You may be surprised how many pitchers come to us for the first time after they are in college. They were good enough to receive an offer, but quickly learned that they were not good enough to pitch on that level, so they come looking for help. After a session or two, the pitcher will say, “I wish we had found you three years ago”. They think I will take it as a compliment, but my response is, “Why did it take you so long to realize you were in trouble?”
So many people are stuck with the belief that whatever has worked in the past will continue to work in the future. Even though she really has not progressed significantly since she was 14, she is waiting on something magical to happen so she can start getting better again. There is an old saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, in the same way, and expecting a different result”.
Girls have a different maturity rate from boys. Usually by the time they are 14 they have made their biggest jump in strength and speed, which is why we get so many new students at that age. They improved until they were around 13, because they were getting bigger and stronger, but then they hit a plateau. To add insult to injury, they feel the need to double up on the bad concepts that limited their development in the first place. Recently I talked with Brian, from Texas, about the plateau his daughter faced. We made some suggestions and received this email a few days ago: “Wow, we unlocked her potential in about 5 practices! Thanks! We have added 6-8 mph to her curve, rise, drop, screw, and drop curve!”
If your pitcher is stuck, change something. Just because something worked in the past does not mean it will continue to work. She may be dominant at 13, but when everyone else gets as big and strong as her, things can go badly for her. Randall, from South Carolina, recognized this in his daughter and came running to see me a couple of weeks ago. Two days later this email arrived: “When we came to see you Friday I had hoped to learn a few things and come away a little better off. At the outside I had hoped for an “AH HA” moment. What I experienced was 10 times what I had hoped for! Multiple “AH HA” moments and my daughter is SOOOO excited!” Bottom line: Change something and change big. If she is failing you don’t need more of the same old ideas.
That is why most of our instructors join our company. They may be former college pitchers with lots of experience, but they still find their students stuck at a certain place, and they come to us because they want to learn to unlock students’ potential. They were applying traditional methods so they were getting traditional results. Hitting has changed so dramatically in the past ten years but pitching is stuck in the 1980’s…same drills, same theories. We love instructors who are committed to doing a better job. Bottom line: Look for an instructor who lies awake nights trying to find ways to make her better.
We also love parents who recognize that their daughters can do better. Shannon comes from North Carolina. Here is the story of her first visit with us: “Denny asked my daughter what she wanted from her lessons and her first words were “to not have back pain.” He suggested a few changes in her motions, she embraced the changes, and went to work. After about 20 minutes of pitching he asked how her back felt. She was in surprise and she exclaimed, “It doesn’t hurt!” Tears filled my eyes and I was filled with joy! I think she hugged him at that point. After finding Denny, I feel like there are no limits for my daughter. She has been working with Denny for seven months and is a totally different pitcher.”
This kid just accepted a softball scholarship at age 13 because her parents recognized the potential but saw that it was not being developed. Had they waited until she was frustrated at 16, they would have made it so much harder for her. (By the way, I love the way this kid approached college. Incredibly mature, she visited the school over and over and asked a thousand questions, making sure academics were the first priority. If only kids 3 years older approach it that intelligently.)
Every week I hear the same stories from our instructors as they discover exciting new kids who wish they had made the change earlier. It would be so much easier on the kids. If your pitcher is stuck, talk to Larissa, Nikki, Shelly, Mike, Chris, Brian, Angie, Adrienne, Austin, Steve, Ritchie, Meghan, Suzy, Jonathan, Thomas, Carrie, or any of our instructors. If you are an instructor who is frustrated by seeing your kids falling short of potential, especially if you are a former college pitcher, talk to me about opportunities with us. We want instructors with vast experience in the game who are absolutely committed to discovering better ways to pitch.
In just the past 2 weeks 5 of my pitchers have accepted D1 offers, bringing our two year total to over 75. Our instructors can add so many more to that list. It is an incredible group who believes that pitching can be so much better. Let us know how we can help you, but don’t wait too long.