The team was jekyl and hyde at times. At one point the record was 4-8 but we ended with an 18-14 mark. Slade pitched the first game in the regional where we were the #4 seed out of 4 teams. He threw a CG and beat the #1 team 3-1. Threw 88 pitches, 62 strikes, 5 ks, 4 hits, no walks and 1 ER. Shocked the caps off the the other team as they were looking into sectional play and didn’t think we would give them a game. They did beat us twice during the season combined score of 26 to 1. So I guess I don’t blame them for not thinking we would beat them but that’s what makes this game so great! here is a link to the story in the local paper. Confident Myers pitches SHS past SHG to regional championship game – Springfield, IL – The State Journal-Register Paul
Just wanted to let you know that Slader’s team was rated 4th in their 4 team regional and upset the #1 team by a score of 3 to 1 on a complete game by Slade. This team beat us twice during the regular season with runs totaling 26 to 1 over both games. This was the teams’ first post-season victory in 10 years! They were so pumped and excited! Slade through 86 pitches, 62 strikes, 5 Ks, no walks, giving up just 4 hits to this high-powered offense. Not sure about velocity but a week ago a guy said he was definitely in the low 80’s and could be 85-86 range at tops! (Slade was gunned at 69 last summer before the video analysis.) His curve was described as “nasty” by team members of the second game looking on. Wish us well Saturday in the finals! Paul
Nice start to his HS career!!
Thanks Brenen, We’ve talked about that in the videos of his bullpen work. He sees it and knows it’s not correct. I guess we chose a few battles and with a little more work I think he will get back to the sideways motion without the extra rotation. Now we have to deal with his coach telling him to break his hands earlier….uhg. Paul
Hey everyone, Just wanted to post a clip from Slader’s video analysis and a bullpen session from February to let you see the changes. He has improved a bit more since this bullpen session and during his first start on Saturday in the 2nd game of a DH, we lost the first game 14-0, he had 7 K’s in 3 innings of work. He wasn’t getting the corners, well no pitcher was, and his pitch count was up due to walks in the 1st inning and was taken out after 3 IP leading 4-2. He is a different pitcher from last year. Still have a little more work on early rotation but his bracing, posting-foot position, driving off the rubber and weight-shift are much improved. Thanks! Paul clip from video analysis
YouTube – millsanalysisclip2.wmv
Feb bullpen session.
YouTube – preseasonbullpen.wmv
Slade’s pitching coach told all pitchers he wants them to work on pushing off from the edge corner of the rubber with the foot angled (like Koufax explains). This is the exact thing that when the coach saw Slade pitching this way last year he told Slade that “nobody pitches like that”. Slade almost had a cow when he heard this last night. The coach said he just learned about this technique this past summer. If he has joined the forum I welcome you to the Mills family. Just a little covering my backside as I did share the free information from Dick last year with him. Paul
Thanks for sharing and keep working! Paul
As follow-up to Dick..s request to start a new topic on Slade..s progress after a video analysis in September I must start by saying how much of an idiot I felt after I realized we had not been using the DVD..s in over 6 months as I thought I knew what to look for. Quick picture of Slade: 16, LH, 6..4.., 205#, velocity 70 mph, stride length 84… Slade..s basic faults were weight shift, early and high hand break, early hip rotation, bracing action. Many things don..t work correctly when you start incorrectly. All this leads to timing problems. The first thing we did was to work on weight-shift and hand-break timing. Slade had no problem leading with the hip but he did not shift his weight back first and all of his weight started forward at leg lift. He had an 84.. stride but it mostly because he was actually air-born during his impressive drive off the rubber. The videos proved his drag actually left the ground and then started dragging again. Ryan stated he was basically throwing off his front foot and was losing a lot of velocity. Slade learned the feel of keeping his foot completely flat and parallel against the rubber. I remember him shifting his heel to make contact with rubber and him commenting that it feels different. I told him that you have several different feelings to experience. This seems easy, but it was something that took time and a few times I held his heel down to make sure he wasn..t rising to the ball of his foot. Once this was fixed, theC.. disappeared. He also had a coach tell him to think about standing on that foot to reinforce the feeling of using the whole foot to drive off the rubber. Making sure to feel pressure across the entire foot is important. We had to shorten his stride, intentionally at Ryan..s advice, to help correct the early hip rotation and to work on bracing up. This is still a small problem but the extremely early hip rotation is gone. At ball release Slade..s torso was behind his knee and he was basically throwing all arm. He never complained of soreness or pain so this was a blessing. He was not bracing up until after ball release. Presently, onlookers have been asking how hard he throws. We didn..t check from last summer until this past weekend. The Jugs gun we used registered 78 at the end of his bullpen session. He seemed a little annoyed that he didn..t reach 80. Maybe the position I shot him from could make a small difference in the reading as I wasn..t behind a catcher but off to the side. At the least he has made an 8 mph increase since we really started working on the adjustments in September. We didn..t make much improvement during Fall ball and not until December or January did we start seeing real change. I can..t tell you how many times I told his mother that he just isn..t getting it. I kept positive and tried to point out little improvements and learned to keep my mouth shut and not try to coach more than one change at a time. We still see in our video that he needs to work on keeping his weight back consistently and he still has a little early hip rotation. His timing of hand-break is better when he moves the hands to mirror his leg lift. He mainly worked out of the stretch until the last 2-3 weeks. His wind-up is much improved do the changes we..ve made and he uses the step-back and not to the side. Hopefully the coach won..t try to change that this year. He gets to full extension before landing but it appears he pulls away from the rubber before landing. His stride is at 100% of his height and his bracing action is much improved. He tells me when he has rushed a pitched. When he does this it..s easy to see that at landing his head and chest are not in alignment with his belly button at foot strike. With trying to stay closed longer Slade started over-rotating and showing his numbers to the catcher. He knows this doesn..t help and we talked about how it slows the delivery. He wants to think it keeps him closed longer but he does realize that he has to start rotating earlier when he is in this position. What we see that Slade can improve on still is keeping his weight back longer, timing of his hand action and braking later and lower. It seems that he doesn..t get his foot planted early enough and that he needs to extend the foot further out, because at plant the knee is almost on top of the heel. He seems to carry his front leg a little high above the ground compared to some of the pros. During our last session we had to wait to get on a mound. We worked a little on getting the foot down before shifting the weight forward during flat ground warm-up tosses. I think Slade was getting that and my hand was hurting a little more than normal even with a palm-guard once he got on the mound. I have to tell you that I was concerned Slade didn..t have what it took to throw 80+ or even more. He hadn..t improved his velocity in 2 seasons. He was still an effective pitcher with his changeup, his 2-seamer that sinks, and the curveball that he started throwing as a freshman. His fastball was good enough for the JV level as he got 48 k..s in 29 innings last year. The few varsity starts he had as a sophomore included one win where he pitched 6 innings, 3 runs, no earned, and not one K. The problem wasn’t in Slade but in the mechanics and not being aware of what he was doing wrong. Practice starts in Illinois March 1. I wish we had another month but we..ll see what we can accomplish before the first game on March 23rd. I hope some of you got to the end of this before going to the next topic, let me just finish by saying that changes don..t come overnight but when they do start coming it is exciting and they seem to come in bunches! Maybe Slade is touching the low 80..s right now. It..s possible as the onlookers think he is throwing gas and I haven..t seen anyone else that appears to be throwing harder in the HS age group when we..ve been pitching or hitting. He has grown since the summer and he also needs to learn to pitch with a little more intent. He doesn..t appear to labor like he did before the analysis. Thanks to Dick, Ryan, Ginny, and the rest that are regulars on the forum. Great advice and great questions help us to constantly think and improve. Paul
I’d glad to share our success since we got the video analysis. It may be a few days as I have been working additional hours in my role as a financial reporting manager. Each time out over the past couple weeks I see progress being made. Just getting over that hump was tough in making the changes. Paul
Thanks Dick, the walking analogy is precisely what we used to make the change. It was an easy change and did help with bracing action even though he is still a little late getting to full bracing action. Again I believe this goes back to a little early on hip rotation and proper weight shift. Slade knows when he rushes a pitch now. 🙂 Slade’s velocity has gained 8 mph from the analysis in September. He still has a lot more in the tank though. He knows what he still needs to correct and with more work he will make the adjustments. Paul
I am a little confused. Slade was landing toe first and we saw this wasn’t consistent with other analyses and he changed to landing on either his heel or whole foot first. Is this correct or is he better off to land toe first? Another problem is his angle at landing-his knee is not behind his heel and i believe this impacts his bracing up along with an early hip rotation problem (still).
Dick, Slade’s stride length is at 100% plus a couple inches. He usually landed about 2″ past the string of 77″. His knee at landing is directly over his heel and not his foot. Should we place some attention on getting the knee being behind the heel at landing? I can see that if he needs to extend his foot he would be another 2-3″ in stride length. His bracing action is much better and we do see a little early rotation still. Thanks! Paul
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Dick, Slade and I had been reviewing the analysis DVD program and I really think he was on the verge of breaking through his weight-shift and bracing problems. He still was not keeping his weight back during his stride. The coach said something simple like “stand on your back foot as long as you can”. (He did say not to stand tall.) This helped him to think of feeling the weight shift throughout the motion and to keep his weight back and not get his head out front during his stride. I think Slade was shifting back and then moving his weight forward too early. He also told Slade to think about straightening the plant leg as Slade was still collapsing some and not getting full bracing action. It was better than the analysis back in August but he was still not fully bracing up. Slade’s explosive momentum has picked back up and I haven’t measured his stride length but he is at least at 100% to end of toe and getting good bracing action. I guess the problem was simply he wasn’t starting out correctly and like Ryan said on the analysis that starting wrong is not going to be corrected later. (just my thought trying to figure this out of why it took him the last 3-4 months to have the light-bulb turn on ). I think Slade may have been wanting to pitch before it was time. I know you see this all the time. We taped again last night and still see where he can stay closed a bit longer. His velocity really picked up. His control was a little off but I don’t see that as a concern at this point. Slade caught himself a couple times and said he shifted his weight forward early again. The other thing i noticed is that Slade’s plant knee is still on top of his ankle. any advice on getting this to change? Is this still the result of shifting his weight too soon? It just seems like he doesn’t extend his foot but keeps it under his knee throughout the motion. He has a little swing action too but not much. I am trying not to say much as he is still working on weight shift. Thanks! Paul
Thanks, Dick I’ll check on these things, get the string out, and review the videos more. Paul