The Pitching Summit gathered the best pitching minds in college softball in Tampa. Discover the tops things I learned from this deep-dive.
Let me boil down the mind-blowing week for you!
I started the Pitching Summits 5 years ago as a way for college coaches to learn, on a super high-level, in a small, exclusive environment dedicated to total immersion.
The Pitching Summits are now just that – an exclusive opportunity for college coaches totally immerse themselves into the advanced concepts and details of pitching. Things like mobility-training, periodization, kinetic chain utilization and energy systems management are just some of the things detailed – all in an effort to increase our knowledge and improve the performance of our pitchers under pressure.
This year’s Pitching Summit’s speakers included: Lonni Alameda – Florida State, Jen Rocha – University of Oklahoma, Rachel Lawson – University of Kentucky, Dana Sorensen – Sorensen Elite Pitching and Perry Husband – Effective Velocity.
Each of these speakers is inspiring, not only in how they coach their respective teams, but in how genuine they are, and how much they share. They opened up their “book” and told us anything we wanted to know. And when they weren’t speaking, each one was riveted in their seat listening and learning from everyone else.
So, while there’s tons more that I learned, and that you can learn by watching past Pitching Summits via our Pitching Summit Vault, here are my Key take-aways from each speaker from the 2019 Pitching Summit:
- Perry Husband (Effective Velocity):
- To help eliminate hard hit balls avoid back-to-back pitches that are within 6 EV mph
- Hard hit balls happen the same way, everyday: 50% back-to-back pitches within 6 mph EV, 20% thrown to hitter’s attention, 20% no EV tunnel, 10% are earned!
- The last and hardest thing hitters can see is speed. Until hitters swing at a pitch it’s hard for them to “know” the pitch speed to the exact degree they’ll need to on-time to it.
- Elite pitchers have learned to be F.I.T.Z. – Fearless In The Zone!
- Lonni Alameda (Florida State):
- # FIO – Figure It Out
- They work to nail the 80%, those things that they need to do well 80% of the time.
- They want to be the best, most-tired team in the country.
- She charts their back-to-backs, things they do back-to-back like a walk to an out, a double to an out, a homerun to an out. She really focuses on the back-to-backs.
- Invest in your future pitchers with your current pitchers investing in them.
- Jen Rocha (University of Oklahoma):
- Do a scouting report on yourself to discover your strengths so you remember you have them, and to identify your weaknesses so you so you can create a plan to improve them.
- Have a Board of Accountability – about 5 people who care about you, will be honest with you and will support you. Tell these people they’re on your board and go to them when you’re feeling stressed or doubtful.
- Use something like the Leadership Compass with yourself and each of your pitchers to see best how to work with each one of them.
- Get to know your pitchers as people by going to lunch or coffee. They need to know you care about them as people before they listen to anything you say about their pitching.
- Be more assertive in crunch time! Your pitchers need it from you.
- Rachel Lawson (University of Kentucky) :
- She has her pitchers rank each of their pitches as follows: Go-To Pitch: anytime, any count, any batter. Out Pitch: get the most outs on (can also be their Go-To. And, Secondary Pitch: she puts all their other pitches into the Secondary bucket.
- 63 mph seems to be the speed threshold to her, that prevents most hitters from barreling up.
- You throw inside to the batter, NOT to the plate.
- Batter posture in the box impacts their swing plane.
- Dana Sorensen (Sorensen Elite Pitching):
- A player’s mobility plays a HUGE part in how well they can move. Hyper (lots of) mobile players should avoid stretching/yoga while Hypo (lack of) mobile players benefit from stretching/yoga.
- What’s the lowest hanging fruit for each pitcher – the easiest thing they can do is what she focuses on.
- You breathe 22,000 times per day. More if you’re stressed, so how you breathe really matters.
- When exhausted, we’ve been misled. Having your hands on your knees is the best position to breathe from while placing your hands over your head is the worst breathing position.
Keep in mind these are just a few of my take-aways and not everything these speakers taught us at the 2019 Pitching Summit. If you want to watch previous year’s Summits, or see this year’s (once we’ve added them) – get our Combo Summit Vault and get the Pitching AND Hitting Summits!
My thanks to all our great speakers, and to everyone who came to our 2019 Pitching Summit! Share what you learned and make our game better!