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FEEL What It’s Like To Throw More Strikes, Literally!

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  1. Drew says:

    Lantz,

    I absolutely love the concept. The comparison to basketball makes perfect sense. I’m going to try this today, thanks for all your free tips. My son and I check your site daily, keep up the work. You’re way ahead of most coaches I have encountered with your thought process and your ability to keep even the most complex info simple and easy to read.

    Thanks again,
    Drew

  2. Zita Carno says:

    Lantz, this is something similar to what I observed my pitching coach do one time when he was dealing with a pitcher who had suddenly lost his feel for his curveball and who consequently couldn’t throw it. I made a mental note of it, and recently on the website (LTP) I’m on a lot I addressed this problem for a young pitcher who had similarly lost the feel of his curveball (and why is it always the curveball?) I started out by telling the guy to get off the mound, sit down on a bench, and just pick up a baseball and FEEL it. I told him to feel the surface of the ball, feel the seams—really get the sense of the ball, let it talk to him. Next, I told him to get up on the mound and simulate throwing a curveball without releasing it, just get the feel of the pitch. And finally, I said that the next bullpen session he threw he should throw ten to fifteen curveballs, continuing to experience the sense of the pitch.
    Simple—but it helped.

    • Lantz says:

      Zito,

      That’s awesome. You’re right on. I’ve tried similar things for pitchers and had positive results. I like your concept of actually feeling the pitch without throwing, that’s good stuff.

      Thanks Zito,
      Lantz

  3. Mike Corn says:

    Lantz,

    Legend has it, Ozzie Smith practiced a “feel” routine from short stop. He would move to different spots on the left side and make throws to first base with his eyes closed. I have attempted this with laughable results.

    The mechanical aspect of baseball is so over-taught. We really try to teach in a conceptual manner here at Columbia State. I strongly feel that it is a big part of our success. If the desired outcome and intent is correct, the body will eventually adjust to accomplish the task.

    • Lantz says:

      Mike,

      That’s awesome! I totally agree that the mechanical aspect is way over-taught. Great point about outcome and intent. Give the body a specific goal and it will organize itself to accomplish the goal. That’s why I like to start at the end and work backwards. When guys miss or struggle to throw strikes, we tend to think fix the mechanics and it will fix the release.

      I think it’s the opposite. Fix the release and it fixes the mechanics.

      Thanks Mike,

      Lantz

  4. Zita Carno says:

    Lantz—by the way, my first name ends with an A, not an O.
    One thing my pitching coach told me which I’ve never forgotten: “Trust your stuff.” This is something I’ve always kept in mind; I adopted it as a sort of mantra that I said to myself when I took the mound. It served me well over the two-plus decades that I pitched.

    • Lantz says:

      Zita,

      Great post, apologize for the misspelling. I agree, trusting your stuff is critical. Guys that don’t, never stand a chance.

  5. Trey Saulters says:

    Thanks Lantz, will be incorporating this in my pitching lessons. By the way, Dawson said he wants to start going to your camps. You’ve always been his favorite pitching coach!

    • Lantz says:

      Trey,

      Good to hear from you! How’s Dawson doing, still remember him in full uni at camp, awesome!!

      Tell him I said hello and would love to have you guys up here on Music City.

      Stay in touch and let me know if I can help.

      Lantz

      • Trey Saulters says:

        Ha! Yep, he’s always serious about ball. He’s doing great. Playing ball in Shreveport now. Still starting middle infield, but I’m getting him in on some middle relief. He still remembers everything you taught him. It’s amazing man. Hope all is well. I’ll stay in touch.

  6. Kyle Wolf says:

    Thanks for this article! It validated a lot of my own thoughts. There are mechanical checkpoints in order to pitch effectively. However, getting to those checkpoints is as diverse as the people we’re coaching. They have to FEEL what is correct for them. Best pitching advice I’ve received: “the ball will go where you throw it!” It sounds simple and almost comical, but when everything is boiled down, nothing is closer to the foundation of pitching. If you can “feel it” the ball will go where you throw it.

    Thanks for your work and great info!

    • Lantz says:

      Kyle,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. Yeah, you’re right on, love the thought, it’s dead on!!

      No doubt, you’ve got to FEEL it. Until you can, good luck.

      Thanks again,
      Lantz

  7. Chase says:

    Awesome article! I remember some of the arms you had at Lipscomb, ridiculous!

    One of my guys came out and trained with you from Seattle and loved it!! He’s got a chance this year and just wanted to say thanks, he’s a different guy!

    Keep up the good work, light years ahead of anyone else out there!

    Chase

    • Lantz says:

      Chase,

      Thanks man, appreciate the kind words. Yeah, I liked him. Will be anxious to see him in action. Heard it’s been good so far.

      Thanks again,
      Lantz

  8. Lantz,

    I love the concept of what Coach Robichaux is teaching and obviously his success speaks for itself. I always find it interesting when an old school Coach who kept learning and growing as a Coach can relate to today’s young pitchers.
    So much of what is taught today is what I call the naked eye theory. They train pitchers like they are choreographing a dance routine. We do get caught up way too much on mechanics too early instead of teaching pitching like we would any other subject, How to do it first.

    I think most coaches teach pitching backwards. When I start working with a new pitcher I teach the emotional and mental aspects of pitching first. When they develop their own personal pitching mindset and start to develop a deep understanding of what pitching is and what pitching feels like then the physical aspects are a lot easier to teach and feel for the pitcher.

    It is amazing to me why I get so much push back from old school coaches on this. They still think that you just have the natural ability to overcome you mental shortcomings when I believe we should teach the Mindset side of pitching first.

    I appreciate you information and your insight.

    Thanks,
    Darrell

  9. Lantz says:

    Darrell,

    Thanks for taking the time to comment. I like your thought process and appreciate you sharing, as always!

    Lantz

  10. DanDan says:

    Great stuff Lance. I also teach by “feel” and believe mechanics along with the words “pitch count” are the most useless, overused words in baseball today.

    • Lantz says:

      Thanks Dan,

      I can’t take credit, Tony Robichaux was the first to introduce the concept to me. Hope things are good at WKU and the next time you’re close by, let’s get together and talk pitching.

      Lantz

  11. Chuck Hall says:

    Sir, I have a son who is 11 and he is athletic. He has a very good arm but is not used in game pitching because of some control issues. He is very aware and has a good move to first and third (lead offs are legal in our league). Anyway, he can throw hard but quickly loses ‘control’. I think it is concentration… but to be honest… when I stumbled on your web information it hit me that this may be something we should look at. I will be honest.. I just read through two articles and am not up to speed on the whole concept. I guess there are so many quick money schemes I thought I would just write real quickly to see if you could at least give a quick moment to me. I have not bought in yet… but again, I am writing this without having been able to research. I thought I would get the E-mail in as soon as possible to see if in fact I hear back from you. We live in Wisconsin and are in a State baseball league. It would help my son as well as our team if I can get him more consistent. He plays basketball and football (QB) and I believe (I think this is your point) that he is over thinking every pitch. As soon as you are thinking, in my opinion, you are now forcing it and ‘steering’ it as opposed to throwing it. When he plays outfield, he can throw the ball pinpoint to the base or cut off… and again.. I think this is your point, because he knows without thinking how it should come off his hand just by his natural ‘feel’. I associate it when I throw a ball a long distance, I automatically can hit the glove target without having a slide rule. So, I guess if this is what you are saying… then I guess the next step is for me to get the reveal on how to teach this… and what drills. I have not yet decided what our next step is. I would appreciate your input?? I am very sorry to take your time with such a long E-mail… but as you can tell , I am a thinker… and I don’t want to make a poor choice here. Thanks very, very much, even if you cannot answer. I believe that you taking the time to write as much as you did is helpful! I wish you the best! Thanks again. (My son is very small for his age but as I said, has a very good arm and is an athletic kid. In other words, he is a good shooter in basketball.. and has thrown some very nice passes in football. He plays every position in baseball as well… and I say that just because I think he is the prime example of a person that this would work for? Thanks again!! Chuck

    • Chuck,

      You are right no with your thinking. You touched on several points, one that you failed to mention, is the fact that too often, we as pitching coaches blame everything on mechanics and that’s often the problem.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment,

      Lantz

  12. Gabe says:

    I was a bad baseball player as a kid…week armed…scared at the plate. IO only played two years…then went on to play soccer and football…Career highlight was I actually game in a game playing wide receiver at Auburn.

    Now I have 3 kids…all hate football. I started coaching by son in baseball at age 6. He was about as bad as I was. My arm was so bad I couldn’t throw batting practice because everything was a ball. I kept trying though and as I have learned some stuff about pitching my BP abilities have improved..and my son has also gotten pretty good at throwing strikes. He is only 11. We play the 7 pitch game. We have played it for 4 years now pretty frequently…I am coming around to this philosophy that at some point the mechanics are bullshit. Sure some basic stuff is important, but I feel the strikes now too when I throw BP and it seems my son does too. So after years of looking at mechanics videos I stumbled upon your stuff…I am intrigued! I’m trying to develop another practice tool that seems to help besides the 7 pitch game…I’m stealing you colored zone concept. Thank you!

  13. Jamie Sexton says:

    I’ve never put a consistent delivery with “feel” together. Will certainly work more for a “feel” with throwing strikes instead of mechanics.

  14. Linda says:

    very imformative
    ty

  15. Joe says:

    Thank you! Using for my college guys.

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