[quote=justin15232;94722]ya i do wrap my arm back, is this from over rotating my torso a little bit, not staying totally on line? I have always had some arm wrapping, but never have been able to change it[/quote] Knuckles to the sky.
…you don’t push your hips ahead of your shoulders, thats how you break just below/at the belly button. -scott
Hi Folks. Here we are just three days before the Perfect Game Sunshine Northeast Showcase held on Long Island at a complex called Baseball Heaven. I took the advice given here and I remained positive. It was hard. I told my wife to stay out of it. She wanted to get involved and I told her not to. In fact I “forbade” her from talking baseball with him after she had one lengthy encounter where he just kind of stared at her. In fact, I told her, “I’ll take care of it. He’s my puppet, I’ll pull the strings.” I know that sounds weird and off-putting, but I wanted all of the responsibility of saying the right or wrong things to him. If he was going to soar based on my advice, or go down in flames, I wanted it to be from the guy who taught him how to hit and throw from the time he was five. So, little by little over the past two weeks, as his HS team managed a conference title (shared 3 ways!) for the first time in 50 years, a rather dismal end to that HS season personally, to much more interesting and encouraging games with his Legion team on weekends as they wait for the school schedule to end, I talked him out of his funk. I got him focused. Tom Geiger, a member here, and a good sounding board for me, has sons aged 12 & 14, and he is always encouraging me to see this through, and he offers up some good advice about staying positive. But Tom did something for me that I’ll always be grateful for. He sent me a video clip of Roy Halladay and put Mike next to him frame by frame. WOW! The similarities were remarkable. Some things not so remarkable but it became our blue print for progress. Mike was fascinated by this side by side of him and Halladay. So we made some adjustments. Some of these things are not by the Dick Mills Book, but I need 3-4mph in less than two weeks, and Mike ain’t grasping the words I have been saying for three years. So, we did three things. One, Mike’s pivot foot heel is now forward, closer to home plate than the side of the ball of his foot, which is still up against the rubber. This minor change made it harder for him to rotate his knee inward. Mike was also collapsing far too much much on his back leg. So I told him to stay tall. Don’t bend! Of course he bends a little, but now there’s no collapse. His glove hand was sweeping like he was throwing a frisbee. So now he is showing his palm to his target. He still likes to wrap his throwing hand toward 1B too much and that one is hard for me to come up with a solution for. He demonstrates the “perfect” arm circle but can’t seem to get it down in real speed. Anywho, I noticed his OF warm up throws were incorporating these changes. When it was right, the ball shot out of his hand all the way over to CF from his RF position. Each game, each day, I watched these changes. It’s interesting how obvious some stuff is from 150 feet away. He reported a bullpen or two where he said things felt very good. So, this past weekend he threw an inning on Saturday and he had velo. Sunday he pitched an inning with a college coach watching and he was smoking. Monday he started and pitched 3 innings and still had lots of velo. Easily 83, maybe an ounce or two more at times. Some parents have asked me, “how fast does Mike throw??” His coaches were mightily impressed. And so was Dad. I moved him off the plate a few more inches for hitting and now he’s getting his arms extended and putting a good charge into the baseball. That new 34″ bat is taking some getting used to. So the timing could not be any better.
Ha! 13 year old baseball does not count! That transition to the 60/90 is hugely in favor of the hitters. My kid wanted to quit pitching at that age! Which reminds me, I’ll have a new chapter to Mike’s Progress very shortly. -scott
[quote=NextLincecum;94695]Travel ball is the way to keep you in baseball shape for college ball. Getting better is the goal. Everyone knows getting stronger takes work, and the college coaches……..know whose not working out and whose doing the work…………:)[/quote] I’m sorry Scott. I’m very confused by this. -scott too!
I would say that this entire sport is overwhelmingly unaware that there is an inner third of the plate. -scott
Aaron, begin working out now, You’ll be very surprised at what you are capable of. Travel team be damned. Try explaining to your college coach that the reason you aren’t ready is because you didn’t want to let your travel team down. Ooops! Can you say “Cut”? Your body will tell you what it needs to and you’ll be able to gauge the whole process. Get to work son, time is of the essence. -scott
Thanks for sharing Mark. I sent my son the article. You are right when you say that one game can stay with you forever. Congratulations on having such a game! -scott
doomed. Looks worse than an average HS pitcher. -s
that does look cool
If I asked you to jump up and touch the rim of a basketball net, what would you do? Now do that sideways down a mound at your target for as far as you can. Land and whip the baseball. -s
Good for Righetti. It only took him three years of miserable results to help out Barry. So basically, as the article hints, Righetti waited for Barry to come up with a solution. Hmmm, when I look at the 2007 and 2010 snapshots, I see a guy who is getting out far. I find it impossible to think that all it took was some long toss. Barry’s been long tossing for a decade. He didn’t stop and then started again. And pitching inside effectively is a mental thing. Not a mechanical thing. If Righetti was so good, he would have been working with Barry on that the moment he saw one game without Barry going inside. It doesn’t take three years to say, “Hey, maybe you should pitch inside?” Barry was nearing Jamie Moyer like speeds. There’s far more to this story than just a Dick Mills/Rushall bashing. -scott
Needless to say, this has been a tension filled few weeks. My wife wants me to sit down and talk with Mike. And of course I will. I’m doing my best to remain calm, and I do need to become more positive at this point. So I did what other dads in my situation might do. Since he’s still hitting well, I mean he hits bullets right at guys these past few games without a hit, and since he seems to be swinging a twig of a bat right now (32″), he and I went out and tried out some bigger bats. And I just ordered a 34″ Easton Surge. She’s a beaut. Probably add another 20 feet to any fly ball. I noticed he’s been letting some outside pitches go by and he said he knows he can’t reach them, and well, I have him very comfortably situated in the box with a nice athletic stance, so at 6’2″, he should be swinging a 34″ anyway. So there ya go. I’ll back off on pitching for a few weeks and promote his hitting. The bat will be here in a few days and he’s got a few games left, playoffs and Legion on the weekends. And then showcasing. And about 45 Legion games with playoffs and that tournament. Let the hitting do the talking for a while. He won’t be able to avoid the mound anyway. Between HS and Legion, he’ll have to contribute and his coaches will need him. A $340 band-aid. I could think of worse habits to feed. Thanks for everyone’s feedback. Is it ok to fear your kid might quit on you and the prospect of playing beyond high school after spending the last 12 years getting it mostly right??? Anyone else scared your kid might throw in the towel when things get a little rough??? Anyone else feel like if they don’t go the extra mile you’re letting your boy down? Playing ball beyond HS isn’t the end of the world of course. It’s just a pretty cool world to continue in before the realities of work become all too real. And there are degrees of post high school playing. I’m hoping for the best. -scott
With only about 6 games remaining in his Junior season, Mike started 3 games and has relieved 3 games. 1-2 as a starter with really ugly numbers. 1-0 as a closer with really outstanding numbers. About a 75mph fastball as a starter. About 83mph as a closer. Walks galore as a starter. Hardly even throws balls as a closer, just pumps in fastballs and rarely gets hit. Batting fourth, playing RF. Minor slump lately. BA nosed dived from about .600 to .350. 25 RBI in 16 games, but pacing way off and team has slumped, losing last 4 of 5. Started playing American Legion with guys he knows and respects and who do very well in South Jersey. I surmise he doesn’t want to mentally and methodically go through a lineup 2-3 times any more. Likes playing the OF. Plays CF when another kids pitches. Nobody really tests his arm on the base paths, throws perfect liners for strikes to 3B and home. We’ve talked. Dad has checked out. I’m tired of trying to figure him out. When I talk to other parents and coaches, they all remark at how good he is and nobody can understand why he doesn’t pitch well when he starts. Night and day difference. Robot, BP practice pitcher as a starter. Lights out, mow ’em down guy when the end of game is in sight. Chest pumps, fists, Joba Chamberlain-like emotion. As a starter, someone should check him for a pulse. I’m trying to embrace this but it is unbelievably frustrating. Has no interest what so ever in watching himself on video. Can’t comprehend the back leg drive of a delivery so he basically just gave up on it. When he’s warming up in RF with the kid on the side lines, he’s doing all of the back leg extension stuff and acting like a pitcher in waiting. Put him on the mound, essentially the same delivery as last year, only now he’s stronger. I know it’s a dead end trap. So Dad is out of the picture. Sure I send him Dick’s emails when they are appropriate, sure I video him in super slo-mo pitching and hitting with my new Casio camera (awesome tool EX-F25), and sure I mention stuff from time to time, but I basically told him a week ago, “Since you’ve stopped learning, I’ve stopped teaching. You are now officially on your own. I can’t help you. I’ll send you stuff, but only you will know if you are using the info. Only you will know to what degree your commitment to improvement will yield. Only you. Your teammates and coaches will know. But I can’t be involved anymore. I don’t think you can do it. I don’t think you can play at the next level anymore. A college coach may hold a different opinion, but I don’t think it will be possible for you to play at a higher level. Yes, you are physically capable. In fact you demonstrate from time to time that you are more than capable, but long term, I don’t see it. I’ve tried every method with you. I’ve tried tough love, I’ve tried babying you, I’ve tried man to man, I’ve tried father to son, I’ve tried heavy and I’ve tried light. I’m tired of trying to help you.” “I think it’s important for you now to just go out and have fun. Practice reall hard so that the games are even more fun. Games are just showcases for all of your practice anyway.” As a dad, I never really felt like he met me half way on this. Everything seems to be one step forward, one and half steps back. Two steps forward, one step back. He demonstrates well and then never really puts it to use as a pitcher. As a hitter, the adjustments are easier, and the results are usually instantaneous. Like most kids, he wants instant. Too bad. I go to some of his HS games. I don’t hawk. I usually stand behind the fence in deep left field with some other dads. I don’t yell out anything. I just sit there, enjoying the sun. The Legion games will be great fun. It’s a good team. And Mike will get a chance to showcase this summer up in Utica, NY at the Blue-Gold tourney. He’ll showcase for PGs in Long Island in a month, and well, that’ll be that. I’ve often heard that a good number of people who fail had no idea how close they were to succeeding. Could this be Mike? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, his Legion coach, a guy with 20 years of successful teams who coached Andrew Bailey for 3 years, says Mike has a lot of potential and they see him as someone who is going to develop nicely. Mike bats third for this team and starts in RF. He will pitch for him too. I told him that Dad was done being Mike’s coach and urged him to do what he deemed necessary to get the best out of him. What would you do at this point? Sit back and see what life offers for the next 6 months? Tell Mike about what his Legion coach thinks? Do nothing? OR continue slowly but assuredly passing along the info with the hope that things begin to stick with him over a longer time line?? He’s a junior, so we have another year of HS left and many more opportunities to develop. Late bloomer? or just another kid who doesn’t see the forest for the trees? Until next month, Sincerely, -scott
Thanks Walt. You have been very kind to me. Thank you. Want to know my frustration? This is a post I made on the first page of Mike’s progress from November 2008. Yikes. 12-10-2008, 02:11 PM scottwaz Client Join Date: May 2005 Location: Haddon Heights, NJ Posts: 933 permalink Quote: Originally Posted by kipniswonger What is his velocity now? Kip Niswonger How Tall? Thanks guys for all of the input. Maybe seeing it in writing from others will have a better impact. Mike is 6’1″, 160lbs and hits 80 when he is in sync. Otherwise, he is living at 78 when it’s not right. We’ve made progress this year. In the spring he was at 73-76. If I can get Mike to 82-83 this year, and add 3-4 mph each year over the next 3 years then I have an 88-90mph freshman going to college. If he sticks with this, maybe just maybe it is not obnoxious to think 93mph as a senior in college. At least thats how I’m envisioning all of this. The bigger question really is whether or not Mike envisions this. -scott ps. As a side note, I like to describe Mike as a guy who throws hard, but doesn’t throw fast. Catchers and hitters describe him as a guy with a heavy ball, with good movement. Even now, I have a very difficult time having a catch with him as his ball moves a lot at the last moment and I am not sure if I will catch it cleanly. __________________ Scott ps. “There are no miracles in sports. All miracles have been rehearsed hundreds of times in practice.” – Scott Waz Last edited by scottwaz : 12-10-2008 at 02:31 PM.