The 6th Tool – Pitch Recognition with Dr. Peter Fadde
Welcome to The Baseball Awakening Podcast, where we dive into the raw, unfiltered, unsexy side of player development.
Dr. Peter Fadde, founder of Game Sense Sports Pitch Recognition Software and author of the ebook The 6th Tool – Pitch Recognition.
On this episode, Host Geoff Rottmayersits down with Dr. Peter Fadde of Game Sense Sports Software. We discuss his career as an evaluator, scout, and national crosschecker.
In this conversation Dr. Fadde talks about:
- How is the fascination with pitch recognition started?
- The thought process he had when he was going through this process.
- How we do not train kids to properly see the ball.
- Recognizing shapes, color, the spin of baseball.
- It takes time to build mental data based on pitches.
- What big leaguers are doing that we should be doing.
- It only takes 5 minutes to train and make a part of your routine.
- The Game Sense Sports Software and its objective.
- How important the first third window of picking the ball up is.
- The decision making process in picking baseball up early.
- Eliminating pitches to improve the odds of recognition.
- The role practice has and building the mental database.
- and much more.
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Geoff Rottmayer: Do you see the ball? Do you recognize it out of the hand? Do you train it? If not today showed for you. Dr Peter Fadde is the founder of Game Sense Sport App , training pitch recongition.
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 the The Baseball Awakening Podcast, I am Geoff Rottmayer and today we sit down with Dr. Peter Fadde with Game Sense Sport App. Dr. Fadde, How are you sir?
Peter Fadde: I’ am Fine!
Geoff Rottmayer: I’m Dr. Fadde. I’m excited to have you on. You know, you go to a book called the sixth tool and it’s obviously a topic that you are very passionate about and it’s on this concept of pitch recognition. Can you talk a little bit about how this fascination started?
Peter Fadde: Um, yeah. Well, you know, I played a little ball, kids that play ball baseball and softball and um, obviously, you know, that’s a, that’s a big part of it, making good decisions. Recognizing pitches, especially as you get further advanced and there didn’t seem to be much of a way of, of training it. So the idea was, you know, how can we train this? So that’s what I started with my uh, research on and I found this research that was like from Australia in the early 1980’s that they called this technique occlusion or video occlusion where you can see a picture and then the balls cut off, pitches cut off and you’ve got to guess the type of pitch and a ball or strike and that’s what they were using to kind of measure who are the experts in this. And so I thought wow, that’s a nice training technique and that’s basically what would have developed then with that game sense approach. So it’s really, it’s really twitter simple type approach. You see pitches, I mean there’s all this vr and stuff out there and you know, you just, you see pitches and they recognize what they are. That’s how you practice pitch recognition and it’s actually really a scientifically supported method even though it seems so simple. Like most people look at it and say why, why hasn’t this been around before? And nobody just kind of put it together. So that’s my contribution is, is actually putting that together in such a form that coaches and players can use it.
Geoff Rottmayer: Yeah, I think it’s one of those things where people don’t look deep enough into, you know, the very first lessons we ever got the young ball player was to see the ball and I think we missed the boat on how we teach them how to do this, you know, we’re, we’re kind of, we kind of just assume that, you know, they can see the ball and what ended up happening is, you know, I got 12, 13, 14 year old and up and they can’t, they cannot really tell you whether they’re seeing the ball and the hand are not in the odds they’re not. And so they get really good at tracking the ball and not picking up the ball as quickly as they can.
Peter Fadde: Yeah. Great Point. And that’s an important skill. Tracking the ball is really important. Recognizing it out of hand. The thing is we don’t really have to like retrain our eyes to track the ball. There’s something coming at you, you’re going to track it. That’s instincts. Uh, but it does take a little retraining of the eyes to really focus in, pick that ball up. We’re really start that processing before you start tracking because you kind of have to process that stuff like ooh that popped up. That might be a curve that has to like, you can’t think that, you know, and have time to do it. That’s got a pop up into your brain, uh, so that as you track it, you’re considering that. So it’s like that in that kind of comes first and then your processing into the, just tracking the ball in there.
Geoff Rottmayer: That’s a great point that come with every pitch a and you can get really good at seeing the ball, the hand and seeing it early every pitch have a kind of a way of coming out of the hand, a shape or in. The better you get at that, the easier time you will have recognizing pitches.
Peter Fadde: Well, that’s exactly what we’re trying to do in the APP, in the game since after you see, like the beginning of the pitch and then you guess what it is and it tells you right or wrong. And then you can get a replay and I always have to be reminding people, you know, don’t rush, make sure you get that replay a lot because what that’s doing is it’s putting together, here’s what you saw at hand, now here’s the shape of the pitch. That’s what we’re ultimately trying. Lots and lots of reps with that immediate feedback and you just start to build that up. You don’t have to think about it. It starts to build up in your, in your eyes and your brain to where you’re seeing, okay, I see that out of the hand, this is what it means for the shape of the pitch. So I see that and I know what it’s going to be down here that’s going to add up to timing. And every hitting coach will tell you it’s all about time
Geoff Rottmayer: to a certain level or a certain point where seeing the ball you have that give. And even though we’re not doing it as efficiently as we can, then gets to a point where we’re talking about, you know, getting a good ball to hit. And really, you know, the recognition part is a part of that process so you really, you can’t get, you can’t really get good at that unless you get good at seeing the baseball and again you, you can go with having to have the right approach and all that other stuff
Peter Fadde: and just let that nice and easily build up to where when they get to a pretty advanced level, it’s just very natural and they don’t think about it so that when you say the pitch, see the ball, you’re not just meaning tracking your meaning this, this aspect of, of seeing it with your imagination and you see that ball coming out, you know exactly what the shape of that pitches. You’re just putting your bat on that, you know exactly where they were to get that. That’s, that’s what we want to mean by seeing the ball. And you still think music, look at it. Well looking at it isn’t. Seeing it, seeing it is really knowing that pitch. I got you. You know? So that’s, that’s what we’re trying. That’s what we want to think of this. Seeing the ball
Speaker 1: know you got to see a lot of pitches to good, good at recognizing the shape or color or whatever it is. It takes time. So when you, when you got a young kid and you jump all over him swinging at bad pitches, that part of the process
Speaker 3: got to be patient with them too because you know, they’re trying to to try and develop that and sometimes make mistakes and coaches got to accept that. But I think like with young kids, you just to give him something to work on so it doesn’t necessarily matter that that’s important is where you say like just middle away, middle away and you know, then you score a point that a group of kids and, and, and actually I saw Jeff Albert, he was with the Astros. Then now he’s the cardinals hitting coach and I saw him doing that in spring training with pro players are standing out there on a battlefield and they’re playing that game. He’s saying they’ll go in there and he’s, he’s calling. Okay. Middle of way. He throws a ball and he threw one in and this was to like a veteran, a ketchup catcher pitcher, and this guy launches once it goes out into the parking lot, hit the car, car alarms going off, he’s cheering, everybody’s cheering, and Jeff says, okay, you’re done. You’re out, guys. Looking at him, he said that where was the ball guy? Shows him with a bat, middle in. That’s not what you’re doing. You’re hitting middle way. Done. It turns done. Next
Geoff Rottmayer: only makes sense to do it at the younger level. I liked the part of making it a game and making it fun,
Peter Fadde: making it a game, making it fun, making it make a decision about the decision about the pitch and so a turn that sometimes use his decision practice. That means taking. It would just be normal practice, just front toss, just batting practice, just keyword, but every swing you’re making some kind of decision on it. Even if a kid is just hitting off a tee or a pro player, hitting off a tee, visualize that pitch coming in. You know you’ve got it set there on the outside corner. Visualize that as a pitch by righty coming right to that corner. Bam. Every once in awhile throw into your visualization, oh, I read slider, that’s off the quarter. I’m laying off that to see. I’m just so you’re, you’re taking every one of those routine practice turns and you’re, you know, you’re making it count extra because you’re putting that little decision in it. You can do that when you’re throwing your throwing batting practice to have a kid, you know, just say, hey, if I, but if I, if I flip a, a groove or something, lay off of that inside, outside, whatever it is, you know, and um, it also gives you a chance to work on their mechanics of eating the other way and stuff like that. But really mostly you’re just trying, you’re just giving them a reason to be paying attention to that ball.
Geoff Rottmayer: And you can solve that pretty quickly by telling them to visualize your pitcher. Then go with the ball and all that good stuff to get better.
Peter Fadde: Last thing is the instructors. Coaches are saying, visualize the picture all the time, but we can’t tell. I can’t really tell if somebody’s doing that, they don’t even know if they’re doing it right. So one of the benefits that we find with this rest of the game sense program that you guys can, can just take right into it, the cage with them on an iphone, they’re looking at that and you say, do a couple of these and then visualize that picture because it’s showing you what it looks like from the box office, you know, take, pick that guy and picture that guy throwing those pitches. So you’re making that direct connection. They’re actually teaching them how to visualize.
Geoff Rottmayer: So why don’t you go ahead and tell our listeners a little bit about what the game says.
Peter Fadde: Well, it’s um, it’s got a pro pitchers in it and that’s what we used for the high school travel college and professional players and we’ve got the pro players who use that all the way up through the rookie leagues. And um, and then we’ve also got a section with youth players in there. These are guys who were 14, 15 and 16 years old, good travel ball pitchers and, and everything is in there is just this real simple content. It’s a video, you know, it’s not animated or anything. Um, and you see it kind of from a batter’s point of view. It’s not exactly. We’re not trying to do with simulation. It’s not a Gopro and the helmet or anything, but you see, you see a batter’s views to the batter’s box and here comes the pitch pitches cutoff and then you’ve got to touch the screen to enter. Okay, so fastball, curveball, changeup, ball or strike the you being, you got it right? Or it tells you what the right answer was. If you got it wrong, you get a replay. Like I said, you get 10 pitches a, it takes about a minute and a half. So that’s a whole drill. And then you either beat the score and you’ll say, hey, try something new. Or it will say, hey, you know, you should repeat that, but you can actually do whatever you want. That’s one of the things. I like it. It’s not like a video game where you kind of have to go through every level if you want to say, Hey, I’m going right to the advanced level where you only see like just like a couple of feet of ball flight, go for it. So, uh, you know, guys just do that and you do it over and over and it’s a real light load. Guys can do that five or 10 minutes a day for five days a week. And that’s your entire workout. I’d, one of the pro guys say he did because they were required to do it. He said he got his whole day’s work in while he was waiting for his order in and out. So, you know, that’s, that’s the type of, you know, it’s, it’s the kind of micro learning because it’s like, man, there’s so many things that come out everybody these days. And yet there’s always a little times. And baseball, there’s lots of these little times you’re traveling to a tournament or whatever it is, you know, take out the phone and do a little work minutes.
Geoff Rottmayer: It seems to be one of those things where there’s no time to do that. There’s no time, no time. You know, it’s always. It always seems to be a time issue, but you’re talking about five minutes and then been working fine.
Peter Fadde: Five minutes scheduled. Yeah, that’s it. That’s kind of a new concept now in like military training, all kinds of things. We’re talking about micro learning. What can you do in just a few moments, just a few minutes that phones on you anyway. Check that out and do that. If somebody’s got an ipad or a computer, great. You’ve got a bigger screen. It looks great to people. People do just fine off the phone too.
Geoff Rottmayer: One we tried to use and now that I’m thinking about it, I need to get my internet situation solved so that we can use them more because it is a great tool. So let me ask you this. We talked earlier that you know, tracking the ball and early recognition, which kind of different things and the impact to a hitter decision making process. How big of an impact is it for someone that’s listening to say, I hit the ball well, but, but as they start getting into higher levels and the picture they’re getting better, it may be the missing the link. How important is that for third window? Well, I guess really important because when the pitchers start getting good, a tribute said, Greg Maddox said, you know, when somebody asked him what, what was the secret? And he said, you make balls look like strikes and strikes. Look like balls, you know? And so you’d see him. If people know Maddox, he, he’d throw that pitch to a right hand or it looks like it’s going to be high and outside by what drops right over the plate. And even if they’ve seen it, you know, a lot of times they still can’t pull the trigger because their eyes are telling them that we rely so much on her eyes. Everybody relies on her eyes. That’s, you know, that’s, that’s evolutionary. But ballplayers rely and hitters the lander, I even more. And the thing is your eyes can lie and those pictures know how to do it. So when you get to the point where your pitchers can make your eyes lie to you, then um, that’s when you’re going to get the payoff from having kind of been building this, this in. So you’re seeing. It’s not like you know what it is. You’re not saying, oh, I see that’s a slider. But in the back of your mind, you smell something fishy. You’re saying that looks like a fastball down the middle, but it smells bad to me. I’m laying on, you know, it’s not a decision like that. It has to happen. So if you’re, if you’re thinking about it, it’s too late. That’s why you gotta have to, you know, have built that in there. And you’ve got such a database and you don’t, you don’t ever think about it. Somebody, you know, the coach would go back and say, hey, how did you lay off that pitch? I don’t know. It just didn’t look right. Right. That’s good enough. We don’t do more than that. We don’t need you to say you saw skinny risks. You picked up the tumbling spin. You know, we don’t need a guy to explain it. He says, it smells bad. That’s good enough for me. Look good, smell bad.
Geoff Rottmayer: Let me ask you this. You know, based on your work and everything, let’s say we know the situation, we know the Pitcher, we’ve seen him, his son, you know, is it, is it a process of elimination game in terms what picture you’re trying to recognize in certain situation than count? Or can a guy pick up everything or pit that a guy have at any given time?
Peter Fadde: That’s absolutely correct. Every time you add a pitch you, it gets a lot more difficult. So like in that game sense on the pro side, even though we’ve got like 20 pictures in there, there’s only one of, every one of them has like three pitches to go by. There’s two guys in there where they’ve got four pitches and somebody said, wow, that makes it a lot harder because you got to think and deal with that so you can get, you know, it’s, it’s, um, I was reading something the other day a, whereas somebody was saying, you know, people tend to complicate it. It’s like, you know, what fits you hit. So if you get in an advantageous count, you get your two, one, two, three, one, two. Whoa. You know, I mean you want a fast ball right there. Look for a fastball right there and be ready to really clock it is much worse at that basketball right there is going to get past you because you might go whoa, game and only getting that situation once you better be ready. Right? So yeah, if you get in the situation and when you get pretty advanced you get. And you start to say, even with two strikes, what is this guy’s putaway pitch pitch? He’s going to make me chase. And if you can lay off of that chaser, then you can get another and you can, you can do some damage with that. So it’s like I’m in, I’ll go back to the astros because they’re well known with this and I know some of the guys working on it. And um, you know, several years ago there they’re kind of mantra was astros’ hit strikes. Well their mantra is evolved now and it’s Astros’ hit strikes hard sound. Your listeners like that much difference. And there’s a big difference. One is a little bit kind of, okay passive, we’re reading the pitch, we got to make sure it’s put out and the other is not letting a strike it past us not letting our ballgame. The other is is very aggressive and that’s what we’re really after. We’re not trying to be passive up there. We want to be that selective aggressive hitter right away. Approvals was in his prime. It’s like man, there’s nothing I can throw this guy.
Geoff Rottmayer: A lot of that mentality come from maybe you know, like we talked earlier, it’s that decision, that decision factor, you know, with guy not making decisions quick enough. And when you don’t make decision quick enough, you tend to be a little more passive and really you’d rather be more aggressive than passive and you and you learn the shape, the spend, the color and all that stuff later. I think. So I think it comes down to decision making
Peter Fadde: well, but we’ve got to do decision making in the right time and place. So then that’s why you’re doing practice. That’s why you’re using the APP. That’s what you’re standing in the pulpit and every chance you get because when you’re out there in the game, you really don’t want to be doing decision making. We don’t want to be making a decision to swing. You want to just be reacting and just letting you know, letting the mental gears work, which they will know they’ll, they’ll give you that. What you’re looking for is this just your eyes and your brain are just going to give you that impulse, that little shot of adrenaline to Bam to, you know, to get after that. Oh, that’s, you know, that’s what we want. So that’s where that’s a well trained. You get that fire, you know, that, that, that message to, to, to fire your swing. You know. So one of the things, and this is kind of an interesting one, but one of the things that the scientists talk about that psychologists talk about is system one and system two. System system one is fast and automatic and on pretty much unconscious system two is real deliberate. And this is where you do decision making and you compare all the options are going to buy a new car. You know, that’s your system too. So the trick is here that you’ve got to practice and system to set up your practice and all that, but you got to perform in system one. What guys can make that transition as coaches can help guys make that transition because sometimes you’ll hear coaches be real worried about paralysis by analysis. They don’t want guys thinking up there. Well there’s a big mistake, two mistakes, not thinking for thinking so good that it feels like not thinking that’s what we’re after. That’s that system one for. Yeah, all that’s going on, but so well trained that you don’t have to manage it. It runs itself. So like when you, you can drive home and sometimes you get there and go, wow, I don’t even remember getting off the highway. You’re so trained. You don’t need to consciously control that. In fact, you might mess it up in one of the things they find like as I’ve got a colleague who’s steady putting and why is it that if there’s more pressure on it, people screw it up just because they start thinking about it. Start Thinking, oh I got to do with my stroke is like just and use your hitting instructor. Say it all the time. Don’t think just go, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t practice thinking. See what I mean? We’ve got to put that into practice and we don’t care if somebody’s struggling like the one we were talking about. Hit it the opposite way or would it know to fail something that’s okay. You’re just saying it, but you have to pray and you said this early on its reps, it’s years. I mean you’ve got to practice it a lot and that’s all we’re trying to do is, you know, we’re not saying that this app here will make you make you have that expert pitch recognition. What we’re saying is it’s going to get you there faster.
Geoff Rottmayer: You know, we live in a time where we play a lot of games. When you play a lot of games, you miss the boat on training this system to the forest where we get to make mistakes and learn where we can and cannot hit.
Peter Fadde: Really. I mean that’s the whole idea. If somebody, if somebody is getting it to like one of the things that we have people do is the bull pin stand in and you, you read the Ebook, the Ebook, so you know that there’s. There’s a trick to how you’re supposed to do that. If you just send guys to stand in the pulpit, they’re going to track. The pitching coach is gonna. Say, Hey, I’m sending guys down there to track. Okay, that’s fine, but if you want to make that pitch recognition drill, what they’ve got to do is say, okay, I’m calling yes for fastball, no for anything else, and they’ve got to call it out before the pitch hits the catcher’s Mitt. Now when you see guys, they’re turning their head, looking into the mit. They’re looking right there at that picture and they’re trying to just say yes or no, trying to get it out before it hits the, on that and um, and they, you know, they do that in the, uh, in the astro spring training to and, and, and, uh, I was down there visiting a couple of years ago and you’d hear this, hear this Geoff calling out loud and early, loud in early. He wanted you calling that out. And the other thing he would say, and this goes to what you were just saying, if you’re getting them all right, you’re doing it all wrong. We want to hear you call it making some wrong calls because that means you’re pressing the envelope and that means you’re using your practice time to get better. You’re not trying to look at trying to impress anybody. You were trying to get them all right. You’re getting them all right, you’re doing it all wrong. So yeah, I mean even the proteins now, a lot of them are going away from their instructional league where they used to send the guys down in after their minor league season and they’d play 20 or 30 more games. Now it’s like, no, we’re going to use that to practice. We might play two or three games. So sometimes we, sometimes we just play. We love the sport, love to coach it, we love to play it. Sometimes we play it too much because sometimes what you need is practice. Especially it’s getting cold outside. We were talking about the northern guys like, oh, we’re going to lose out to the southern guys because they get to play more games and say, no, this is where you gain on this practice. Cold winter months of practice the right way. It’s going to push you further ahead than you know, 20 more games.
Geoff Rottmayer: I agree. I liked that. And then say yes or no. If you’re going to swing, do you do all that at once or do you separate? So do I sit there and say okay, curveball term and yes I’m going to swing. Or is that too much?
Peter Fadde: Yeah, that’s too much to begin with. But I’ve talked with, with the, with the manager of a, of a Midwest League, you know, um, minor league, a full season, 18 minutes. They said that’s all we’re trying to get guys on right now. That the first level of pitch recognition. Absolutely. First level of pitch recognition fastball, not a fastball. You’re out there and you’re going to stay. I’m going to call out. Yes. If I read that and I hit a fastball coming out and I’m trying to get it out, but you know, trying to get my yes out before the ball, hit the catcher’s Mitt and I’m going to say no if it’s not in. If your hitter says, well, I didn’t say anything, that means no, he didn’t. No, no means no. Not saying anything. Just means closing up. So you got to stay. Yes. But you’ve got to say, know that when they get a little bit, when they get good at that, now you say, okay, today, yes means fastball. Strike no means anything. You know this today? Yes. Means what I would swing at if I was ahead in the count two to oh and looking really for my pitch and they’ll use anything. So we just use yes and no all the time yes or no, yes or no or you know, some guys like to use it and no because yes, kinda comes out. Yes. Whereas you know, they, they want them doing something like that. That’s fine. But that’s what you don’t want to. You don’t want them calling the pitch type or anything that’s out in the bullpen. The especially if guys had been working the, the computer or the, you know, the game since APP on their computer or their phone and that’s that. Okay. You’re trying to call the pitch. You’re trying to call ball strike, but then when you get out into the bullpen you’re just trying to call, you know yes or no. Yes or no. Keep it simple. Yes or no.
Geoff Rottmayer: You mentioned something earlier about the importance of a real pitcher versus an at an animated picture. So for now we’re coming into a time where all did virtual reality separate, kind of coming into play. What the different or is there a difference?
Peter Fadde: Oh yeah, right now Jason Giambi behind an APP that you put your cell phone in the vr goggles and a good tool. But um, it’s, it’s good for seeing the shape of the pitch and kind of understanding some of those things, but it’s the kind of thing where you really need to see that picture moving. You really need to see the release of the, of the hand. Got to see that. And um, you know, it’s, it’s not that they’re different things no matter what tool are you going to put in your toolkit. So if, if, if one is a kind of a highly specialized tool, you know, I, I want to have a hammer and a saw. I worry about the other tools later. So we think of our tool is a hammer or a saw. I mean this is just something that you can use every day to sharp at Sherman of your eye. You can use it from the time you’re probably at the point where he did now I’d say 13 or 14, somewhere in there about the time guys are going into full length pitching and the travel and that’s and, and it can carry all the way up to the, to the majors at that point it just becomes a daily type of thing and that’s when you start to really change things is when something like that becomes so much a part of your regular routine that you feel weird if you don’t do it. Just like any other type of practice or for workout.
Geoff Rottmayer: Yeah, I agree. I wish, I wish I would have,
Peter Fadde: I might’ve stuck in the majors if I picked up the phone
Geoff Rottmayer: that far. You know, there’s still a lot of other pieces, at least for me, but it definitely would have been a nice tool. You know, I struggled with that slider, you know, and I, I couldn’t hit it. And the Pitcher, I knew it
Peter Fadde: equalizer.
Geoff Rottmayer: Right? Yeah. Okay. Let’s talk a little bit about, you know, um, thought focus to heart focus and that whole concept that coaches talk about, what’s your thought on the whole soft focus, you know, looking at the bill or whatever and turning it into a hard focus. You know, some guy talk about keeping your eyes still not moving in and there’s some guys that liked the foul, the ball all the way through the motion or whatever it is. Or what’s your thoughts on all that?
Peter Fadde: I don’t think there’s any particular one way to do it on a red’s game. And somehow it came up and people say, well, you know, watch for the release point and say, well, I just tracked it, you know, if a is doing a stab down in their emotion and wind up, you know, they see the book says, Hey, please show you the ball. Take a look. You follow it around other people’s, uh, you know, you do hear that. The heart soft focus, hard focus. But many Ramirez also would say, when I look at nothing, I see everything. So, uh, you know, I, I’m not gonna stand here and say look at one or the other. The theory is if you really make this a part of what you’re doing and then, and then you can, you can practice it on the video. Look at this, look at that even better than you go into that bullpen. If you’ve got guys doing this bull pin, stand in, that’s the time to try some of these different things. Hey, no, try following that ball all the way around and not just try it once. I had for a couple of weeks, a couple of sessions out there, see what feels comfortable for you because a, you don’t want to try and force everybody to do it the same way, but you don’t want guys to settle really early on and get real comfortable with something that may not be the best way to do that. So if you’re developing guys say, okay, go out there but in a safe and don’t try and don’t say, do this while you’re trying to hit because they’re going to screw them up and just the weight in the bullpen with it. You know, when you sign a stand in,
Geoff Rottmayer: that’s kind of where I’m at, you know I’m going to present you all the different options and let’s see what works for you. You know, same goes for mechanics and everything else. You have to do it, you know, you gotta give them the tools if figured out which one works for them and this kind of that same, that same concept,
Peter Fadde: right? If you give them the tools, they can use the tools in different ways. Alright. Hammer doesn’t come with instructions. Kids don’t hear things in the same way. So like right now a lot of hitting coaches are saying, oh, don’t do that. Squish the bug that teaches them to do some other things. It’s like, that’s, that’s what communicates with, you know, that’s what some kids would understand that it’s hard to say. Stay inside the ball would stay inside the ball. What does that mean? It means something. You know, some people that, okay, I got that right away, but if you’ve got some kid that, that may not be good, so you give them some other kind of instruction, you will say pride hit everything. Um, you know, that coach down there and the first base, the um, you a box there, you don’t like that guy. I hit him with everything you hit right handed batters. You did. You just come up with one thing that you try this, you try that and just, and all of a sudden they go, oh, that’s what, that’s what staying inside the ball, me. Okay. And then, then they realize that they’re not kidding the first basement. Instead they’re hitting it to center field or hitting it up the middle of the field. Just what you were trying to tell them at the beginning. That’s the one thing, you know, that’s probably one of the most important things that coaches do. My wife was reminding me she has our daughter, um, both took lessons from and then helped teach with a really great softball and hitting coach over in Indianapolis, Joe Creek and um, you know, that was his whole thing. He, he, he try and tell people something like what you’re talking about with the focus off focus artbook okay. And then he’d watch and it didn’t seem to be kind of getting it from that and try something else. He might do something physical where you Kinda here move your head here, you know, because some people kind of understand better that way. He might give them a, a trick like try and do this with the ball. You’re hitting at the top of the ball, the bottom of the ball swing under the ball. Know for some people if you see them popping the ball, don’t tell them, don’t touch the ball and hit the center of the ball. You might say, look, it’s neck ball comes in here. I want you to literally try to swing under the ball. And then you know, they get it right in the middle. Wow. So if you don’t quite know what’s going to connect with each one of those kids, have it. So the same instructions not going to work for all of them and one of them Paul to hit it hard up the middle, but you might have to tell them all something different to get them to do it.
Geoff Rottmayer: That’s the fun part. I really liked that part, but you can’t get frustrated, you know the part that part two is our learning process as well. You can’t get frustrated when they can’t get the one cue that every kid seemed to understand.
Peter Fadde: Right, exactly. It’s like, okay, you haven’t found. You haven’t found the right key to open that lot for them yet. So it kind of comes back on you. You’re saying okay, which probably another key here. We’ll get it.
Geoff Rottmayer: Okay. So. So when I talked to him and I talked to guys that have played, there will be some guys that say they see spin. There’ll be some guys that stay, they esteem, some guys will see color them, guide, mostly shaped, you know, what’s your thoughts on all that?
Peter Fadde: And white guys see coming out of the hand. I read a really interesting article once reported was standing around the batting cage at the All star game and he was asking people about that in the hitters about that. And so, um, uh, Clark Clark, what’s his name? The guy who was the first basement for the giants, will Clark played at Mississippi State. And he would say, yeah, of course I see the spit and every ball spins except a knuckle ball goes into the direction of the spin. How could you ever hit. You didn’t see Sammy Sosa standing right next to him and said, I don’t see any spit. And I see the ball hit the ball, you know, they, they’re both having pretty good success. Henry Aaron, Hank Aaron. At some point somebody asked him about his approach and he says, well, what I do is zoom in on the pitchers hand and that tells me everything I need to know. Okay, well I don’t zoom but his mind he’s doing something, he’s doing a concentration or a focus thing in there and it’s at timing kind of thing. So again, there are a lot of ways to get after that. Now that doesn’t mean that any way is okay and so it doesn’t matter. Means is five different things.
Geoff Rottmayer: Zooming in on it would be for the breaking ball or something like that or, or at least in his mind.
Peter Fadde: Yeah. Well, and what you see is it’s like you don’t necessarily. If you pick up cues, you’re not seeing it directly. A light box white box. In his book, he would say he would feel his eyes, Bob and his head and that’s how he knew he had a hanging breaking ball, breaking ball that was going to be in the zone. He didn’t say, I see it pop up out of the pitcher’s hand. He didn’t see. I see a skinny wrists or anything. He had this internal cute. He’d say, I’d feel my Bob’s my eyes bothering my head and I was just ready to get all over that pitch. I don’t know if you can teach other people to do that. Also ate a whole chicken before every game. So you as the coach you want to kind of get a feel for what’s working for a guy. See if you can build on that a little bit. Um, if they’re struggling, give them a little something to try.
Geoff Rottmayer: Third Window. That window. Is it similar? See it out of the hand, but I saw in that first third window it, am I going to be seeing the same thing? Sure.
Peter Fadde: Yeah. And it kind of depends on the type of hitter. Like some people will say, oh, this is a Tony Gwynn type thing. Well actually I don’t know that Tony Gwynn especially needed a lot of first third pitch recognition because he had a swing that could cover the strike zone, the size of the car door. They can put a good liquor on anything. And he wasn’t trying to launch angle limb or anything. He was just trying to hit it squarely anywhere within know. So basically he was going to be a tractor, he was going to be a last, a last third guy. You probably didn’t need to do that, but if you think of recent players, one of our favorites, Frank Thomas, and he’s a big guy with a long, long levers and a long swing. If he’s not picking that ball up in the first third, if he’s not knowing what he’s doing with his swing and the first third, he’s got no chance of adjusting that. That big aircraft carriers swing midway, partly depends on, on trying to match up those things. We look at a current guy like Josh Donaldson, well, you know, he went along. He was just. He was a poker player, but you know, he’s not top grade and then he had at some point he’d seen enough pitches because he’s got that. He’s a big guy. He’s got that kind of holistic approach. He’s got the leg kick and he sinks into his hip and then enhance it. A lot of action in there and there’s no way. He didn’t get really good until that mental database it had built up and he knew exactly what that pitch was going to do. He picked it up out of hand. He’s got the first third and you can see him. He talks about. It’s Kinda funny because these guys will talk on the Saturday morning mlb network show that supposedly for kids, but you can pick up some good stuff out of there. He would say he was bothering me on. You have to step before you know where the ball is. He said, I don’t do that. I get my, my foot up near. You know he does a leg lift. He steps depending on where the ball’s going. Well you don’t do that unless you’re picking it up pretty early.
Geoff Rottmayer: Let’s talk about today’s game with with the strikeout being pretty high and everything that the pitchers are throwing harder. I was a lot more movement. There’s not a whole lot of mental database and the pitcher that are coming in that hard with that type of a movement
Peter Fadde: coming in and out that they had they, and this is partly where all that, all the statistical analysis they do at that top level because they show that it, well, hitters have a lot better average on their third at bat and of course was probably guys that all whole lot. Okay you, you’re measuring him, you’re getting this. What do you get your third at Bat with this guy? Well sometimes you don’t get this or that bad a sturgeon, so you’ve got to gear up for that pretty quickly and the speeds are going up. I mean frankly the pitchers are just getting better and better so you know, it’s on the hitters to try and reclaim some of that territory and that’s the area we’re trying to work with. Just to pick up everything you possibly can that you know that that picture might be giving away. And especially at the developing levels, we’re not talking about pros know, you’ll either have a guy who slows us down for the, for the change up, and we have guys, they start watching the start doing the video app and they start saying, wow, I can see guy, I can see what guy slowed their arm down though I never saw that before. I see it. And I know what that means. My, you know, my eyes and my brain. Know what that means. If I see you guys slow down here, comes to bolt right down the middle. What’s not where it’s going to end up? Is it lay off of that one? I see a guy slowing it down, it comes up, it looks like it’s shoulder high will. Maybe I’m ready to be on that one because that is going to um, so they get the, you get the feel for that. The other thing that you really get when you’ve got whole teams using this and you get them talking about that. So they’ll go and they’ll say he’s that guy. That guy is trying to. He tries to look like he’s throwing it harder when he throws it off, you know, so like a young player, a lot of times they’ll really miss that nea, that young man, you know, he’s going to just jacked that ball up there and that’s your shoretel that it comes to change it,
Geoff Rottmayer: right?
Peter Fadde: So we get a lot more of that you’re looking for,
Geoff Rottmayer: right? I would sit and watch the game. You can pick up a lot, but if you’re sitting there and your Dick and often the dug out, you’re going to miss a lot of things that can really help you or the hitter. I mean you get, you get three to four baths that are one a minute and a half long, so you get essentially about four minutes a game where you get to make it have an impact. So why not use the rest of the game to pick up our one q stumped couple cues that can help you get hit.
Peter Fadde: I love to see at the youth level, I love to see the coach, not the 30 days, but in the dug out and talking with each thing. We got, we got, um, you know, we got to and Oh, here we got a runner on second. You think we’re gonna, you know, are we, are we ready to jump on something here? I think we’re going to get that basketball. We ready to rip here. You get them thinking situationally they can’t necessarily see the ball, but that’s a great time to really get them thinking situationally and know that the higher up they go and that starts effecting pitch count and all those things. That’s a, that’s an important part of your formula way you said early on to start reducing the pitches. Okay, here’s a situation where I’m looking for this and it gets a lot easier to hit when you reduce it to yes or no out in that bullpen, reduce it. When you reduce it to go, no, go yes or no. I’m looking for X. I’m all over it. If it’s that or something close to it. Um, otherwise I’m on. And the way baseball works, and this is very unusual, you can’t be in tennis and say, Oh, well, you know, I whipped that serve, you know, but here’s another one, next point now how was, I can’t think of anything else. It’s like that. So one thing for young hitters as they come and really learn what I learned, what that means for you.
Geoff Rottmayer: Yeah, I liked the idea of having to curse standing right there and talking to them, talking them through it because it’s almost like we assume that kids will know the situation, but if we’re not having that conversation, that we’re assuming that they’re going to have no understanding of what they’re going to want to do. And most of the time they don’t.
Peter Fadde: Then you don’t have to say, hey, remember the lecture mode? What you do is you just work off the situation that’s come up there right now. He worked off the situation has come up, um, and you say, uh, you know, you try and get them thinking about that, you know what I’m saying? Hey, give me a second here. We’re ready to, you know, we’re at. We’re on first. We got discount. You are we. Are we ready to score from first year? Do you think of, you know, two else you think we can. You think our guys going to be able to score it from there anyway, just thinking about the whole, the whole, the whole game. Building that up because it’s such a complicated game and. Yes, no kind of simple to hit the ball. You run, you catch the ball, you throw the ball, but these other things are in there, but rather than trying to teach it like some kind of lesson if, if, if you’re in there doing that, doing that dugout talk the whole time. That’s, that’s great. That’s what I’d like to see.
Geoff Rottmayer: I don’t want to take up too much more of your time, but let’s finish up with let’s say I think the APP is the, the, the game stand sports APP and very affordable. I think anyone can afford it but let’s say that they can and of course you have your ebook where there a lot of great drills in there to work on. Some of this pitch recognition stuff, but what are a few drilled that you could share with us that they could start working on the pitch recognition process now?
Geoff Rottmayer: Well, anything that makes you decide what you’re going to do with the ball, like where you’re saying if you’ve got a dad, he’s just throwing, throwing, batting practice. The kid like reset. Just hit middle away at high, hit low, you know it just basketballs. It just, you know that that type of thing. Then they’re starting to. It makes them look at the ball and it makes them, it gives them some purpose with that and one of the things with young hitters is they still know how to wait for the pitch. A lot of times they’re taking what seems like people be, why is there swinging so slow swim is so slow because they’re starting at too soon. They’re ready to hit that ball as soon as, as soon as the pitcher lets it go there. If you kind of get them to anything where they’re reading the pitch a little bit and they’re waiting just a little longer. I would even. What we used to say with our little leaguers was wait, watch and wait, or no, watch, wait and watch. No. Are you really looking in on that weight and you’re not waiting. You know, having a smoke, waiting for the bus, you’re, you’re reading the pitch and so that reading the pitch and it actually slows you down. I’m just to know because when you see really good hitters, they’re not in a big rush. It’s not a, not a fast twitch type of thing. Start early, but they don’t start at full speed it real easy, real easy and now you’re finishing so you’re not. Any of those types of drills are, are, are great. And what really works out well is if, if you’ve got kids are doing the app on their phones and then they can be working with the, with the, whether it’s a parent or a coach or whoever it is, a live thing. That’s where you put it together. Just one or just the other is not as good as both of them together. Especially if you’ve got like instructor. So have you got or instructor or a coach? You can. You can actually give them some homework. You can say, hey, we’re gonna, we’re gonna work on hitting curveballs. Next time I want you to go on your app that you’re doing and look at this picture and that picture. You can do something where you go into a, uh, into even if even if guys are doing a, uh, a hitting off the tee, sometimes you can sit up to tease and um, what, what I like to do, and this is in the ebook where you just put one out there and that’s just like the visualization on that. You’re just putting that out there to see where it would be coming in a, like a lot of, a lot of like high school type hitters. When the pitcher starts throwing curve balls, especially got right on right or left on left, they’re going to start that curve ball right at your shoulder. I said old high school group, I’m going to start it right at your shoulder is going to bend back over the plate and they’re going to have a nice laugh making me foolish. So you know, that’s one where you actually set up to put a ball on a tee, right? They’re not where you would hit it right there in front of your shoulder. Say That’s I’m, I’m doing that because I’m, I’m making a mental image of that curve ball that’s coming in like right. It’s going to hit me right on the front shoulder and then I’ve got my ball sitting right here in the middle of the plate, my tea right here in the ball of plate. So I am, I am building this, you know, this mental image of having that pitch come in there and instead of ducking back from it, I’m hitting it where it’s going to be.
Geoff Rottmayer: Yeah, I agree. Listening in, make sure you check out the game. Says Board APP. I don’t think you’ll regret it. There’s a tremendous amount of value in it. I would also check out the book as well.
Peter Fadde: That’s an Amazon book. It’s an ebook so you can see the videos and it’s just like $5 on Amazon. So it’s not something that’s really made to make a lot of money. It’s just there so that people can find it. It’s not very long. It’s only like 50 or 60 pages or something.
Geoff Rottmayer: Right. But, uh, but a very valuable 50 to 60 pages that I would highly recommend.
Peter Fadde: Well, I appreciate that.
Geoff Rottmayer: Well sir, I really appreciate your time. I learned a lot. I’m sure everyone listening did as well.
Peter Fadde: Yeah, Jeff and I really look forward to hearing more people on your, on your, uh, baseball awakening. That’s a great name for a podcast. You know, we’re, we’re waking up to ’em hey, there’s a lot of things we take for granted in the sport that we can actually train up. So, uh,
Geoff Rottmayer: right, whatever the idea, you know, there’s a lot of things that I think we are, you know, just little five minute thing that can make a big difference in player development. Thank you for listening to our conversation on the baseball awakening podcast. Stay tuned for our recap show tomorrow.