Baseball Instructional Articles
John and Patrick Pinkman are regular contributors to Collegiate Baseball. These articles have appeared in recent editions of the publication. Continue visiting this site for upcoming articles, or read them in Collegiate Baseball.
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Training and Teaching Technologies
Pitch Delivery Series
A series of articles regarding some of the key components to the pitching delivery:
There are those who call themselves professional baseball people but refuse to pay attention to the "difficult" or "technical" stuff. At a recent coaches conference an expert in vision presented some very interesting - and important - information on vision training. But many coaches seemed to not be interested in the topic. This article explores the rude behavior exhibited by conference attendees.
One of Mike Epstein's recently published articles in Collegiate Baseball.
Perhaps the most rewarding students we work with are those I call the "bubble boys". These are the players who come to us, ask for help, and work hard at learning what we teach. They are not the most talented, but they believe in us and have a burning desire to learn and succeed. This article explores the "bubble boy" concept and poses the notion that as professional instructors, we need to further develop our programs for this audience.
We all are so caught up in the young men we work with often times we forget about ourselves. What is your plan to make yourself a better manager, coach, and teacher? Sure as we are sitting here preaching about off-season goals and work out schedule, we seldom take our own advice. This article provides practical advise on continued learning and development that all coaches should pursue.
The annual ABCA Convention gave me an opportunity to put things into perspective. It coincided with the deployment of one of America’s largest amphibious battle groups to the Persian Gulf to defend OUR freedoms. As I contemplated these events I knew this baseball game, my passion and my profession, had better be about a lot more than winning. Read this article to get Coach Pinkman’s perspective on the game – no, the life – of baseball.
PITCHING IN YOUTH BASEBALL: A PATH TO SUCCESS OR LONG-TERM INJURY?
John discusses the benfits of technology in pitching and how to get your pitchers involved in their improvement.
It’s very important to come face to face with your own definition. How else could you lead an honorable life? For most of us, integrity is truly the unconscious. It is the way we were raised. It’s as much a part of us as the color of our eyes or the sound of our voice. But the exercise of defining the word is well worth the effort. It brings us in touch with who we want to be compared to who we’ve become. This article explores the meaning and application of integrity.
John interviews a local legend in North Carolina to find out what his secret to success is.
BOSU, Graduated Mitt System, BP Barrell…and the list goes on. Each year Coach Pinkman reviews products shown at the ABCA Convention and Exhibition for Collegiate Baseball News. Read this article to learn about some of the latest products and technologies available. And don’t be surprised if you see some of them at Battery Park soon!
When asked to show us their 2-seam fastball grip, a surprising number of experienced high school pitchers couldn’t! We were surprised by this - and by the fact that they weren’t willing to let us know they didn’t know. Why are kids afraid to "not know" something? This article explores some thoughts on this topic.
There are four basic physical science factors in baseball flight: two uncontrollable constants - distance and gravity, and two controllable variables - velocity and axis of rotation. This article approaches the curve ball from a scientific perspective.
Part 3 of 3 - How to Teach Off Speed Pitches
Curve balls and balls that curve mean many different things to many different people. It really makes a difference if the pitcher and the coach are talking about two different pitch actions but using the same name. Clarify what you are talking about. This article talks about how to teach specific grips.
Are Vision Skills important to pitchers? Let’s see - A pitcher is 50% closer to the batted ball than the 3rd baseman playing at regular depth. We used to call 3rd base the “hot box”. This position requires excellent 1st step quickness because of the speed at which balls are hit and the short time the player has to move to catch them. You decide – or read this article to get Coach Pinkman’s thoughts on the subject.
Compare and Contrast - The nation's top pitching instructors provide their stance on modern pitching mechanics.
See if this sounds familiar...Your starting pitcher walks the first batter. Walks the second one too. He then throws one to the backstop. Trying to find the plate, he takes a lot off his next pitch, which is hit for a double. Several batters later, before you know it, you're down 4-0. Your pitcher takes the mound in the second inning and "settles down". He then throws a 3 hit shutout the rest of the game. What happened? Was he warmed up? Was he nervous? Does it matter? The simple fact was he was not prepared to compete on the first pitch.
When we work with a pitcher who has great mechanics but just can’t seem to locate a pitch, we try to separate and eliminate specific, but basic, mechanical actions that may be the cause of the problem. Static and dynamic balance, core stabilization, stride leg angle and landing, and head level to the horizon are primary body factors that cause control difficulties. But sometimes these are hard to capture with the naked eye. This is where the use of a camera comes in handy. As you might expect, the camera often captures details that the eye cannot.
Parents both local and visiting from across the country always ask, “Why don’t more baseball coaches use video?” My answer – “I have no idea.” I continue to be amazed by the excuses baseball coaches create to avoid video analysis. The truth is – there IS no excuse. With the availability of technology at a realistic cost, anyone who is seriously interested in producing results should be using video. This article discusses an amazing video system that represents the latest technology available on the market today.
This article addresses the use of a radar gun during the game to (1) assess the success of that training, (2) acquire tactical information that can be used immediately, and (3) provide the information for post game training purposes.
Are you interested in learning more about your throwing motion but don’t have a facility in your area to have this done? John Pinkman has created the Virginia Throwing Motion Laboratory to address the needs of throwers across the nation. Simply send us a video of your throwing motion and we do the rest. This article explains the simple process of filming your thrower and sending us the video for analysis. Visit our website, www.pinkmanpitching.com, for detailed information on exactly how to shoot the analytical video with a home camera. We analyze the motion here in Virginia, create and return to you an individual custom video that details the cause, the effect, and the solution to you problem. We show you drills that specifically address solutions to your problem.
Practical information on how to use a gun to teach pitchers to throw consistently as they increase velocity and how to learn to throw slow. This article focuses on the use of the radar gun during the preseason and practice.
Over the years we have seen a marked decline in the number of catchers, and in their player development. This article explores some possible reasons for this situation and requests reader input on this topic.
Don’t know how you’ll survive AFTER your playing days are over? Many of us have had to face that moment in our lives. It’s not easy! But the good news is that there are lots of opportunities to stay in the game. All those corny teamwork statements you endured in your coaches’ speeches are yours now to deliver - If you see the opportunity and make the right choice. Read on to see what I mean.
I’m sure you believe, as I do, that we must continue to challenge young men to aspire to higher values and work ethics. Many players believe standards are different in various parts of the country. They’re not. I truly believe that we all share the same American Dreams and hopes for the next generation. Clip this article and use it as you embark on a new season of preparation and evaluation.
The Business of Baseball Training
This article takes a look at the benefits that result from competition in the training business. Benefits like cleaner and safer facilities, advanced or new teaching concepts, and more.
John interviews head coach of Rice University Wayne Graham, winners of the 2003 College World Series.
Interviews From Omaha
John Pinkman interviews coaches from the College World Series.
This article provides specific pointers to someone considering starting up a business. While these are directed at the baseball business, they are applicable in other industries as well. Read about suggestions related to identifying "who you are", defining your market share, facility and staff pointers, and more.
In a year that saw many of the major trade shows take big hits in attendance and exhibitor sales, the ABCA trade show posted increases in both. This trade show demonstrated many levels of technological sophistication, detail, and cost to fit every budget and need. Read Coach Pinkman’s review of the conference for insights.
On first glance, the baseball business may seem to be a seasonal pursuit. But perhaps it doesn’t have to be. We have introduced several concepts to "level the playing field" so we can operate productively year ‘round. See if our ideas will work for you - and share your ideas with us!
Ten years ago some leagues were insulted at the suggestion that you would charge real money to teach baseball skills. Now the concept of a baseball academy is commonplace throughout the country. This article investigates some of the issues associated with operating a professional baseball educational business.
The reason those of us in the teaching end of the baseball business are not considered "professional" is that we do not act like professionals. We do not surround ourselves with professional standards, business processes, continuing education, or support systems. As professionals we do not hold ourselves accountable to each other and to the profession. This article proposes the development of a professional association, much like the umpires, coaches, and players have.
A former student of Pinkman Pitching goes on a roller coaster of injuries, lands in Texas, and becomes one of the only walk-ons to make the NCAA defending National Championship Texas Longhorn team.
Baseball isn't the only thing that goes on at the College World Series. From beach balls to heartbreak, find out some behind the scenes stories of Omaha.