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When considering a pitching coach for your aspiring pitcher, what are the things to look for in a pitching coach to get the best coaching for your player?

Questions to ask?
Old School vs. Modern teaching methods?
How many lessons per week?

Anything else? 

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This will not answer the points you brought up which are all factors in finding a good coach and I am basically referring to younger kids - but first and foremost find a coach who intently observes a players throwing habits when they warm up. Any kid that has the correct throwing habits can learn to pitch quite easily, but not if their basic throwing mechanics are wrong. I try not to go to pitching drills until a kid can throw correctly when playing catch. I have seen many pitching coaches go right to pitching mechanics after allowing kids to warm -up incorrectly. I know this isn't a great help but it bugs me to see coaches that don't address throwing before getting to pitching. Often, warm - up time is when players get the most repetitions playing ball so it should not be neglected by coaches.
The first mistake many people make is choosing a coach based on the his success as a player!
Having the talent to play does not always translate into a talented coach, they are not the same skill set,in fact many succesful players are resistant to learning and often times don't even understand their own mechanics very well.
A good pitching coach must first have no ego and be willing to learn from all available sources and sort out the good info from the bad,would you want a doctor who already knows it all because of what he learned in the 70s or do you want one who is constantly studying all the latest info?
The second and most inportant is presentation of the info to the player or in other words can you make him understand and believe what your telling him.
It is easy to recognize a good coach because he will speak very freely about what he knows because he is confident in what he knows and you will not be able to upset him by questioning his knowledge.
Typically an unprepared or inexperienced coach will resort to telling you about his own playing success.
Beware off pitching coaches that are more of a cheerleader and spend a lot of time catching for the pitcher and telling him how good he is doing because as a pitching coach myself I can tell you that when these kids start throwing 80 plus you cant see what their doing from the catchers position, you need to look at them from all angles and be there in their ear on every throw working on one or maybe two things a session.
Bottom line is look for somone who obviously speaks inteligently and in detail about what they teach and then as a parent watch the session and it will be obvious very quickly by how your player responds to him.
Bill, this could easily be a very long-winded answer: Here are my "short and sweet" replies. I'm going to assume the age group is 8-14, and the audience is 1-4 pitchers. Another assumption is the kid(s) really want to pitch.....and not just dragged to the mound by their parents.

Questions to ask?
Have you worked with kids in the past? Age group(s)? How long? If they can't demostrate ability to relate to kids and explain at their level, the kids will not respond well.

Have you ever pitched? At what level? Are you a certified coach? I firmly believe pitchers are born, not made. Dealing with another pitcher's thought process and emotional response is just as important as the mechanical/physical aspect. We all know what happens when we get in a pitcher's head! The coach's level of pitching experience should exceed the students. A certified coach means they have the experience and knowledge in that area. i.e. Babe Ruth/Ripken League has a certification process
If they have prior experience, contact the league president directly. If unsure, ask who they coached with (Manager, assistants, etc.) If their history is that bad, you'll know soon enough.
If they're certified, they're more likely to understand how to treat kids. Patience is key. Learning how to be a pitcher (throw, field, holding runners, backing up bases, etc.) is pretty broad. This must be taught step by step - with constructive feedback and instilling confidence. A pitcher without confidence is doomed.
Should be standardized. Start with stretch/warm-up, grip, mechanics, location, velocity, movement, pitch evolution, pick-off move, pitch outs, situational plays i.e. bunts, and so on. Build on each level, but briefly review each step before beginning a new. Each kid receives the coaching differently and progresses at their own rate. Be patient with this.
Old School vs. Modern teaching methods?
I'm old school. :^) Sorry, can't help here.
How many lessons per week?
This depends on the number of pitchers. You need some 1:1 time too. At least 1x/week, 1 hr/session. Hopefully they can play catch 2x/week outside of the coaching session to practice what they learned.

just curious but I'm wondering what you do for an hour with a pitcher.
That's easy, 10 minutes warm up and stretch, 20 minutes of mechanical drills designed to teach proper muscle memory through repetition, 20 minutes off the mound (30 - 40 pitches) then if the coach has a camera with frame by frame, 10 minutes of reviewing the players mechanics in detail so he can see for himself what your your seeing.
Typically with more advanced pitchers your not going to teach them something new every session your simply there to make sure they are practicing correctly.
Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect and that's the coaches job to direct that.
OK, I was thinking you had kids throwing for 1 hour off of a mound. To me on side session days I wouldn't have the kids throwing any more that what is necessary for the mound, but that's just me. Long toss and mound work. And yes, running or some type of conditioning. This might sound crazy, but I stopped running 6 years into playing, instead I worked on the Versa-Climber and my conditioning was never better.
Well said Mr Lepird! It's great that these guys made it to the upper level ......and have an experience that not many men have but this does not constitute them being able to teach. I'm not saying the cant learn to instruct but just like a brain surgeon they have to keep up with the knowledge. I started learning how to teach pitchers when Dick Mills was just starting out. I thought this is it.....this is the only way....Dick Mills way. After a couple years of teaching his way I started researching Tom House and after going to several camps and seminars I got certified through NPA. Thats great but doesnt mean a thing. One week cannot make a pitching coach...what it did though was introduce me to alot of important info that would help any aged pitcher. Now that House was the way to go.....I thought.....I was introduced to Ron Wolforth and Brett Strom (St Louis). Meanwhile all were stating "They dont know what they're talkin about". I'll tell you this.... in my opinion Wolforth and Strom are the best. But I'm hooked up with Rick Peterson (Brewers) and 3P Sports ( This program is the best for any player that wants to learn his mechanical faults, have a workout to plan program designed for you and have info available to follow to become the best they can be. Checkout their website. Mention my name when you're signing up (Rich Dunno). They also have a coach membership to be able to learn Rick Petersons beliefs.
Hey guys,
All good stuff! As a former pitcher myself I beilieve you have to evaulate your strengths and weaknesses first. If you are more of a finese' pitcher or a power pitcher. Several different schools of thought come into play after. that. A good pitching camp for kids and H.S. age is down at Louisianna Lafayette under head coach Tony Robacheax You can find them at then click on baseball, then camps. He is widely regaarded as a great pitching mind and coach. Increadible stuff teaching the fastball easy, and extra technique, along with the curveball easy and extra technique. How to pitch backwords. How to pitch with movement. It can benifit a kid, and really teach him how to pitch, not just throw. I would highly recomend the Nolan Ryan's pitchers Bible also for any dads who know very little. It shows you the basic Tom House techniques and some great drills and grips. I am not a Tom House fan, but the book is fantastic with tons of pictures and simple instruction. And Nolans Mechanics are perfect. But he was a phenonm, so take everything with a grain of salt as you read it. Also drills are very important, kids don't want to do them but they help with balance which is the most important thing to a pitcher. If he isn't balanced strikes are just an accident


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