Day 4 continues with “Paul Nyman Week: It’s A Bad Week To Be A Hitter”
In case you missed it earlier, let me get you caught up:
Intro: Every Coach Should Do This!
Prelude: Pitching Instruction: Form vs Function by Paul Nyman
Tuesday: Risk vs. Reward
Wednesday: Return on Training Time
Sit back and enjoy! It’s going to be an interesting day here at BaseballThinkTank!
Pitching Coach or Throwing Coach?
“I appreciate your honesty and have no problem with your assessment of pitching coaches in general. Easy targets, because, obviously, most pitching coaches are not what they are held out to be. Equally so, I see you as more of a conditioning/velocity coach than a pitching coach, who until you have been hired or fired on that merit are free to point all the fingers you want. I am a performance analyst who happens to coach pitchers.”
Is a response from a nationally known pitching instructional person to an email in which I said the following:
“But I will also be quite frank with you (a “trait” of mine that you will come to “appreciate”) that in the grand scheme of pitching instruction, I am a relative unknown. This combined with I also believe I know more about how the body throws and learns to throw a baseball than most “experts” creates and interesting “dilemma” for me (you?).”
I have a fairly extensive background in track and field. Track and field has several events that can be classified as throwing and object. The closest of which is the javelin throw. And a track and field team does not usually have a “javelin coach” per se.
There are “throwing events” coach, but not a javelin coach.
At a National Strength and Conditioning Seminar on Sport Specific Training for Baseball, the question was asked of the coaches round table discussion group as to their thoughts on the use of weighted implements. Dr Gene Coleman of the Houston Astro’s had a particularly interesting response to the question. He cited numerous examples of training to throw including how:
Nolan Ryan as a 15 years old was throwing a softball 330′ and then told by his coaches to stop doing this because he might hurt his arm.
Dr. Coleman also said that he asked track and field people (throwing events) what they did. He said they told him that they threw kettle ball, softballs with nails hammered into them, etc. He also said that they would increase their throwing distance by 50′ ore more during their 4 years in college, and…..
Major league baseball has a very poor record of increasing a player’s velocity once they are drafted.
And then went on to say (almost in contradiction to everything that he just previously said) that with the players that he works with they cannot take the risk of using these techniques (major league clubs have too much money invested in the players).
Something to THINK ABOUT:
I also find it interesting that some of the strongest arms in baseball belong to position players.
Yet, they receive virtually NO throwing instruction.
- All of which poses (to me anyways) several questions or should I say raises the issues of just what is a pitching coach??
- And are here or should there be really two types of coaches, a pitching coach who teaches the ‘art’ of pitching.
- And a throwing coach who teaches the science of maximizing your ability to throw a baseball?
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and let’s hear them.
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