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Tulsa Baseball Lessons Why Practice Don’t Work For Most Guys

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Are you a baseball player who has all the measurable but struggles taking it to a game? Are you a baseball coach who is looking help your player with the ‘what’s next?’ conversation? Strategic Baseball Podcast and our Strategic Advantage Baseball Process is for you.

Geoff and Darrell talk about Why Practice Don’t Work For Most Guys

Geoff Rottmayer Twitter – @geoffrottmayer

Geoff Rottmayer Email – grottmayer@athletic-mission.com

Darrell Coulter Twitter – @darrellcoulter

Darrell Coulter Email – dc@starttpitching.com

Website: www.strategicbaseballpodcast.com

  • Transcription –

All right, there we go. I’m gonna let you kick this off. We’re talking today about why practice don’t work for most players.
Tulsa Baseball Lessons Yeah, man, I think this is going to be the beginning of a great conversation. Because, again, and I’ve said it before on previous shows that if you just held the gun to my head, and then said, Hey, what do you think the number one problem with player development, like individual player development with baseball players, and then you know, you can talk about the hitters. But for me, I’m pitching specific. And it’s not. It’s not talent. It’s not skill development. It’s not conditioning. It’s the way we literally practice. And what I mean by that is like, when it comes to pitchers, we got to start with the end in mind. And the end in mind is, is how do I show up on game day and pitch against nine different hitters, and then any other pitch hitter they’re going to put in that day? So it’s not just like what I do on game day? It’s like, how do I create a strategy versus that team that day? How do I create a strategy versus each individual hitter? And I think when we look at practice today, we look at practice more like conditioning, we look at practice more like skill training, and we’re not looking at practice, like, Okay, how am I taking the skills that I’m developing, you know, and, and really turning that into a game day strategy versus fill in the blank hitter. And so I think the the biggest thing, if we’re going to start talking about it, and the three things that you and I focus on here, that kind of separates us from what we think a lot of other facilities and and coaches do, is that we focus on what we call a strategic advantage mindset. You and I start with mindset, then we go to practice, then we go to strategy. So strategic advantage mindset means that everything I do all my conditioning, all my training, all my practice, has to give me a strategic advantage on game day. So when we look at all three pieces of those conditioning, training and practice, than it has to be about what I need, specifically, as an individual player, what do I need to do to get in shape to be ready to play? What individual skills do I need to work on, you know, whether it’s my mechanics, whether it’s my pitches, the pitch grips, the the different things that I do my pre pitch setup, all of those things far as the pitching perspective, would go into, like the individual skills, like the pitching related skills that I would need to start practicing pitches. And I think for me, specifically, what kind of differentiates it from the feedback we get from the guys here at athletic mission, and then the clients that I have remotely, is that when I look at skill development, it’s like, okay, you know, we take your athleticism, we take your body type your build, we tried to find the cleanest, most efficient mechanics that we can have. And then we got to build pitches off of that. And so when I look at pitch, practice, and I say pitch practice, I don’t say bullpens. We don’t have generic bullpens. We don’t just randomly throw pitches, we have specific pitch practice based on what that pitcher is. PML is and when I talk about pbms, I’m talking about that pitches, what is the velocity range of that pitch that they consistently throw it with? What is the movement pattern of that pitch they consistently through with? And then can they locate it on purpose? See, that’s what we ought to be practicing. We shouldn’t just be going throwing five fastballs away five basketballs in five basketballs. And it’s funny, because I asked guys all the time, like, Hey, man, you know, because, unfortunately, and you know, this is one of my biggest pet peeves in the world is coaches calling pitches, is that when these guys get into a game, the coaches call on pitches that they’d never practice. And I’m and I asked, you don’t mean man, I asked these guys all the time, but our place like, Hey, you know, walk me through kind of like, how you want to attack a specific hitter, and kind of the different locations and you know, the number system we use in so is the top of the zone is 123. The middle zone 456 Obama zone is, is 789. So just to give you a minimal visual image out there, just imagine the keypad on your phone. That’s kind of how I frame the strike zone out with these guys, because I just want them to be able to create a visual image of like how their pitches move in the zone. So we just kind of number it based on where the pitch starts and where it ends up. And so With that, we kind of go through like, Hey, where does when he says he wants a fastball up in a way, where is that? They’ll say like, well a one fastball. So that would be to a right handed hitter that would be up in a way that would be in the top left hand corner of the strike zone. And then I’ll ask them like, hey, how often do you practice that in your preseason bullpen? And man, a lot of times they say almost never, that we always practice down, down, down. And I’m like, then if you’re always practicing down, down, down, then why is he called pitches up in a way that you haven’t practiced all preseason and a real game?
and they just look at me like, man, I don’t know. And I’m like, that’s the problem we just got. we dislike. I call it time management practices. Like, we just like, Hey, man, each kid has got 12 minutes to throw a bullpen. Here’s a generic bullpen plan. Just go down there and throw five basketballs away two curveballs, three change ups. And so it’s just this random practice. Tulsa Baseball Lessons And I’m like, dude, man, we got to figure out. And I think one of the big things that separates you and I from a lot of the people that we talk to and how we do practice, practice to us one is super specific. Like we’re working on one skill, like if I’m working on fastball, then we’re working on fastball five, velocity, range, movement, pattern and location. And then we want to master that pitch. And then we’re going to master our curveball, changeup or slider, whatever pitches that that pitcher wants to master, then we’re going to figure out what is the velocity range? What is the movement? And what do I got to consistently do to locate that pitch. And that’s all we practice. And so I don’t call it bullpens, Tulsa Baseball Lessons I call it pitch practice. So if you tell me at the beginning of the preseason that you want to throw a two seam, a four seam, a curveball and a change of, then we’re practicing that to seen that foreseen that curveball and that change up exactly the same. If you’re going to throw that pitch in a real game, then we need to practice that exactly the same. And people are in people like what are you talking about, like after basketball 65% of time shooting, I practice that that same way. And I’d be like, why? That don’t even make sense, man. That’d be like a golfer saying, Hey, you know what, I I only hit my five iron six times around. So I’m only going to practice it once every five or six days, that’s ridiculous. You need if that five iron is the most important shot, you’re going to hit in that round that day, or if that’s the most important club that on three or four holes that is is going to be the difference between you being able to hit that second shot where it needs to go, then that is the most important club in your bag. And that’s the way we got to start treating pitches. Tulsa Baseball Lessons We got to start looking at pitches like I need to get these pitches game ready not based and not practice them based on the amount of or the percentage that I would throw those in a game that’s just like that, that mindset it blows my mind is 99.9% of preseason bullpen plants that I see does exactly that. And I think a lot of that traditional thinking is what is why pitchers struggle man and I’m talking to every level like it that mindset just never made sense to me. And so we got to change the way we practice and practice needs to be based on development it needs to be based on how do I get whatever the skill that I need game ready. So for pitchers it’s how do I get my pitches game ready? My to see my foresee my curveball, my changeup. I need to get all four of those pitches game ready. And coaches if you’re listening if you a simple change you could do to your bullpens is like soon as I identify the pitches that this kid’s gonna throw this season, then we got to practice them all the same. The whole goal is to get them ready. Now once you get deeper into the preseason bullpens, and you’re starting to throw 6070 pitches in your bullpens, then if if the fastball command is good, and we’re struggling with the curveball and changeup, then guess what I would throw my curveball and changeup more. Because again, the whole point of preseason practice, and the whole point of preseason bullpens is to get these individual pitches ready. It’s not to sit here and condition the arm anymore. That should have been done prior to us really, and as part of the weekly throwing program. Tulsa Baseball Lessons But we got to understand that that bullpens and what the work we do in preseason pins needs to be to develop each individual pitch and to get it day ready. And when we get the feel and and get a game ready. Then these kids show up on opening day when you’re wanting to call pitches and you’re one of the use all their pitches. And and when you do it that way, they’ll have a better opportunity to really have a feel and command for each one of those pitches. But if you say here and thrown at 5%, basketballs in the preseason, and then I watched it the other night and again, you and I sat there, watch it. We know what this guy’s preseason bullpen plan was. And he threw about 20 to 30. curveballs, the whole preseason, just real 100% like feel mastery curveballs. And then the other night in the game, he probably threw 30 of them in the first game. And I’m like, holy cow, man, why would you sit here and call a pitch that you’ve only practiced like 30 or 40 times in the last six weeks, honestly, like real practice, like game ready, practice, and then turn around in a game and throw it 30 times and again. Tulsa Baseball Lessons And it’s just like, it’s not surprising to me that these guys struggle early on Jeff. So again, man that again, and that’s not a rant man. This is like legit how pitchers practice. And what we see when we have we got people calling us now the in Oklahoma the seasons about two weeks in, and we got we got people calling now wanting to know like, how do I save the season. And and sometimes you can make a little adjustment and help them kind of figure it out and get that feel of maybe one or two pitches, it’s just not working yet. But most of them is going to be hard to really come back and try to get it unless they change their midweek pins and how they start practicing. Because they’re going to have to start getting game ready pitches. And if they don’t, then they’re going to struggle. And so again, man, I think that’s the the thing that I want coaches and players to hear about this conversation is that with the pitchers specifically, like how we practice each pitch, and be intentional, and the mindset that we have about that is what’s going to show up on game day, not just not just systematically going out here and throwing a pin, it’s got to be that I practice each individual pitch and get that pitch game ready. So when I go into a game in every situation and count that I need to throw that specific pitch that I got a pretty good idea and confidence in that pitch. But most pitchers that are struggling early in the season, it’s because they haven’t practiced game ready pitches. And then all of a sudden the season starts and they want to go out there and go 100% and try to execute these pitches, and they just don’t have the feel for it yet. And and again, man, that’s that’s why we do a lot of the practice stuff different here at athletic mission than then what we see happening in a lot of high schools and a lot of summer ball traveled team practices on how they get their kids ready.
Yeah, for sure. And you know, like, you know, the reason why it is because you and I really understand and try to build everything backwards, like, what is the end of mind? Like, what are we trying to competent. At the end of the day, we’re trying to show up on game day and be able to execute against an opponent. And so that, that will that that does drive everything that we do, and it starts with the mindset, like you said, and then it goes into our practice our mindset, you know, what, what are we going to do? That gives us a strategic advantage, you know, on game day, and how are we going to approach it in our everyday practice? You know, like you said, you know, the a lot of the practice right now that we’re seeing is the the conditioning and the training, just like getting wrapped, like getting to mine, or trying to trying to get more rep in your swing, when that doesn’t give you your strategic advantage on game day, when we started looking at, what we do, we do to stick process and stick to do the first ask is going to be seeing the ball stand spin. Tulsa Baseball Lessons And when we look about it, when we look at it, like what the big Domino in hitting, it’s gonna be seeing the ball, if you can get that right, you’re knocked down the timing, you’ll start getting better picture of the hit, and your swing over the place. So it makes sense for us to really hone in and really focus in on the big Domino. You know, like I said that T it’s gonna be that timing, but if I see that ball, and I get a good understanding of the judge in that ball space, then I’ll get my foot down, I’ll get my eye to the ball. And in turn that will allow me to see my pitch the pitch that I like, my our biggest thing right now is you’re gonna get your pitch and all our guys get their pitch, but you can’t miss it. And so that the that the dominating no kind of backdoor in our practice is seeing that ball. And you know what, like, seeing the ball, I think is like the most important thing. And when we talk about guys, they it’s not it’s not as hard as everybody plays Without to be if not, the toughest part is getting comfortable and getting your eyes moving. And so I had a kid this weekend he last week, he was like really straining trying to see the ball and like, and just like he was working way too hard. And so when he straining, he got tension in the body and all the stuff are happening. So I have to do got to relax the eyes and we start the we started working on making making sure your eyes moved from second base or moved to the pitcher back and forth. And it’s not comfortable doing that. But he had a great weekend this weekend. Tulsa Baseball Lessons And so he bought into that whole concept of I see the ball, everything ought to come into play. But that became a dominating factor of our practice and how we practice. Now if I got a kid and he’s he’s a bigger kid, and he’s gonna see a ton of curveballs and we don’t work on curveballs. Man, what are we doing? You know, he knows what are you gonna see, this is where everyone’s different. And I think, you know, we talk a lot about, you know, time management and not having time. I think if you do the bulk of the work upfront, they get, it gets easier over the over the time. And then I feel like you don’t have to work so hard with each guy individually. Because you put a plan together to actually it designed for him. And you’ll see him get better faster, rather than, you know, just kind of practicing, practicing, practicing, practicing repeating the same stuff over and over and over, because you’re not working on what’s specific for him. And his what gives him a strategic advantage and help you guys win a game day.
Yeah, and I think that piece right there, Jeff, as we tie that together, is that we know that when we do word association with our guys, and you and I are always doing that we’re always having conversations about, okay, here’s what traditional coaches are, here’s what coaches are saying, then what what do you hear? And what are you taking away from that conversation? And I think that is the piece when we talked about mineral, you know, our guys think advantage, you know, but a lot of times when they first come in, and we do word associations, and we just ask them like, Tulsa Baseball Lessons Hey, what’s the first thought that comes to your mind? When we say mineral? A lot of them say problem? Yeah, they they think it’s a problem. And to us we don’t we think mental is a strategic advantage, we think mental training is is what drives our beliefs, that that gives us the ability to take our skills, and practice them in a way that gives us a strategic advantage on game day. And I think that’s that against them. I don’t want I don’t want people to miss that. Because it sounds kind of woowoo. And but but the truth is, when you start practicing your individual skills that you need to use on game day against an individual hitter or pitcher, then guess what, that is the mindset shift that a lot of these guys have, that gives them a strategic advantage. It’s not a talent problem. And a lot of times, it’s not even a skill problem. It’s how we organize those skills into given us a strategic advantage on game day. And the way we do that is we trade and is conditioning important. Absolutely. Is skill development important. Absolutely. But if we don’t practice taking those skills, and turn them into a strategic advantage on as a baseball player, as a pitcher, or as a hitter, and that we give them a strategy on how they use that on game day, then then it just becomes a somebody that super disappointed because they have all the talent in the world. But it’s never really translated into baseball skills. And it really never translated to baseball performance, and Game Day performance. And I think that’s the difference between what we tried to teach for is, Hey, man, we got to get the mindset into strategic advantage. Because once they start thinking about strategic events, they think about my skills, they don’t compare themselves to everybody else. They look at it like what can i individually do? How do I take my talent and and use it on an on game day? And how do I create a successful bat? How do I create a successful pitch? And when we start breaking it down to that depth? Now all of a sudden, it’s not about what everybody else is doing? It’s more focused on what do I need to do? Tulsa Baseball Lessons And I think that’s why we’ve had success with our guys. And and fortunately for us, a lot of our guys have got off to a great start down here and doing really well because they grasped that themselves. It wasn’t something magically we did but we change the intent of practice, that our intent is for us to take our skills and be able to develop a strategy that they can use on game day and that for you And I our ultimate litmus test for our guys is how are they playing on game day? It’s not how will they do in the cage? Or how will they do in the bullpen is how well do they do on game day? And do you know are they using their skills to strategic advantage for them. And that’s the takeaway I want coaches and parents and players to hear in this podcast is that if you’re not taking your skills, and and create a strategy against the hitter, or a pitcher on game day, that is the problem. It’s rarely a talent issue. It’s a strategy issue. I don’t care what level high school college or pro ball it most of the time, we want to make the excuse that it’s a talent problem. But it but if you can play if you’re playing and that coach trust you to play, then a lot of times, it’s not a talent issue, you might be overmatch on a certain pitch. But just like you tell hitters all the time, then we got to eliminate that pitch and get that picture into an account that we can hit a pitch with. And that same way, see, that’s baseball, that’s strategic advantage. In some days, the pitcher is going to be executing all his pitches. And as the hitter, you might not be able to eliminate that pitch, you’re gonna have to try to make an adjustment and play the game in real time. And that’s the piece Jeff that I think you and I are trying to do. It’s like give these guys not only the skills and the ability to do it, but the mindset and the strategy that actually shows up on game day, man. And that’s fun, because this is the piece that the kids are loving man, they love having these conversations about how they get a strategic advantage over a specific pitcher, or a specific hitter. And, and once we open the game up to them, and we quit trying to control every aspect of it as a coach, and we let the kids really own the game than dude, man, that’s, that’s the kind of games I want to watch. And those are the type of, of outcomes that kids really buy into. And they love the game man. They love playing for coaches like that.
Absolutely. And you know, you and I got a chance to see this weekend or Monday and, and we had we had two of the top people who stayed and we had seven or eight guys out there and they were all it was fun to watch man, it was a battle. Tulsa Baseball Lessons And then you could tell we could we watch them gameplan first with each other. And then we saw some sick, or some kind of fell off. But it was a fun match. And and they really enjoyed it. And I think that the postgame email that we’re gonna have today, when they come in, it’s gonna be a lot of fun to see how they saw it and what they saw, and what adjustment they need to make. But yeah, but you saw we thought product of their work and their and how they practice and how they game plan, and maybe some adjustments that they made in the game. And there were a few gentlemen that didn’t make but that’s okay. That’s a learning thing. And so it’ll be fun as we kind of listen to old guy tonight. But yeah, but like you said, the takeaway is the it is the practice, man. It is the understanding what we have to do to get ready for game day against an opponent.
Yeah, man. And I think once we grasp that piece of it, and then there’s a lot of things people can do to train, and to get their bodies in shape and conditioning. And I think that’s where probably 90% of the baseball world that today. Everything you see online are all these different academies. And we’re right there with them that they offer conditioning and training and different things to get these kids physically ready. And that’s awesome. We need that I’m not discounting that. But at the same time when we start looking at individual skills, and we start moving from offseason training, whether it’s velocity training, or mechanics work, or strengthing auditioning or just trying to get bigger, faster, stronger, and we start moving into the preseason and we really start focusing on how we practice how we get ready for the season. We got to change that intent that intent and preseason needs to be to get game ready not just get in shape and then when the season starts,Tulsa Baseball Lessons  I hope my stuff is game ready. And I think that’s the mindset shift that that you and I have really been trying to focus on this offseason and it’s been pretty cool because like you said earlier I think a lot of our guys have got off to a great start to the season and we we are hyper focused on that finishing out the last couple three weeks before the season started to make sure that they had the mindset right and that they were game planning against the the players that they are in the teams they were going to be playing against. And I think we’re starting to see the fruits of that that it wasn’t just generic preseason practice that it was really super focused and specific. And and with the high school and college guys, man that they’ve got off to some great starts and it’s fun to watch man because a lot of times you and I know man, the way they start is kind of like the mindset of how the seasons gonna go. And it kind of just comes to fruition. If they get off to a good start. They feel good about it. It seems like everything kind of flows in And and then the short, you know, high school and college seasons, then you know that first two or three weeks is is key man that really is
absolutely good.
But yeah, I’ll see like those right there, man, those are the conversation. Yeah, no,
they’re there. I’m gonna redo my piece. But there were a couple of things that I just thought of after I was saying it that I want to mention. So
yeah. And so like next time we can go deeper into it, we say, Hey, man, we’ve got a lot of questions about the PBL practice process and the sticks practice process, like what do you guys literally do. And so we’re going to share it with you like, boom, and then we’ll talk about like, Hey, we do mindset assessment, we do pitcher related activity assessment. So when we do, here’s what we look at. And we tried to help these players organize all the different conditioning and training they’re doing, and understand how that helps them be a pitcher, how that helps him be a better hitter, and that it’s different for each player. And that seemed like the next one, like, we can go and talk about anything. Now if we keep basing it around the strategic advantage process, and that you know, that everything we do, we got to be able to practice that gives us the ability to create a strategy that shows up on game day. And so I think that kind of gives us that big problem. Like when we started dressing people, we can say the biggest issues we see is mindset, practice and strategy. And that’s what strategic advantage baseball is about. That’s what we do at athletic mission is like, the three core things that we see the biggest issues with his mindset, practice strategy. And when we sit there and say that, then you know what, we can consistently tie all three of those together. And that’s what we do. Tulsa Baseball Lessons That’s what strategic advantage Rachel is, we get we, we get their mindset, we get their practice, right, and then they can create a strategy with it. And so that’s kind of that’s what I wrote on my whiteboard today, or on the paper today is like, hey, the three biggest issues that Jeff and I got to tackle is mindset, practice and strategy. And then that kind of ties all this together, then we can start talking about like strategic advantages of mindset. That’s why I wanted to throw that little bit of mental word association in my Hey, man, when we talked about that, boom, it’s like archives look as a bandage they don’t look at as weakness, or as a problem. Because that’s that way, when people listen to this, and they say, well, dude, what are they teaching how they teach a mindset how they teach in, you know, the, my kids don’t think mental is a weakness. And that way, we can start talking to them. We can do a show on mindset, we can do one on just practice alone, we can do one on strategy and game planning, right? how we help one. Like, it’s not complicated. We’re looking at parotitis and tendencies pregame. Tulsa Baseball Lessons And then we’re looking at what are we seeing in real time and what is going on here in real time. But I think if we start doing more of this around strategic advantage, baseball and athletic mission around how we practice different and how we get kids ready, and how we do the game planning and how we do the end seeds and adjustments and kind of look at that’s going to be the kind of stuff that people are like, what are you doing different? And so I think the more that we can take the the the traditional baseball practice, and talk that it’s more training and conditioning than it is like baseball skills. But you got to say here, it’s got to be it’s not the training that we’re doing. And you did a good job of that. It’s not the reps man. It’s like the takeaway is like, how does that turn into a strategy? So you know, if we say here and start breaking down the intent, measurable takeaway, and then Okay, after every BP, what experience did that kid have? And then what story is he tells himself about today’s BP? What story is he telling myself about today’s bullpen about how each pitch you know, did he draw with intent? Did he get the PML he wanted? Okay. If not, then what’s he taken away from that like that pitch sucks. I don’t know how to fix it. Tulsa Baseball Lessons You know, what is the experience

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