Thanks Coach. Any thought on the eagle eye? Its not available yet, but I really like the idea both for pitching and taking BP. One concern I had was with regard to the horizontal size of the zone. I was concerned that you’d have to locate over the plate for a strike as opposed to teaching to throw to the black which I assumed might not register with the device. Plus, at the youth level it’s not uncommon to see balls called strikes more than 6″ off the outside corner. Spessard indicated it can see pitches 3″ off the plate and they are hoping to expand this to 8″.
I can relate and posted some comments in the injury thread with my questions about the First-Pitch Strike Warm up and Recovery Program. My son is 12 and has played USSSA for ‘daddy-ball’ coaches for four years. A common theme seems to be the chord Matheny struck in his open letter about youth sports. We are the coaches and you should turn your kids over to us. No contact, no involvement with your son. The last three teams he played for have had rules dictating this. No advice, suggestions, recommendations are welcome. This is usually stated by the coaches as being what is necessary to prepare your son for high school baseball. My question is always, “and who is preparing your son?” The coaches sons, who often seemed to be among the best players on the team when I grew up don’t seem to fit that mold anymore. It seems the coaches are now most likely there to protect their son or surround him with better players to insure they are on a “good team”. They demand complete control and loathe the parents who are *invested* in their sons (although they welcome the higher level of hitting/fielding/pitching they bring). I echo the earlier poster who noted their desire to meddle with your son while their own son is seriously deficient in even basic baseball skills. I believe it is an attempt to have some part in the success your son achieves. My philosophy is you can teach my son how you want him to play bunt defense, how the team handles cutoff responsibilities, etc., but he already has Division I coaches he has been working with for five years for hitting, fielding, and pitching. I am invested in what he learns and who he learns it from. He doesn’t need skills advice. He has always been one of the best players on his teams while also playing up. And this is without benefit of being a big boy, simply more physically mature than the others. We attended high school baseball camp last year to ‘get on the coaches radar’. The coach is a 2-time state champion who was inducted into the states hall of fame this year. On day one, while taking some dry swings in preparation of taking BP, the HS coach asked my son what he was doing. “You can’t hit like that son!” Apparently, my sons open stance was a non-starter. “You’ll never be able to hit a fastball son!” Sadly, the coach can’t separate swing mechanics from pre-swing “style”. At the HS feeder team meeting this year the HS coach proclaimed baseball lessons “unnecessary”. “Just get out there and throw a ball against a wall” was his advice. Again, this is a state HOF coach. Despite railing against parents whose sons take lessons, my son was invited to the team as the only under age player… with an advanced personal phone call. My son attends private school and has an available option to play for the private HS as well. My son learned to hit from Jay Ward whom Coach Mills may have known and to this day he still uses Jay’s system of hitting. Jay had a brief stint in the Majors, was an accomplished minor league manager, served as hitting coach for the Yankees under Lou Piniella, and ran a hitting school in Florida with Wade Boggs. Would you put your faith in the HS coach whose philosophy is to either bunt or hit the ball into the dirt and then run or Jay Ward? The landscape is littered with dads and coaches who have very little knowledge. Ego seems to drive their closed-mindedness. They know what they know and they don’t want to know any more. They know what is best. Mike Matheny and the media have armed them with the ammunition that the parents are all that is wrong with youth sports. Make no mistake, bad parents are certainly playing their part in what’s wrong. But youth sports seems to be an area where knowledge is NOT king. Coaches/Dad Coaches are not to be questioned nor enlightened. Making certain your son is the best player on the team and having other options seem to be the only antidotes that have a chance of working.
RE: First-Pitch Strike Warm up and Recovery Program I’m interested in Angel Borrelli’s program after reading the product page, but have some doubts about a real-world ability to implement it prior to pitching. We have tried to use the Alan Jaeger Thrive on Throwing warm-up prior to games over the last 3 seasons. Our experience has been even when we arrive prior to the report time, the coaches gather the players as they arrive eliminating the ability to conduct the warm-up. Our simple tubing warm-up seems to invoke visions of Trevor Bauer because we are utilizing a routine not approved by the coaches. We’ve often resorted to conducting the warm-up in another area of the complex before reporting. It’s not an ideal alternative and the coaches are often more bewildered that we are doing so ‘on the lam’ . None of my sons teams have offered a warm-up beyond the run of the mill static stretching, jogging, playing catch with each other, and throwing a bullpen as the starting pitcher. Another issue is my son is typically not informed that he will start a game until…the warm-up before the game. He’s generally told he will be starting and to get with the catcher to start warming up. Much like Jaeger’s program this program seems like it would require some buy-in by the coaches and I’ve come to believe that’s a difficult task at any age. So while I am a supporter of this approach, how have parents been able to get resistant coaches to allow it? Would this warm-up also be implemented in a situation where your son is already playing but is going to pitch in relief and spends the teams at bat warming up to enter as the new pitcher?