Transcirption of Podcast Episode: Athletic Mission Baseball Academy Baseball Pitcher Assessment Process
Hey guys, welcome back to the Strategic Baseball Podcast. Hey, man, the feedback that we've been getting since we launched the podcast just a couple weeks ago had been had been great. And we really do appreciate it. And we look forward to more of it. And please don't hesitate to let us know your thoughts. That keeps us going and give us an understanding as if this is resonating or not.
So on today's show, we're going to talk about the assessment process that we use here Athletic Mission Baseball Academy, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for pitchers, and then the next episode, we'll break down the Baseball Hitting Assessment Process.
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Darrell Coulter Speaking:
Yeah, Geoff, this is a piece that I think is the cool part about what we do when we truly just focus on individual player development and individual pitcher development. Because what we're really looking for is is not too hardcore measurables that that most coaches focus on what we're looking at what we're looking for, is really about where these kids are currently at will we call a current state assessment. Because the truth is, what these kids want, and what these young players want, what they want as individuals is more important than the measurable itself. So when we start talking about individual player development, it really is about the individual player. And and again, is it easy to make these role, you know, as we call competitive assessments, or these competitive advantage assessments?
Yeah, that's easiest piece and and Is that real that is absolutely real. And and when these kids are trying out for teams at the JV or varsity level, or some of their summer balls, select team level. Yeah, that skill set is probably an important factor. And it is an important factor in going into what is going to take to make that specific team. But ultimately, the type of players that we're getting here are really those guys that are pretty good athletes that are looking for the that next level advantage, that strategic advantage is what we call it. So when we break it down, we really start with what we call pitch related activities. And we do that in season preseason all season we want to know exactly everything that this player is currently doing, what coaches are working with who they're working with what kind of mechanics program if they're doing any type of velocity program, and really just kind of getting an idea of what they're doing and where they're at and, and what the expectations are of the parents, the players the the coaches that they're currently playing for. And then kind of how we seam that together because what we don't want here is us to create confusion for that player. And we don't want to create any more drama between coaches and and what that players expectations or vice versa, what the coach's expectations is for that player. So Really what we see in these initial assessments is kind of a blend because most of the kids come in and see us we seem to really you know, and it's kind of the the stereotypical type of players you got kind of the the athletic hard throw win type of the kid that's really got that type of a genetic advantage for his age, or he's a bigger kid. And, and he's a pretty good athlete, and he can throw hard for his age, but they struggle with consistently commanding their fastball. When it's on, they're really good when it's not, then they're really bad.
They seem like they're always behind them to count, you know, they're walking way too many hitters and, and really is having higher pitch counts earlier in the game. And, and when we get that type of a pitcher, a lot of times, man, they're more comfortable throwing bullpens than they are in the game. And that's kind of what we talked about last episode, that transition from practice to pressure is is ultimately the true serum of baseball is it's going to be the key to your success is how you handle that. And and that's really the focus of that strategic advantage baseball that we talk about all the time. And having that strategic advantage mindset is is that bridge from our physical skill set into how we show up on game day and and then the stuff that we do in between it that that really helped us master our skill set our master our pitches, and then create a strategy with it ultimately becomes who they are as a baseball player and and the source of their competence. Then the second type of pitcher we usually see is kind of this the strike throwing control pitcher, which, you know, it seems like is the the big Twitter debate today is kind of okay, well, we rather have guys that throw hard or guys that throw strikes. And ultimately, you know, it depends on what you're looking for. If if you're just grading out, we're trying to project somebody's potential, then they probably want the harder thrower. If it's somebody that's got to go out and have success in today's game, then obviously, if I got a great defense, I want the kid that's gonna throw strikes and put the ball in play. But the problem we see with the strike thrower is they throw a lot of strikes, but their lack of velocity don't really scare hitters. And so when they start competing against better competition, or a lineup that consistently is barreling them up and hitting balls hard.
Like I just said earlier, man, if you don't have a great defense, then that's where we see those kids really frustrated. And so when they come in, they're really looking for, how do I get either more velocity, how I start using my body better to create velocity. And then ultimately, what they're looking for is how do they get more swing and misses. And then the final piece that we really try to drive that third type of pitcher that we want these guys to evolve into is what we call the dominating strategic pitcher, where they use their max velocity with commands, you know, and the way we define commanded athletic mission is command is the choice you make before you throw the pitch. It's not the outcome command is Can I throw my pitches by velocity and movement to a specific location on purpose. And that's why we're here we throw really, super focus, what we call boring practice bullpens man, you got to understand how your pitches move. And so what we do when we throw pins here is we only practice our pitches. We don't make gains out of the bullpen. We don't say here we're doing preseason pins that we're doing NCS and pins. It's really about understanding how I command my pitches, so I can have a strategy and create a strategy against any hitters. And so that's where we see this bridge, Geoff, that when we talk about, you know, are we looking for project stability? Are we looking for game day success. And that's kind of that piece that we've been talking about for the last few weeks when we talk about competitive advantage, and your athleticism, your velocity, your mechanics, kind of, you know, your practice habits routines, versus what is actually showing up on game day. And so when we start looking at that piece of it, that's kind of where we start the assessment process, we look at what is their current level of pitching related activities. Then we got what we call a unique pitching skill assessment, which is really kind of them walking through the the 20 key pieces of what we think pitcher development is about and what do they feel like they have mastered from their individual pitches, through their preseason in season and offseason strength conditioning program, through their preseason in season all season, throwing program, and kind of really starting to plug in the different pregame routines pre pitch routine.
See all of this comes to be a part of ultimately who this pitcher becomes. And and when we create that process from the competitive advantage into mastery through strategy. And then ultimately, how's it showing up on game day? If we don't have those processes that we don't have those those routines in place? How do we ever really know where to go back and Start when we have guys that are struggling. And I think that's that's kind of how we deconstructed the individual pitcher development here at athletic mission. And, and once we get that pitcher related activity, which breaks down everything they're doing in season, offseason and preseason, and then we really start looking at it individually and breaking it down by, by skill set by pitch by how we cover bases filled our position, all the way through all the components that really make a complete picture, then I think it does, let us go through and really see where these guys are at. And, and that's where we start out, we don't, most of them don't have to start all over, they're not a blank slate. But we got to really, we got to really find out where they're at, and kind of really get their mind wrapped around that. Yeah, this fiscal skill set is important, but a bit don't turn into a unique pitching skill or unique pitch or mastered pitch, then ultimately, we're never going to be able to create a strategy that's going to work on game day. And so again, I think that just kind of reinforces this complete picture process. And how we assess guys, and and what's cool about it, man is it works for individual players, no matter where they're at, we just got to be able to assess what they feel like they've mastered what they don't have mastered, and then really kind of build out and, and fill in the gaps in their program. And what's cool man is this is a piece where when guys ask me all the time, man or parents asked me, How do I get my son to be more competitive?
Well, competitive true competitiveness only comes one when they have a strategy. And two, when they're competing against guys that are good or better than them. See, that's competitiveness, when you're beating up on weaker competition, that's not competitiveness, that you just dominate him with a physical skill set. But we talked about competitiveness, then when we put two teams out there that's got similar skill sets. And and they're both pretty good than the one that goes out and has the better strategy and is able to handle the pressure and execute their game plan consistently. And then handle what we talked about last show that game day execution piece, that constant adjustments, and kind of their real time reaction to how they respond to the different pieces that make up baseball, then I think it's it really does change their mindset. And it changes the concept of what they think they need to do now to truly become an elite level pitcher, man.
Yeah, man, good stuff. So Darrell Baseball Pitcher Assessment Process, I personally have learned a lot from him on and it kind of, it allowed me to sit down and refine my own process that I use for hitters, which we're going to talk about in the next episode. So this was Athletic Mission Baseball Pitcher Assessment Process.
If you are finding any value in these episode, please leave us an objective review. And also head over to strategic-baseball.com and join our circle there and I got some pretty cool stuff that we're working on. And we'll share with you guys as we develop it. So thanks for listening in and we'll catch you in the next episode. We will break down Athletic Mission Baseball Hitter Assessment Process.
We'll see you all then
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