Ever wonder what the best pitching coaches teach in order to have such great pitchers? If so, then read on.
Check out some great lessons from Oklahoma, Florida, Michigan and LSU.
Coming off an incredible weekend for softball, we saw some amazing pitchers. We also witnessed some incredible pitching coaches, and while they don’t stand in the middle of the field with a circle around them, they influence the outcome just as much.
Every August, we bring together the best college coaches in the country for a pitching and hitting thinktank. We call them our Pitching and Hitting Summits and they are a unique opportunity for college coaches to improve their knowledge and increase their advantage – all while sharing openly with their rivals. It’s a very cool event!
And until now, it’s been only open to college coaches, but thanks to our Pitching Summit Vault (check out the promo video) everyone can hear the incredible information and share in their great wisdom. I’ve gone through all the videos in this PS Vault and pulled out a few nuggets to help you help your pitchers. I hope you enjoy them!
- Jen Brundage, University of Michigan: Michigan has had lots of great pitchers over the years, and when you listen to their pitching coach, Jen Brundage, you’ll see that it’s because they all had “Dirty Changeups”. They all threw them slightly different, some got their hands in front of the ball before releasing it, some with a tucked-finger grip and a stiffer leg, and others with wrist & forearm tension. But they all threw one. Watch as Jen Brundage takes you through the grips and releases that each of her top pitchers used to throw “dirty changeups”.
- Missy Lombardi, University of Oklahoma: 4 national championships later, and Missy definitely knows about creating elite pitchers. Her workouts target not only the physical parts of pitching, but the mental challenges as well. This Pitch Partner Off the Bike is just one example of how she gets her pitchers to practice controlling their focus in an intense setting. Missy’s huge on separating drill work from game work, and she goes so far as to break down the percentage of time you should work on each based on where you are in the season. Creating pressurized pitching practices is definitely one of Oklahoma’s secret ingredients.
- Jennifer Rocha, University of Florida: Florida runs a lot of team bullpens which forces Jen to work with all 4 pitchers at the same time. She shares how she does that by creating a competition involving all 4 pitching rubbers (including the main field). It’s cool to see how she works with her pitchers, charts them and what she has them focus on that has led her pitchers to a total strike % of 68% in the 2014 WCWS Championship Series, and 65% in the 2015 WCWS Championship Series.
- Beth Torina, LSU: Having more than one great pitcher sounds terrific, but it also means you’ve got to keep them all happy. Beth Torina has found a way to do just that and with 5 straight trips to OKC, she’s proven she can do it successfully. When I listened to Beth speak at our Pitching Summit, I was struck by 2 of her comments: Don’t recruit somebody’s #3 pitcher because at some point, she’s probably going to be your #1. And to make sure you recruit pitchers that have pitches you can work with. If you don’t teach the Riseball very well it’s going to be rough having a staff full of riseball pitchers. Recruit what you can teach is great advice!
To catch these presentations in their entirety, and ALL of the incredible Pitching Summit presentations, check out our Pitching Summit Vault. Priced for any budget in either the Annual (Best Value) or Monthly plan.