As your kid gets older, telling your kid what to do may not get the same mileage as when your kid was younger. In this latest in my series on Baseball Dads, Rob Friedman, the Pitching Ninja, shares how he helped influence his son Jack's development, as well as the high school team that Rob helps coach, without needing to bark commands and make demands. This is Part 2 of a two-part series.
Plus Austin Wasserman of wassermanstrength.com shares frontal plane movements and how they can help baseball athletes in the Wass Strength Tip Of The Week.
In this 43-minute episode, you'll learn:
- Jack's frequency of training, including in-season
- what age to start introducing pitching mechanics
- two ways coaches can help kids be more athletic, with examples
- whether command is an athletic skill or a learned skill
- two things to do with individual weaknesses
- how to handle kids with either control issues or velocity issues
- how to motivate kids to throw harder
- the parent's role in motivation
- Jack's pitching flaws
- biggest flaws in his team's pitchers
- what to say to pitchers who don't use their lower half well enough
- whether Jack inherently knew how to use his lower half or if Rob had to help him
- whether Jack benefited from focusing on his back leg or his front leg during delivery
- the biggest factor in Jack understanding how to use his lower half
- Rob's goal as a baseball coach/parent
- whether Jack used plyo balls & weighted baseballs
- whether Rob had mechanical checkpoints for Jack
- what Rob would say to pitchers who had unorthodox mechanics
- whether Rob's high school kids are experiencing similar success as Jack
- whether Rob feels every kid can throw 90 mph
- what Rob's high school team pre-game routine looks like
Rough transcript of questions:
- How long were his workouts each day? What did his workout program look like for a given week?
- Let's talk pitching mechanics. I think you were still learning about pitching as Jack was in high school but looking back, at what age do you think it's appropriate for a dad to start focusing on pitching mechanics with his kids? Do you believe you should let 'em throw however they want when they're young and don't start talking mechanics until they're in high school? Or should it be earlier?
- For coaches, is there a way to help kids be more athletic?
- Is command part of being athletic or is that something learned?
- What was the first thing you said to Jack to get him to throw faster?
- For a dad who's just starting out with his son to learn how to pitch harder and faster, what should parents say to them to get them to throw harder, faster?
- What are some common pitching flaws you've seen with Jack?
- What about with the kids you've coached? Have you seen pitching mechanics with them?
- Aside from the kids who were naturally strong, what were your suggestions to kids who were not using their lower half well enough?
- Did you have to work with Jack on the lower half? Or did he inherently know how to use his lower half?
- Knowing that this was stuff specific to Jack, what did you say to him?
- Is sinking your hip something you had to explain to him and then he understood how to make that work, or did you have to demonstrate it, or did you do drills with him? How did you make that work for him?
- How long did it take for Jack to get the feel of that?
- Did you have him do that every day?
- How about plyo balls and weighted balls? Did Jack work with those?
- So you mentioned long toss. I had heard Craig Kimbrel did long toss on his knees because of an injury he had in his knees. What are your thoughts on that?
- How about having his arm in the high-cock position at foot plant? Did you work on that with Jack or did he have that down pretty good?
- You had a Twitter gif of that pitcher who hops, and he released the ball so late. He planted, he's rotating, and that just looks like an injury waiting to happen. Other people were also commenting on that tweet. If you saw that in one of your high school kids, or Jack, or whoever, what would you say to that kid?
- How about the wall drill? I've had a couple different coaches recommend the wall drill, where, I don't know if you've heard of this before, but you have kids lean against a wall and then try to deliver without their hand touching the wall.
- You were Jack's pitching coach AND you're the pitching coach for your high school pitchers. So this gives us a decent sample size to see how the results vary. Are you seeing similar success as Jack? Or different results because those kids have a different work ethic than Jack did? What do you see when you compare your high school kids with Jack?
- What's the max to min for pitching velocity for the kids on your team?
- One in-season Q: What does your team's pre-game routine look like for your pitchers?
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Austin Wasserman's Wass Strength Tip Of The Week: Body Weight Side Lunge
- Austin Wasserman's Wass Strength Tip Of The Week: Side Lunge w/ Reach
- Austin Wasserman's Wass Strength Tip Of The Week: Goblet Side Lunge
- Austin Wasserman's Wass Strength Tip Of The Week: Off-Set KB Side Lunge
- Austin Wasserman's Wass Strength Tip Of The Week: Lateral Bounds Quick to Stick
- Austin Wasserman's Wass Strength Tip Of The Week: Lateral Bound to Squat Jump
- Youngblood Training Manual: A Guide To Youth Strength Training
Want MORE Edgy Info?
Never miss an article! Enter your info to get more practical, actionable youth baseball coaching info like this.