Start your season off right by asking questions before you start giving answers.
Not sure what you should do Day 1 then I’ve got a suggestion for you.
Great coaches listen before they talk, ask before they tell, and watch before they teach. While we’d all like to aspire to this type of coaching, it’s much harder to do then it sounds.
When the season starts and our pitchers are finally in front of us, we sense that clock ticking and feel an urgency to “get going”. We immediately want to start pitching, so we can “fix” them, or train them, or just rush headlong into it.
What I’ve learned is that creating a real connection with your pitchers is what allows anything you know to reach them. Our pitchers have grown up their entire pitching lives hearing that they’re broken. That the expert standing in front of them is the latest person that will “fix them”. Trust me, it’s hard to feel confident and broken at the same time.
Our players have skills. They’re on our team because we liked and wanted their skills, and too often, we forget how important it is to remind them of this.
Here’s a list of 5 questions that your pitchers can answer on the first day of practice, with the intention to help you get to know more about them, to get them thinking about what they are really good at, and to give you a little better glimpse inside their heads. Just a reminder that if you want their total honesty, hand these question out on paper and have them write their answers down instead of saying them out loud in front of everybody.
- What Makes You a GREAT Pitcher? (be very specific since “great” isn’t everywhere. Your rise might be really good but it might be “great” up & In to Righties…)
- What Area of Growth Would Make You Even Stronger?
- Think About All Your Pitches, and Put Them Into One of the
Following 3 Categories:
- Your “Go-To” Pitch (you can throw it anytime, on any count, and to any batter)
- Your “Out” Pitch (you get the most outs on this pitch. It can also be your “go-to” pitch”
- Your “Secondary” Pitch (all your other pitches that aren’t either your “go-to” or your “out” pitch.
- In Your Own Words, Tell Me How You See Yourself (as a pitcher) Helping This Team The Most?
- What Are You Looking Forward To This Season? And What Are You Afraid of This Season?
In the coming months we will be adding all the great presentations from the 2019 Pitching Summit to our Pitching Summit Vault, but in the meantime, get our Pitching Summit Vault and get caught up on past Pitching Summits!!