Pitch Command with Lakation Nation Dustin Pease
Welcome to The Baseball Awakening Podcast, where we dive into the raw, unfiltered, unsexy side of player development
Dustin Pease is a former professional pitcher, college pitching coach and current owner and operator of Lakation Nation and author of the ebook: Lokation Nation’s Guide to Commanding Locations.
On this episode, Host Geoff Rottmayersits down with Dustin Pease of Lakation Nation. We discuss his playing career and how he help guys develop command.
Show Notes: In this conversation, Dustin talks about:
- His playing background and how & why he started Lokation Nation.
- The balance between velocity and command.
- His thoughts on velocity and the programs out there.
- His process of helping a guy develop mechanics and command.
- The training protocol.
- How to manage coaches trying to change mechanics.
- Thoughts on throwing different weight and size balls.
- His pressure testing protocol for practice.
- Long Toss protocol.
- Recommended intensity levels for throwing a repetition bullpen.
- Conversation to get a kid to develop a secondary pitch.
- Where to turn vision focus for different pitches.
- Understand where their pitch is going.
- The utilization of visualization.
- and more.
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Geoff Rottmayer: On today’s show, we sit down with Dustin Pease of LokationNation.com and we’re talking pitch command.
Intro: Welcome to another episode of The Baseball Awakening Podcast where we dive into the raw unfiltered, unsexy side of player development. Get ready for some knowledge bombs with your host, Geoff Rottmayer.
Geoff Rottmayer: Welcome to The Baseball Awakening Podcast, I’m Geoff Rottmayer and I’m with Dustin Pease of lokatenation.com. That is location where the where the k located nation.com. Dustin, how are you sir?
Dustin Pease: Good, good. Good to hear from you. Thanks Geoff for having me on today.
Geoff Rottmayer: Awesome. Well listen, you know, I’m glad to have you on Dustin. So you are the founder of location nation Dot Com location where the k location nation.com where you tend to bring some focus to the command back to pitching and I want to pick your mind on some things but let’s just kind of start with town of little bit about your background and then how and why you started location nation.com.
Dustin Pease: Essentially, you know, I just Kinda grew up in an environment where I was introduced to location and command at a young age and uh, you know, I really took that to heart because I wasn’t physically get the pitcher and I was, I was pretty small and you know, and when you turn on a major league game, even when I was even on a 20 years ago, I turned on the game, you see a bunch of really big dudes on TV and um, you know, it’s a little discouraging when you’re, when you’re not gonna potentially be physically gifted. And, and I was definitely small and weak and, and, and the perspectives for that to happen wasn’t, wasn’t looking good. So it was really cool to have the pitching coach that I had talked to me about about location. He was associated with major league organization. He was associated with the major league team in Baltimore Orioles. So it was really cool to hear how, how dominant and how effective location could be. Um, you know, learning about the effects of location was really important. And then from that point forward, you know, uh, trying to create that level of command where I felt like I was very proficient in, it was a long process, but it was something I really took to heart and I was something I really dedicated a lot of time in my life towards achieving, um, and uh, paid off. So I mean, it was really cool to kind of follow that process. Uh, I think, uh, in terms of social media and in terms of like how, how my message is resonating and I feel like it’s interesting because then it, lots of people are going to advocate for pitching come in. Lots of people are gonna say command is important. I think it’s, you know, a little bit different with me because I was, I was able to produce a career, uh, with, with my message. So you need the rope, throw it really hard in order to make it higher levels. But then I wasn’t able to prove a successful career at every level of play that, you know, I didn’t get to make it a major league baseball, but at every level I played that I was able to produce successful outcomes. So, you know, in a way just to provide that inspiration to people that maybe are looking for alternative ways to continue to improve the performance. Uh, I feel like it’s kind of cool to, to present that and it’s really kind of cool to look back on my career and then present that to people. So it’s kind of where at
Geoff Rottmayer: the other stream, which is commands commanding part, but you don’t discredit the velocity part and you know, something, something the thing that you do, but that’s not the case. So you bring some balance to the pitching world. There’s more than enough blocked and talk and you bring the command talk. So what are your thoughts for the people that are listening that have a misconception of what you believe? What are your thoughts on the velocity part? Complimenting the command part.
Dustin Pease: Misconception. And I could see how it can be the brand of what I’ve created says location nation, um, designed, designed it from a few different angles, you know, that the case backwards and, you know, I feel like God will command, are going to get more called strikes and things like that. But, um, you know, velocity is important. I mean, I always understood that velocity was going to be, um, uh, an integral part of my development and an integral part of me advancing. I knew that I was going to need to reach certain levels of velocity in order to be somewhat relevant in the game of baseball. So, you know, velocity is important. I mean, in terms of the advancement in the game, you’re going to need to continue to throw harder, harder, harder, harder, any losses are continuing to go up. Um, and I think, you know, that’s why I put in my, in my bio, you know, I, I immediately started off with velocity compliments your ability to come in. Um, I guess it is like just try to redirect people to what is absolutely necessary in the present moment in order to compete in a baseball game. You know, everybody, any picture that goes and take him out, he goes to take the pitcher’s mound in a game that particular day is going to have what they have. They’re either going to have 98 or they’re going to have 82 or they’re going to have 71. Seventy one is not going to throw 90 to 95 isn’t going to throw 112, you know, you’re going to have what you have in the present moment. And uh, you know, that’s why, that’s why I speak to command so much. You want to be able to command and execute the what you can, what you currently have. And if, uh, you can’t, if you don’t, if you aren’t, then we need to come. We need to find ways to build your skill level so that you can execute maybe either at that speed or a little bit slower than that speed or, or start a process to where you’re going. Dialing it back, some kind of work back up to your, to your peak speed, but miles Michael has put in one of my old previous blogs where he did a blog for a for me, he said he thinks every pitcher is going to have a sweet spot where they’re not quite at Max effort work, but the word that promotes comfortable level feel for for command and executing the love. So I kind of feel that way as well. I think it’s, it is difficult to operate it at Max level and then have that really high level of execution to speaking from experience and then with others. But the velocity is important. I mean this is part of the game. It’s just something we got to continue to work towards, but I just feel like in the present moment you’re going to need location. You’re in come command.
Geoff Rottmayer: Can you talk about that? A little bit of command mechanic, mood repetition, helping a guy developed commands.
Dustin Pease: I try not to be too biased towards it, but you know, I required insane amounts of repetition. Insane amounts of, uh, I would say constrainted repetition through emotion. I mean, I think that’s an important point because a lot of people ask you what, what mechanics are best for command and it doesn’t, when it comes down to demand, it’s more so the task and executing the goal then how you’re moving to get there, you know, so while the rapid, while the repetition is important, we want to feel like we’re moving in very similar ways. You know, we want to be able to have that feedback from, do we execute the goal to hit the glove? Didn’t Mr Gluck, did we execute the rule? Didn’t miss an area we wanted it to miss. How many times did we do that? Are we counting, are we keeping track? And all these things can help us a, if we’re performing well, you can visibly see it, you know, Amanda’s a command. It’s something very hard to measure. But for the individual that’s going through that action, the individual that’s going through the intention of either hitting the glove or thrown into a certain area or an intended area, we’re going to be our best judges. You know, did we execute what we’re trying to do? And uh, yeah, so I mean with, with what I do to train guys that do a lot of constraint based training or we’re kinda like really honing in and focusing on different areas of the strike zone. We try to do a lot of our training, 60 feet, we do somewhat flat ground, but you know, just large amounts of repetition, not a lot of mechanical work when it, when it’s, when it comes down to actually true command training, uh, unless there’s something glaringly off with emotion where it’s just constantly inconsistent. But even so, I said if you told me to go through 10 different pitching mechanics, I’d probably still be pretty confident I could throw the ball where it supposed to go. So again, I just think it’s a, it’s a, it’s an interesting thing to train, but it’s more of an attentional redirection.
Geoff Rottmayer: Are you picking a particular spot in the nine hole or what does that look like?
Dustin Pease: They’re going to pull up the Internet, find some different target devices. And you know, for me, this is where I feel like I speak about the culture of the game a lot, but this is where I feel like it’s really difficult for guys to actually train to become better pitchers, you know, if you want to have the greatest transfer to performance as in like the game you want to operate in practice in a similar fashion. But the problem for pitchers in 2018 and really all all the time is having a catcher and catchers, catchers don’t want to catch dads would prefer not to catch and other pitchers don’t want to catch. So how do we pitch to a catcher consistently? It’s, it’s very difficult. But in order to really get a good feel to create that same type of environment, it’d be best to throw to a catcher. And, and with within our training was with the way that I haven’t designed it. Application nation or a facility here in Frederick, you know, we’re always starting to catchers. So thrown to the glove, we’re having to catch up, move around. We’re getting that, that real good feel for how it, how we’re executing the target, how it, how it can be moved, and again, the capture aspect of it is important to all of this kind of plays into our ability to execute. So, um, I just feel like the best way to see that transfer is to create the most relative environment and practice so that we can use it again.
Geoff Rottmayer: Right. Is there a process like that or kind of all in one? We’re trying to get the mechanics and the location.
Dustin Pease: Yeah, that’s awesome. So I kind of see it like this and this just Kinda, again, I’ll relate it to how I kind of work. So it was guys to a guy the first start seeing me, we’ll, we’ll, we’ll check out how they’re moving. We’ll do some video, will look through the mechanics, will look into it, evaluate some of the inefficiencies, efficiencies and we’ll try to correct some of those things because it’s very difficult to focus on the command aspects if you’re not moving the way that maybe can be most beneficial. That being said, uh, I mean I had a very unorthodox pitching motion with probably a ton more than inefficiencies then I could have had, but um, the way that I moved, I was able to move in a very optimized type way so I was able to move very aggressively and produce, you know, uh, I would say a higher output than, and even others who we’ve officially officially just because I moved that way so much and I was able to optimize the way that I moved. So, you know, we’ll look at some things. We don’t change everything with how people move. Um, you know, some, some stuff that suggestive some stuff we’ll kind of see if they can kind of problem solve themselves. Like if, if we kind of said, hey, we’re not really driving like this or we’re not really keeping her up or half closed as much or we’re not landing this way and then we can kind of let them bring it to their attention and see how different things feel. Um, and obviously we want to shape them in the most optimal positions, but it might not be the same for everyone. We might have people that don’t really move the way we want or move well and uh, and they still have really good output, you know? Um, so that, that being said, yeah, we want to have them have a pattern. So once that pattern is, is addressed and once that pattern is adopted or once we feel like we’re in a, in a position where we feel that pattern is somewhat repeatable, they have a really good idea how they’re moving, then we have to change the intention for why they’re moving. You know, most people when they, when they pick up a ball, um, I would say the majority of people when they pick up the ball and they go to throw it, their intention is to throw the ball. And I know that sounds really simple, but when you’re really working on accuracy and command, we shouldn’t be thinking about throwing the ball, the ball, throwing the hitting the target? And the whole reason why we’re moving through our pitching motion is to execute hitting the gloves. So we want to be in such a comfortable state with our movement patterns, such a comfortable state with how we’re moving that we just moved through it autonomously. We don’t have to think about adding engaging effort or adding or engaging different parts of our emotions. We don’t be thinking about x, y, z through our mechanics. We just want to let it happen the way it does so that we can focus all of our attention on the task at hand, which is hitting the gloves or paying attention to the rules of the constraints that we have in that particular
Geoff Rottmayer: mechanics. Trying to hit the glove that isn’t going to work. So for now he’s thinking about his mechanics and it seemed like they never get anywhere because he’s constantly thinking about that. When he away from you,
Dustin Pease: let’s say he’s with me. Is he hitting involved in that sense? When you said, what’d you say? He is more accurate when he’s with me and then not as accurate with his team or his whatever his coach is saying to them, is that what you’re asking
Geoff Rottmayer: your arms too low, too high, you’re not doing this, you’re not doing that. So now he thinking about his mechanics all over again.
Dustin Pease: Right. That’s something I’m kind of also finding as I go, man, I continue to do research and try to further my education on how I Helen developing skill based on my own process and then just based on the research I do, but I’m like if I let a kid go through 10 pitches and he misses five of them and I interject on every single one that he misses and says and give him a mechanical reason for why he missed his why he misses glove, that’s usually not a good thing. And, and that happens a lot. Like, oh, he’s missing up all the time. Hey, you’re releasing too high, or hey, get your arm up. Probably not the problem. It’s probably probably something that he, that the player alone can make these adjustments on his own. They can problem solve on their own without the interjection. The problem is the way that they’re practicing. It’s the way that they’re designing a practice that can be better. Um, sometimes there’s some interjections that can help, but you know. Yeah, you’re right. I mean, when you start directing attention towards the physicality of what you’re doing, um, it’s gonna make it harder for you to focus on the attention or the focus, your attention on the task at hand and it’s gonna be more difficult to execute. It’s, it’s very difficult to, to manage that attention, especially in a high pressure setting like a baseball game.
Geoff Rottmayer: How do you help them work through that? You know, could they come in and made them do x, Y, z?
Dustin Pease: Right? Again, a lot of times I’ll get me, you always want to be respectful. My advice to myself from my pitching coach growing up was always just say, yes, yes sir. No Sir. And be respectful and try to continue doing what you’re doing, especially if it’s in the midst of a baseball game. If it’s in the midst of the baseball game and people are yelling x, Y, Z, uh, it, it’s typically, that’s not when you fix things, you fix things and practice. You can perform in the game so, or you wait for the ending to be over and then they speak in between innings, but even if that’s happening, um, it’s very difficult to make those adjustments in the game, especially if you’re going to be given to them for information like trying to tell them that mechanically change something in order to complete a task, you know? So, um, yeah. What do you tell that kid? I mean, it’s tough to tell them exactly. I, I, you know, don’t know, it’s hard to give you an exact answer on that. Um, you just hope that. Yeah, you just hope that there’s more collaboration between coaches and a lot of times, you know, for what it’s worth, a lot of team coaches, high school coaches or travel ball coaches or college coaches, they don’t always like to collaborate with private instructors or for ofs offsite coaching. You know, they don’t like that. And I do the best I can to try to collaborate with a lot of my pictures, a coaches so that they are on the same page so that they can operate freely and comfortably in their environment. And again, it always comes back to the environment. So the coach can be another variable that adds to the, the task issue, you know, and that’s something that we want to avoid.
Geoff Rottmayer: This idea of throwing a ball or throwing a bigger baseball or throwing a smaller ball. What’s your thoughts on all that?
Dustin Pease: Yeah, so I wrote a blog on that at least a month or two ago, maybe longer. I’m not sure when I wrote it, but in terms of like changing the. If you’re talking purely in the sense of pitching command, I’m not a fan, not a fan of changing, changing the ball that you’re trying to coordinate your brain’s movement around the way that your brain is trying to interpret everything about the task and the task to operate in the environment. With baseball game and a baseball game, you’re going to use a five point two, five ounce baseball if we’re. If we are, we are manipulating that in our practice for us to get a better understanding of how to use a five point two, five pounds baseball, it just doesn’t make sense to me. Um, the brain is very delicate in how we coordinate movements and, you know, I think about trying to figure out how to move that ball around, how to move the baseball around the way that we want. I think about using different types of constraints for differential learning that doesn’t involve changing the weight of the ball, talks about changing the direction, trajectories, positioning of a target. And these are all things that, that definitely work in training, um, to help guys find what they’re doing. They kind of helped aide that problem solving process. And I think that’s why we were talking about this in the sense of command. I think that’s why, you know, people are just trying to think of ways. They’re just trying to think of ways to help people find, feel and know. I feel like it, it’s, it’s a, it’s an interesting idea. I don’t see it as a good idea. So, um, that’s just my take on it again, and some people might be like, oh, I’m, I can command now that I moved, I use different baseball. I was like, again, when I think about true pitching command, you executing your pitches at a high rate of a high percentage rate. If you’re not using the competitional wait, it’s going to be very difficult for you to develop the skill using other types of weight, in my opinion,
Geoff Rottmayer: command training. Do you pick a location? Kind of talk about that a little bit and how you develop that part
Dustin Pease: from my personal process involves thousands of pitches trying to precise locations until I was satisfied until I was satisfied that I can do it in any environment. And I know it was only doing a practice. Unfortunately I had a catcher who, who would’ve caught me for the entire, uh, for the rest of his life, which was my father. Um, you know, having that type of, that type of timeless environment was critical. I feel like my ability to, to, to where I was able to get my ability to, you know, I, and I didn’t operate at high percentages of effort so I could do, I was doing many, many reps daily, uh, to execute this. But, you know, the way that I structure it, you know, I definitely try to bring that to light, you know, that try to have my gun because I don’t, I’m not going to work with my pictures every single day. You know, it’s impossible for me to do that. I might see them once a week and lie to them every other week, you know, I’m going to give them the leeway and these suggestions to do that more on their own. If they are capable that you can find the catcher. But, um, you know, I try to just give them a better idea of process. So like, you know, we want to be able to execute in, in the zone. We want to be able to execute a strike seven out of 10 times a day. At minimum. We want to be able to execute our intention. Seven out of 10 times we want to get through that, maybe in flat ground and we want to be able to get through that when a pitcher’s mound and we want to be able to get through that, uh, maybe in sequencing pitches like maybe fastballs and changeups away, fastball change up away, then they maybe want to do that with a hitter in the box and then maybe we want to do that with an l screen in a batter swinging where it’s still feels that practice, but it’s not quite competition. Then we removed the old street and, and we’re actually pitching to them like we want to just try to, we want to transfer this, all of this work where we’re trying to build that comfortability and how we’re moving and how we’re executing to that game speed that, that game effort. And it is, it takes time. You know, I implemented a system when I was coaching a Mount Saint Mary’s university, um, as a division one pitching coach. I implemented it for two plus years and it was good. It was good to see, you know, I, I called it a level system. It’s probably going to be the next thing I published here soon. Um, and, and uh, you know, we were worked, I think I have like 12 or 13 levels. I could easily add more. But um, you know, the, our best pitchers were the ones that were able to execute all the way to the top and by the end of our session, I think it was our fall through the winter. We still had guys in level one which was just trying to execute a bottoms on strike on the opposite arm side and they couldn’t do it seven out of 10 times. And those were the guys that couldn’t do it. They really struggled in games to do it, you know, and we had brought, we had pressure testing every week so the levels will operate by pressure testing and some guys could handle the pressure and some guys couldn’t. And again, all of this reflects what happens with the game. So it’s Kinda like you get a, you get a chance to see what happens in practice, what happens in the game. The guys that can handle the pressure of the practice of the guys who can handle the pressure and again, again, there’s no exact science to it, but it was good and interesting to see the ones who performed well and the ones who didn’t perform well. And again, some of it was just mindset, like they just wouldn’t buy into. It was sometimes it was like the culture, like telling them they need to throw harder. They really struggled to understand the executing was what we’re going for, you know, we weren’t trying to throw it a thousand dollars an hour, we’re trying to execute that and they just really struggled and it was unfortunate to see. But it’s a, it’s a constant conversation trying to help guys understand the importance of command and location. Um, so yeah, the pressure testing. So we did that every Friday and you know, the tasks usually week to week was whatever I had the rules or the constraints says. So like let’s just take level one. For example, we were flat grounds. Um, we got not 60 feet. This was like the initial test. No flat ground. We were going bottom corner strikes at the knees and they had to either throw it at the glove which was low or it can be down as in they could bounce the ball and they would pass. So the constraint was they had a, they actually had a good area of miss, um, where they had to close. And the reason I made the constraint was because our pitchers miss a lot and we’re not throwing 96, you know, there’s not all these guys have been saying spin rates like they need to work down in the strike zone and we need to work on the strikes and the certain hitters that you can find that stuff out in the game. But I’m constantly missing up, you know, sober trying to redirect our attention to the bottom of the strikes in, to be able to miss. And so the pressure testing working like that. So they had the whole week to work on it. They could work on that. I would give the freedom for them to do play catch long toss, work back in, use a test that they’re going to be work that they were going to be tested on every week. They can do it as many times as they want it. I’m very pro throw, got loud, a lot of rowing and uh, you know, some guys would kill it. They kill it all week long. They’re getting seven out of 10, eight out of 10, set up a defense and then the Friday would roll around and they fail, you know, and, and the pressure basically with seven out of 10, they had to get seven out of 10. And I was essentially to the judge, as I said before, we can see like we can see if we executed the, the, the idea based on the constraint or not. So, you know, it was kind of how the pressure testing work. If they pass, they get to move on to the next level. If they didn’t, they had a whole nother week of practicing it again. So it’s, it’s, it’s cool. And, and creating that tension and pressure is or ways that we, we want to help guys feel it, you know, when they need it and knowing that you have a whole nother week of practice if you don’t pass, it’s going to put some significant pressure on you because it becomes more competitive among the staff
Geoff Rottmayer: protocol with that. Or are they blue long tossing.
Dustin Pease: I lot for my entire life, my entire career trying to build my arms, my hand speed and build more energy and effort. Um, yeah. I mean I like long toss a lot because. And this kind of will post backgrounds too, but you know, long toss allows you to, to hone and target, you know, you’re playing catch with someone. They have a glove and it’s going to resemble the idea of task that we’re going to be going for it. Sixty feet six. So you know, as they’re backing up 300 feet within, still hone and target and stay attuned to the goal which is hitting the club and executing the location. So that’s why I like long toss because it kind of allows for a balance of increasing your arm speed, increasing your arm strength. I don’t know if these aren’t sharing arm speed, rather explosiveness all the way back in and we’re constantly being aware of that, you know. So like I said before, the distances, the trajectories, you know, those things can kind of help you find it feel higher releasing then I’d say better than changing the modalities ball. So um, and then you know, flat grounds, you know, that’s a very, it is what it is. I did a lot of flat ground work but again that’s still not 60 feet six inches, but it at the flat grounds we do have a catcher getting down so we kind of have the pitcher getting down, he’s catching. So it kinda resembles more of the environment then say long toss does, you know. So. So you got that and then we’ll move back to 60 feet. But no, I like long toss purely because you can still, you can still hone in on the idea and intention of targeting the globe and seeing if you actually hit the glove
Geoff Rottmayer: or or do you like the 75 to 80 percent? What does that whole look like when you’re working on command?
Dustin Pease: In my book that I wrote, I kind of put together a little more process through how I did it and how I’ve worked on it with guys. But percentages of effort are really big when you’re trying to find and feel what you’re doing to educate attached. So I like to make it a lot of analogies when I related to skill or you know, let’s say if it’s like jump rope or a ladder drills or riding a bike or learning how to sprint, you’re gonna have to do things slow so that you can coordinate your patterns set. You keep the task. Maybe it’s playing the guitar, know you’re not just going to hand someone. The guitars are going to start to shred on the guitar. You know, they’re going to have to learn the positioning and hands and coordinate the movements tech goal, so no percentages of effort, really important. So if a person never the movements like never truly coordinates the reason for movement as the whole entire Schema in their brain for the moving to execute the glove or the task or bodily mechanics to execute targeting and the only thing that they ever did was work on percentage of effort to just increase explosiveness and the ball speed, which would be just velocity. Then it’s going to be extremely, extremely difficult to redirect attention at that Max effort while they’re already at Max effort. So they never task demand to 100 percent effort and they’re able to throw it 95 or whatever. It’s going to be very difficult to help them command at 95 because it’s almost going to be like starting over. You know, they’re gonna have. They’re going to have to back down and percentage of effort a little bit so that they can learn and like analogy that you got to learn what the notes are. They gonna have to learn how to move their fingers around to execute the task of me playing the correct note or jumping over, jumped with them. Then we can speed it back up so they get the coordination. So again, it comes down to task and it really comes down to effort, you know, that’s a good question because it’s not always last. It’s how much effort you’re using. The 70 mile an hour pitch might be at Max effort, you know, and he still can’t come in. So it comes down to how did you learn to get to 70 miles an hour? How did you learn to get to 90 miles an hour? Did you coordinate your patterns to execute at that speed? And if not, we might need to rework and remap the brain to do that.
Geoff Rottmayer: So whenever you are working on, obviously you want to start with the basketball, you know, you got to be able to command the fastball, right? So what’s the conversation like with a guy when, okay, so now we’re getting away the work on his curve ball in. A lot of kids don’t realize what that fit is the post to do or what is to feel like we’re just supposed to look to start commanding that. So how did you start that profit? The teaching them not just lay the curve ball and it’s close to move like this and you look here and it goes there. You know, at bird that doesn’t break. So kind of talk about that conversation of developing a, a secondary pitch.
Dustin Pease: Yeah, it’s good. I mean for me like uh, you know, looking back I was in, when I learned how to throw my slider, it was called the slider. It was later identified as a slurve, you know, it’s like, it’s almost like creating like that movement pattern. Like he’s like, okay, that’s the pitch. That’s, that’s the, you know, it’s designed a certain way. I like how it looks and then you just kind of understand that, okay, I know what I’m doing the throw that I’m making it move. Okay. So you have your pitch at that point, you’re going to continue to get stronger and build and your fast ball speed’s gonna pick up. You’re going to continue to throw the pitch better. Um, but when I think about, you know, off speed pitches, when I think about the process of how I acquired basketball command, it’s again, it’s just continued constant problem solving. So if you’re a 60 feet six inches and you and you already understand how to throw a curve ball, your curveball noobs your changeup has fade or slider has that small late blight. If we’ve already established the fact that you’re able and capable of throwing that quality of pitch, then it comes down to problem solving. So again, if we add those constraints back in, um, to the targeting where the ball needs to end up, you know, without me even interjecting if I, if I just basically explained to them the goal of where the ball end going to be. Yeah, it’s going to take some time. But the biggest, the best problem solvers going to be the individual. It’s not going to be me interjecting saying you need to let go here. You go there, you know the goal is to throw it to a certain spot. They are going to be their best judge. And, and I think, I think the biggest problem is the amount of time that is under is underestimated how much time that is going to take in order to solve problems at a high rate after thousands of pitches, people aren’t going to go out and go down. I also threw them at lower percentages of effort. Um, but again, you can build as you go through, and again, in my book, because I put it as a guide with the percentage of effort, maybe you are at 60 percent for a while, maybe you feel like you can increase the 70, 80 percent and still execute the way that you’re, you’re, you’re working towards because you’re seeing, you’re seeing, you’re seeing those tasks completed, you’re seeing those tasks accepts successfully completed. So yeah, we can naturally start to add more effort in, um, we might even feel like we’re adding more effort without trying to, because we’re doing so many repetitions. So I got, I just think it’s a big problem solving thing. You know, there’s a problem we need to hit the glove. We need to see if we’re failing or succeeding and making those adjustments every single time and making sure we’re directing our attention accordingly.
Geoff Rottmayer: Right I agree. How about vision, what do you tell them to look at?
Dustin Pease: For a breaking ball,
Dustin Pease: it’ll depend again, back to problem solving. Depends on type of movement. I guess we have a pitch that’s constantly running. You’re fading or diving a however many inches it is or whatever to be. Because we don’t need an exact measurement. We can. We can see these things. They can unfold right in front of us and that’s going to be our best idea. If somebody told me that my fastball moves six inches and I need to account for that, that’s good that I have the six inch idea. I know how much it’s moving, but it’s not understanding that exact measurement. It’s not going to help me understand exactly how to start, where to start the ball, you know, it’s, it’s gonna, it’s gonna take the ball needs to end up in the glove and I’m going to keep finding, finding where I need to start it. So visually if I throw a straight fast ball and I noticed though Shit basketball and I can visually see them phones, straight basketball, then I’m going to obviously want to look at the glove. If I could tell my pictures moving, then we’re going to refer to my chapter and my guy. That’s that I refer to as focal points. So like if you’re a felon you feel like your fastball is running a good amount. Sometimes I would start my fastball at the guys’ belt buckle and let it run back into the inner half. Sometimes I would not, you know, depending if I felt like my movement wasn’t as much, I would aim somewhere in between the catcher and the belt buckle. I let it run back to the corner or the kneecap depending. The vertical constraint was for that particular pitch. Yeah, I mean you’re looking at different focal points and sometimes that can help and sometimes it’s a little bit scary for people because they don’t want to hit people. But at the same time it’s kind of helps us understand movement better. So no movement. I’m going to say you’re looking at the glove with movement problem solve and figure out where, where you can start it till it get the ball to and where you want it to be and it takes a lot of time and a lot of feel to a, solving in their pitch where you gotta Kinda Watch and understand what you’re doing so that you can adjust accordingly. Sometimes it’s very difficult to see her because you were moving in three dimensional. Hey, we’re living in three dimensional space. We’re ballistically launching a ball in three dimensional space and the ball is moving in three dimensional space in our house or any other dimensions on its way there. So there’s a lot of things that our brain, you’re trying to compete in a very split second type of timeframe and it’s difficult, you know, and upon release I feel like that’s why it’s, it’s hard sometime to see a release and that’s why I, I do suggest trying to keep your head is still as you can upon release so that we can, we can kind of calibrate more where the ball is moving, if we can kind of make that adjustment, you know, if her head is getting bopped around in her ball, has a ton of movement suite, it’s harder for us to calibrate in my opinion, you know, how do we make those adjustments. So because again, that that visual perception is going to be big and how we make those adjustments. Yeah, I mean not. I mean visualization is another chapter in my um, yeah, I mean you visualization can happen anywhere I think when, when sometimes guys are in command training or in practice forever or if they are in a game because I try to redirect her attention to positive mental imagery. So if their goal is to hit a low in a way the knees and they execute that in the game, like lock that down, like lock that in your mind, you want to replay that pitch over and over and over again. If it’s an APP, it’s in practice and you’re and you’re actually feeling and seeing yourself execute or goal like trapping those images and trapping those, the film footage in your own mind I feel like is hugely important because the more we can kind of play out, play out those visualizations, visualizations that are minds rather, um, I feel like the more of a chance we’re going to have to play off those visualizations in real life. So that’s something I utilized tremendously my life. Like I would fall asleep every single night. Like literally from when I started pitching until my career ended, I’m falling asleep. Thinking about painting sliders against lefties are changeups, fading away from righties while they’re swinging over top of it. And just seeing him play out in real life is a cool thing. I mean, obviously it’s one thing just to visualize one good pitch. I never practice it, but you want to continue practicing it so you can execute it, but the visualization aspect I think is very, very big. Again, it just kind of ties back into how our brain and our mind calibrate coordination for what we want to do and if it’s the throat pitches to certain locations, you know, replaying that is going to help us process better. It’s going to help us map the reason for tasking and moving better.
Geoff Rottmayer: Like an outer body experience. You can learn, you know, you can’t really tell the visualizing and even if they’re doing it right, so it’s kind of tough to get into their mind because you want to help them and you want to get them away from mechanic. So you know, the interesting dynamic with the whole visualization stuff.
Dustin Pease: Yeah, definitely, definitely underrated. I think people think it’s important to see some of the vr stuff or hitters and things like that. That perception is everything because it helps us, helps us problem solve. If we can, if we can replay those reps in our mind, it’s going to help us solve the problems we have in real life. So, um, the only issue is we’re not physically moving so you know, visually seeing. That’s why I think command is interesting in the fact that it’s very task oriented, goal oriented. We can, we can see if we’re succeeding the task and we can kind of see and watch yourselves good for our emotions and either execute or not and it’s Kinda cool to Kinda always positively mental imagery wise, replayed those positive images so that we can kind of like build that competence.
Geoff Rottmayer: So I’m a big believer in throwing out there that just says, you know, you got to find a way to get your reps in and you can do that with visualization, right?
Dustin Pease: Your body needs to be able to operate as much as you want. Again, this might be a little bit of a tangent, but that’s why I threw so much more than. Can’t throw this. You gotta make sure to take this many days off. I don’t care about any of this. I’m going to throw up for 300 pitches today. Now I don’t go on twitter and some people got a little reckless, but at the same time again, it just kind of speaks to my career. Like I just did not care what the culture said I had to do. Like if I wanted to go outside the 300 pitches to the opposite arm side corner, then that’s what I did. And, and then I’ll wake up the next day and go do it again. And people would always be like, man, you have really good commander, like how do you execute? So there’s thousands of pitches and again, although I want to tell everyone to do that, you can’t put a little bit reckless. But again, I think that the trick was that was that when I do mention that I did not do it at 100 percent effort, you know, I did it at levels that I could, that I could repeat and just be comfortable and visually see me execute my goal, you know? And, and that’s just, that was just part of how I live, how I want it to be. So again, a little biased there, but in a little bit of a tangent, sorry.
Geoff Rottmayer: Obviously you have to get to a point where you are trusting and have competence in your stuff in a lot of time whenever we are not executing your pitches this because we’re not trusting or we don’t have common in that pitch. So can you talk a little bit about the mindset part?
Dustin Pease: Yeah man. What makes you so confident that 100 miles an hour, 100 miles, 100 mile an hour. Pitchers in the minor league, pitchers in the minor leagues don’t feel competent and they’re not, they’re not executing well or they are competent and then just not succeeding the way. So there’s a little delusion there sometimes, but competence in your pitches comes down to your. And my opinion is again, based on everything that I talked about is your ability to execute pitches. So like when a guy gets on the box, I’m very competent that I’m going to get ahead in the count and I’m Tommy, I’m going to head out because of how I designed my practice and how I trained so much. So, um, you know, competence is built around, I got a guy, I have to take it back to the design of practice, like understanding and knowing your ability to execute pitches and if you did everything in your preparation to do that, then there’s going to be some, there’s gonna be some confidence there in order to and that are going to reflect that at training and reflect how you prepare it. Um, as far as like, stuff goes and like what you had. I mean, yeah, I guess you’re going to have what you have in that day. You’re going to have what you have in that present moment. And if you have really filthy stuff, that’s great. That’s awesome that you have filthy stuff. You haven’t that president of it. But if you can’t utilize any of it, why are we pitching fiery playing a team sport? Why are you out there? You know? And, and again, it’s just for some it’s just the road of insanity that was keep going out but keep trying to make this stuff better last year. And it’s, it’s either they’re ignorant or they continue to be told what they need to have and they don’t understand, they don’t understand it needs to be applied. And uh, so yeah, I would say confidence for me it came down to execution and knowing that when a batter stepped in the box, I had a plan to get them out and it was the move the ball around and change speeds and embarrassed them. And I was, although I didn’t throw 90 miles an hour consistently, I was able to embarrass him or is a strategizing and it was fun to do.
Geoff Rottmayer: Can you talk a little bit of routine?
Dustin Pease: Sure. So like, I mean, aside from stretching and getting yourself ready, you mean like.
Geoff Rottmayer: Yeah,
Dustin Pease: yeah. So, um, you know, for me, when I was, when I was coaching the guys in Division One stab, I just leave, I left freedom. There was how they got themselves prepared. I mean, I, I did, we did have some discussions as a staff, you know, how they went through. They’re both ends. I’m leading up like pregame. But um, it was so, it wasn’t so much a disparity or does so much separation or difference in and why and when they were throwing pitches, like there was no pattern to what they were trying to do. They were just literally catch her up the middle and they’re just on pitches. They’re just throwing pitches, switch and pitches don’t pitches. Like there’s no, there’s no intentional, there’s no ability to establish one. I did a video a while back talking about establishment and holding yourself accountable. So, you know, we Kinda, I kinda gave them like kind of nudge them in the direction of hey listen, like we should be trying to establish a fastball first. We’re going to be using this mostly in the game. It’s gonna be, it’s to be a pitcher pitched type that we locate them or need to use the most. So why don’t we try to like establish what we’re trying to do more. So maybe if you want to start your pen in your work in the middle first, maybe you are working the opposite arm side first, which is, which was something I did because I always felt like I wanted to get to my furthest reaching release point, which was opposite arm side or glove side. Got It. Um, you know, establish areas of the zone, like pay attention to what you’re doing. Did you succeed? Don’t just go through doctors mindlessly go through your warmup to get loose, like work on something like the same way when you’re playing fetch, hit the glove, like don’t just throw like pay attention. So you know, just, it wasn’t like an exact way a lot of guys wanted. A lot of the pitchers wanted to know an exact way. So I gave them an exact way the. Exactly. It was exactly how I did it. And that’s because that’s what they wanted. They wanted to know how I did it and the other ones I just of, they might’ve did it in more of a general sense, but at least they had a better understanding of, of establishing. So, so focused on. And they would just work through their pitches that way and um, pitch by pitch and then they might pattern then at the end, but it was, it was much less convoluted in their and their and what they were previously doing where it was just like a no rhyme or reason is thrown different pitches, didn’t care where it went, you know, things like that. So,
Geoff Rottmayer: and you were a college coach even with the guide that you work with now, part of that commanded me neighbor, throw the ball where you want based on what the hitter is giving you. So the whole reading the hitter part. Can you talk a little bit about that process? Because a lot of guys, I mean I don’t think enough young pitchers, water cues that the hitters are giving them and building a game plan office. So can you talk a little bit about a simple process that you use? There are things to pay attention to, to get guys out.
Dustin Pease: None of that matters if you can actually keep pitches, pitches going. It doesn’t really matter if he’s late, he’s late on an outside, basketball outside of basketball. And the guy doesn’t have the ability to execute insight, basketball doesn’t really matter that we should be trying to throw inside of. You can’t get it in there anyways, throw it down the middle, you know. Um, so yeah, those are things that are important. Things that I would bring to the attention of the staff. Like listen, if you’re able to execute pitches better, this opens up a very wide variety of ways to strategize against sitters. Know, Aka, like looking at their scouting reports, you know, what are some of the weaknesses, you know, uh, for me, you know, I was somebody who had a good level of command. I was very confident in ability to execute and I was very confident in my, in what I did. I always felt like they needed a scouting report on me. Like it wasn’t like I was always adjusting, but in the, in the moment, like in the moment of that bats, yeah, that is a more, I would say that’s a very advanced type of, uh, understanding, you know, and, and that’s where I feel like why pitching coaches and I had a blog, all of that same pitching coach calling you stupid. It’s only stupid if pitchers can execute the mental energy, the mental energy, the pitching coaches as being wasted now pitching coaches, I think understanding what’s going on with you guys on the front foot, you know, if they have a long story short swing where they excel, like, yeah, we’re going to have a better understanding of how to execute against a hitter and we want to teach that to the, to the pitcher. But no matter how much a pitcher understands all of that information, if they don’t possess a skill that allows them to execute pitches the way that the way they need to be, we’re just wasting energy. Which is why I always get back to we, you want to have a somewhat of a decent rate of command word locating pitches. So that we can, we can strategize in that sense. So it’s a good question, but it’s, it’s pretty, it’s a little bit more advanced, I’d say. You know, once, once you have that level of skill, once you feel like you’ve reached that level of skill, reconnects acute really well, then we can start utilizing. Another thing was scouting reports or guys that earlier guys really are paying attention to all this other stuff.
Geoff Rottmayer: Let me ask you this, when you got a guy that comes to you and he pits on Saturday and he comes in and you asked him, hey man, how to go? And he said, well, you know, basketball went well, the chain wok. Okay. Uh, but the curve horrible. No. What was that conversation like? Does that just mean that you go in there and work on throwing a bunch of curve balls or what your, what your talk about why a pitch might not work one day
Dustin Pease: maybe you started using the game and you got away from it. Like there’s so many dynamics that play in the course in the course of the baseball game. They can. I can redirect your thought process. It doesn’t mean again that picture has a curve ball. It’s not the fact that he doesn’t already possessed the ability to throw a burly quality pitch. Obviously it wasn’t working that day. I can speak to that because I’ve had my certain pitchers aren’t working the way that you want and again there’s there’s variables in play that that can be affecting that. It can be people crowding. It can be anything where like people crowding the plate, they’re been holding down to being a little bit rainy, a little bit slick out there and there’s. There’s lots of different things that can affect what happens. It could be cold and maybe just don’t have as good of a grip on it, you know, so no, I wouldn’t say oh my gosh, we had football wasn’t as good as it a law. We have to go practice it right away. Like, no, you already told a really good curve ball. The goal is to create that adaptability and then that’s what. That’s for my. A lot of my research has kind of been heading lately with how I’m doing non linear constraint learning, like understanding the adaptability and the dexterity to perform under any type of environment. Um, and, and, and chaos, you know, if it is cold day, there was a whole, it is rainy, but that is our crowd, the plate so that we can adapt to it. And uh, again, I, I practiced insane amounts of practice throughout my life to have that level of execution. And you’re, sometimes there’s environments just to get the best of you and it’s, it’s something that you just go back and take that and you’re like, man, how do I overcome that? You know? And uh, so I don’t think, I don’t think there’s any direct answer and I don’t want to say I don’t know, but I don’t think there’s any one direct answer where you’re like, oh my gosh, we have to do this. And unfortunately I feel like a lot of coaches do that. They don’t, they don’t take no account. A lot of the other logical factors that could come into play.
Geoff Rottmayer: There’s gonna be some coaches listening to this or maybe not, I don’t know who’s listening, but they’re going to see, hey, your curve ball wasn’t working and so they’re going to go and throw 400 curveballs thinking that was, that was the issue. You know, there’s a lot of things involved in being able to execute a pitch and you just didn’t have it in one day and that’s going to happen and there’s going to be days where you just don’t have it and it’s going to be okay. Right.
Dustin Pease: I think it’s, is a really cool direction. We’re kind of going because in some ways, you know, when, when I, when I think about a lot of my commands, like when I think about my process and least some of the ways I worked on the eyes know you are in more of a controlled environment and, and most of the way even if you have like the best constraints and the best practices on, you’re still in somewhat of a controlled setting. And like I said, compared to like maybe like the mound or the weather or the cold or the know. So in some ways I look back at it as the game was gonna be my next problem solving for me to become more decks, like have more dexterity. So like if that day was cold and that things weren’t quite working right, then I would work against it and try to overcome it and it’s like the game became my way to evolve for my way to become better at that. So if it happened again and you had to adapt to that environment, you know, and it’s kind of interesting when you think about it like that, but you know, you can look at it sometimes and that’s why there’s so many different stats on pictures are just players generally. How does he claim under the lights? How does he play during the day? How does he play in the high? How has he played in the cold? There’s so many things. How did you play at home? How does he play away? All of these things are taken into account. And uh, it’s, it’s cool. It’s, it’s, it’s a way for us to realize, wow, I, I struggle with this. How can you overcome this? And being one, being aware of it or aren’t aware of it, but being aware of of of the problem and trying to solve it in the moment of the game. That’s tricky, but at the same time it’s kind of interesting.
Geoff Rottmayer: I’m a young coach and I’m listening to this show and I’m listening to you talk and maybe I’m tipping too far to the velocity side and I’m getting frustrated because some of my guy, the not being able to command. What’s your advice? You know, you got the book out, which I highly recommend www locate nation.com that’s located with a k. they’ll check that out, but what’s. What’s your advice for the young coaches?
Dustin Pease: I think the biggest problem, the coaches, any coach at any level, no matter how much they love commands and no matter how much or how much they loved, not just mine, that’s just how much that there’s many people out there with this message and as many people out there that have had careers in the game at lower speeds or even higher speeds and they’re able to do what we’re talking about today. I think the biggest problem they’re going to face isn’t, isn’t the fact that maybe maybe they feel like they are more velocity, so maybe they feel like their kids are struggling. It’s going to be a constant competition because of the way the game is shaped today and it’s unfortunate to say, but it’s going to constantly be. It’s going to have to be a countercultural thought or a countercultural idea in the mind of the individual that they’re like, you know what, this, you know what? This is more important to me like this. I want to be a really good pitcher in the game. Like I want to make sure I’m really balancing my efforts. You know, no matter how much a coach says something, an individual, the majorly baseball at the culture of the game is going to say, if you want to play at the highest level, he got throw 107 like you know, and, and that’s gonna always be in the back of people’s minds. No matter how much they feel like they’re working on command, if they’re not putting forth the most amount of effort, as we discussed before, if they’re not putting forth their best effort, as in their best effort to throw harder news, Max effort for force are going to have a really tough time getting better command. So coaches, I feel for you, I’ve been there, I’ve talked to these guys and sometimes it’s like you’re just staring into a blank walls is they understand what they understand, they understand what they want to do and what they understand, what they need to do to make it to the highest level, but they aren’t able to comprehend what needs to be done to produce skill to produce that level of skill that we’re looking for that Oh, that’s cute. And it’s very tough. It’s something I don’t think can be underestimated and and that’s where I, that’s, and this is one of the reasons why I’m doing what I’m doing. When I coached at the mail, it was those guys that had some talent, they had some, they had some really good professional qualities of their pitches and the motions and, and they just, we just couldn’t put it together because they were always trying to throw harder and it just fizzled, you know, they just didn’t. They couldn’t put up the numbers. They couldn’t, they just fizzled. It was unfortunate to see and I just hate to see that happen to guys that really have potential maybe move on in the career. Maybe there’s only indie ball, maybe they do get a sign as a free agent. Like you know what guys don’t want to be successful in the game and not just try to always use that 100 mile an hour Martino and there’s no reason why you can’t get there with command. Like why not put this? Just reevaluate, reevaluate this thing. So yeah, coaches, I feel for you it’s just gonna take a lot of conversation that says you just kind of keep working and talking to us through it and helping them make decisions about how they’re training.
Geoff Rottmayer: This has been a great conversation. Thanks for coming on,
Dustin Pease: Jeff. Thanks for having me on before to do it again sometime. A man. Awesome stuff.
Geoff Rottmayer: Thank you for listening to our conversation on the baseball wakening podcast. Stay tuned for a recap show tomorrow.