pitching mechanics because he wants to move to the next level and being a high school senior…he was running out of time and this was a necessity after his last showcase and recommendation from the coaches.
Isaiah is a high school sophomore. I have taken on their high school pitching staff as their trainer. I am doing their strength and conditioning training as well as their pitching mechanics and I get to see them every other Saturday. The first time I videoed Isaiah, his elbows were HIGH at impact. This is evident in the first pic and the second pic from the side and something not evident in that first picture is the 4′ stride length. There was NO hip/shoulder separation and the two rotated together at the same speed. Weight was well back and all I could think of is “his poor elbows”. We got to work and in just two weeks I was amazed at his progress. He spent a LOT of time working on this at home just like I showed him and he got it right!!! Folks, this is what it takes to get to the next level, determination. The comparison picture is actually what he looks like now. His ball speed has increased over 10 mph and his movement is now so drastic that his catchers had a hard time catching the first few pitches. You should have heard the catchers going off about this movement! There were about 20 people in the facility that day and several started gathering around the nets just to watch. Congrats Isaiah!!!!
The first picture is Austin’s first time on the mound with any kind of seriousness. He is 7 years old and was not able to play ball this year due to a broken arm. He came to me a few days ago and said, “I want to learn how to pitch so I will be better than everyone else when I am 9.” So with a beautiful day like today, we did it here at the house. Once on the mound I told him to show me what he thinks a pitcher should look like when they throw.
The first screen shot is his very first pitch off the mound. I honestly have never seen anyone get their foot in that position. After watching him throw a few, I knew exactly what we needed to do first. Balance is one of the most important aspects of pitching and his body was going in 3 different directions. So we did nothing but two drills (I am not big on drills unless necessary) for 20 minutes without throwing a single ball and here are the results. Well balanced, a lot more compact and picked up 10% velocity in the first session from 27.7 mph to 30.9 mph. The tracking software figured it for me on MotionPro, I didn’t shoot him with a radar gun.
As an update on Austin. He turned 8 years old at the end of June and has been clocked as high as 43 mph. His mechanics are looking real good and solid. We will start putting a lot more work into his pitching mechanics in another year or so. But for now we ONLY work on hitting. No pitching at all. After hitting 5 home runs this fall…he enjoys that a little more!