Most pitchers struggle to develop efficient pitching mechanics, and will never throw as hard as they should is simple… They over-think any and everything and are never taught how to FEEL it for themselves. Once you FEEL it for yourself, you never forget it.
Here’s the most powerful pitching lesson I could ever give you… In fact – what I’m about to share with you, is nothing I would wish on my worst enemy.
Looking back I must have been out of my mind, literally, to take the coaching route I took.
I’d just graduated from Morehead State and began doing a few pitching lessons here and there…. Before - finally taking a job selling fitness equipment in Baltimore for all of 10 weeks.
The next thing you know, I was back in KY with my little girl, heading to work at 5:30 am and getting home around 7 pm while my mom, watched my daughter. I was miserable. This wasn’t how I envisioned my life.
Two years pass and now my daughter is four years old and I’m the volunteer assistant, working with one of my childhood friends.
I’d already decided by midway through the year, I couldn’t continue to coach. Although, I loved every long hour I spent on the field, I always felt guilty because here I was, a single Dad leaving my 3-year old daughter at home to be watched by her grandmother, while her Dad was scraping up change from between the seats – Just to bring home dinner from the $1 McDonalds menu.
Looking back on that time in my Life, it was obvious I didn’t really believe in myself and whenever you don’t believe in yourself, Life will eat you up. It’s obvious to everyone around you. It’s human instinct to view people the way they view themselves.
It’s hard to out run, how you see your self.
But – That would soon change. Later that Spring I can remember waking up wondering what I was going to do for the rest of the summer and by the end of the night, I would go to bed knowing exactly what I was going to do for the rest of my LIFE.
While watching a KY state tournament game being played at the field I was volunteering, I met Luther Bramblett. Luther was the head coach at St. Catharine College.
After talking nothing but pitching for nine innings, he offered me the pitching job at St. Catharine.
I can still remember my Mom asking me if I was crazy for even considering working for $350 a month, while living inside a 12x15 dorm room…. But – she was there for me every step of the way, happy to help with my four-year old daughter any time I had to go on the road.
But – I knew it was the right thing, it was the only thing.
I knew it because I realized the only time I felt comfortable, at total piece, was on the baseball field coaching. It was my passion. The baseball field was my sanctuary and no matter how tough it was being a single dad, I was at total peace when it was time for baseball.
A year passes and I meet my (now) wife Mandy while working part-time at a boys home to help make ends meet on my nine month - $5000 coaching stipend. Besides- my job didn’t offer health insurance and let’s just say that’s tough when you’ve got a little one.
But – she was there every step of the way, encouraging me to stick with it and providing me with the power and support to live my dream.
Another year passes and I’m once again, faced with a decision that any sane person would never stop to even consider twice.
I was offered yet another volunteer position at Lipscomb University, this time with a wife and a five year old daughter.
And I said yes.
So – we packed up what little we had, and headed to Nashville.
By this time in my career, I’d made a total of $11,000 dollars coaching full time, year around, for the past four years. But – I loved it. And like most coaches, we don’t do what we do for the money.
After just one year, there was a coaching change and a new coach was hired. I had no idea what was going to happen to me, and to be honest, I thought my career was over.
But – I was lucky.
Lucky enough that Jeff Forehand decided to keep me around as his pitching coach, and even better – pay me to do it.
I was not only a full time NCAA D1 coach - I was actually getting paid. From there, everything got so much easier. Our teams made some good runs, we ranked at the top of the conference in pitching and had several pitchers drafted.
I would eventually coach college baseball for another five years before moving my family back to chase another career goal – working with MLB pitchers. I can remember meeting my first four pro clients – Nick Tropeano – Caleb Cotham – Neil Ramirez and Trevor Holder.
Three of those four would eventually make it to the Majors.
Looking back, I’m not sure that I would make the same decisions again… But – when I really stop to think about it, it all started with me believing in myself
And just as importantly –
It was the people around me believing in me, standing next to me whenever I questioned my decision to coach… Because had it not been for my support system, there’s no chance I’d be able to do what I do.
So, when I step on stage to speak this January at the ABCA in front of 7,000 + baseball coaches…
I’ve got a long list of people to thank. It starts with the most important people in my Life, my family and God, and continues down a long list of coaches and players who allow me to wake up every single day and pinch myself to make sure that I’m not dreaming.
In closing, these Used Pitching Lessons are your to take:
Believe. Believe in yourself. Nobody will ever believe in you, if you don’t.
Be Selfless. Realize it takes a village to raise a child and several villages to raise a coach.
Never let a day go by, that you don’t at least personally thank one of those that were selfless enough to help you.
And last but not least…. Do what you love and don’t let anyone ever tell you, “You can’t”….
Join me at one of my upcoming camps and I’ll share with you and your son everything I’ve learned and teach only behind closed doors… simply because I can’t risk it getting out to other coaches.
Trust what you FEEL!
FEEL how to engage the lower-half to generate consistent velocity from the ground up while reducing the stress on your arm.
If you're struggling with locating your fastball, or any pitch for that matter, it's because you can't FEEL the difference between a ball and a strike.
Until a pitcher can FEEL the difference between hurt and sore it's going to almost impossible to have an effective arm care program.
Develop the foundational patterns and habits which build confidence and a love for the game that will last a lifetime.