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Friday, November 13, 2009

How to Choose a Quality Pitching Instructor

By Dan Gazaway
One of the biggest frustrations many parents and coaches share is the lack of teaching talent and many philosophies pitching instructors seem to have these days. There are many theories out there that are not yet proven. Can you teach each pitcher the same way and clone them? The answer is no, you cannot.

Here are some things to look out for when choosing a qualified pitching instructor.

First of all, if the pitching coach has spent some time in the Major Leagues, Rookie ball and so on, do not assume they know what they are talking about. There are many who have natural talent with incredible arms, however most don't know the first thing about pitching mechanics; they only know what has worked for them. What has worked for them may not work for you.

Not only that; if the instructor seems to know what they are talking about, are they a good educator? I have run into many retired Major League pitchers that are great people, but horrible educators. Some I know, understand pitching mechanics, but they have the most difficult time explaining or demonstrating the "how to's" of mechanics. Just attend a pitching camp or clinic in your local area and ask the boys that attend that camp what they learned that day and how they are going to apply it.

Don't listen to an instructor who tries to change your natural arm slot or tells you most successful pitchers throw at a 90 degree angle. I throw with a "natural" three quarter arm slot, most pitchers "naturally" throw this way, but others really do throw close to 90 degrees.

Avoid instructors who try to teach other off speed pitches before the student understands how to throw a great fastball with solid pitching mechanics. Until you, as a pitcher, understand proper movements toward home plate with outstanding balance, you will not be successful throwing other pitches anyway. You can risk a shortened career and put undo stress on your throwing arm.

There are some great instructors out there, don't get me wrong! The "great" instructors are just very difficult to find. Good luck in your pursuit of the perfect pitching instructor.

Dan Gazaway is a quality pitching instructor who specializes in pitching mechanics, teaching different pitching grips including how to throw a curveball [].

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick