Getting Started: The importance of Strike One

Your best foot forward; get going in the right direction;
important to get a good start; all cliché terms that leaders use to describe
the importance of the beginning action and that it should be positive. Pitching
is no different; we want to get started on the best possible path to success.
In each at-bat there is a critical moment that a pitcher can begin the best
possible path to success…FIRST PITCH STRIKES. Any person, in softball or baseball,
will tell you there lay a dramatic difference in the success of an at-bat that
begins 0-1, than begins 1-0.

The reason lies at the most basic fundamental level, confidence.
A pitcher who is 0-1, feels confident to explore the strike zone, throw a
second or third pitch in their repertoire and know that if he or she misses or is
unsuccessful, the count is at 1-1 and is still in control of the at bat. A
batter who is 1-0, feels confident that a pitcher must rely on a fast ball or
some pitch they can throw for a strike and not nibble at the corners, the
pitcher must work to even the count before entering even more dangerous ground
of 2-0 pitches.

More than ERA allows for meaningful collection of first
pitch strike data in its postgame recap section of their pitching charts as
well as in their performance reporting. Pitchers after a game who do their own
postgame recap will begin to understand how their better performances have a
correlation to the number of first pitch strikes they have thrown. The More
then ERA performance reports allow pitcher and coach to monitor and track the
current situation, improvement and maintaining the goals that the coach has set
for the pitching staff. Your pitchers will astound you of what they are capable
of when you set a bar and ask them to jump over it, and a great bar for them to
continually jump over is getting ahead with a FIRST PITCH STRIKE.

The Importance of Learning and Learning From Others

Bootcamp Handout Cover

As I wrote earlier on Facebook, I went to Ron Wolforth’s Ultimate Pitching Coaches Bootcamp for my second year in a row this past weekend. In addition to these bootcamps I have travelled to many conventions and clinics for the purpose of expanding my pitching and baseball knowledge; including pitching hot stoves and clinics at the American Baseball Coaches Associations conventions, and those events along with this bootcamp offer me something essential to my personal and professional development: continuous learning and conversations about pitching and baseball.

Talking and learning about baseball, and specifically pitching, is an important process to players, coaches and parents for the primary reason that we don’t have all the answers and we don’t have all the questions. We must never stop learning as players and coaches. New tools, concepts and activities are always being developed to enhance individual and team skills and knowledge. The moment we feel we have reached the end of learning, is the moment someone has passed our abilities.

What does this mean to parents and coaches of young ball players?

What it means is that you cannot rely upon ESPN, Fox Sports or MLB TV baseball expert opinions or just one single book. If your child wants to succeed, it is important you and your child look to all means to expand your knowledge and skills.

As player we are never done nor a complete player; new grips on pitches, new training methods, new theories for practices in and outdoors. If becoming a professional player or coach is something you wish for yourself; then learning and your pursuit of knowledge will be a life long journey.

More than ERA is a company that prides itself on expanding knowledge and encouraging never ending improvement. Our reports and charts ask players to look beyond the wins, losses, strikes outs and statistics published in newspapers; and offers means to continually improve their performance, expand the knowledge about pitching and help each player to map a path to become the pitcher they want to be. More than ERA can be a tool for parents, players and coaches, for improving deficiencies and enabling success.