Eric Newman Pitching Coach University Nebraska
1. Great preparation is non-negotiable. When you take the mound to compete you must have no hesitation in your mind, body or spirit. That only can happen by doing the work in between games (conditioning, lifting, making good decisions off the field, etc…). When you do those things you take the mound feeling confident that you have done what is necessary leading up to that moment.
2. “Pound the Zone”- This is our catch phrase. I hate “just throw strikes”. That is what the guy throwing batting practice is supposed to do, lay it in there and let the hitters swing as hard as they can at it. Pitchers that do that don’t last long. Attack hitters with your best stuff on every pitch.
3. Know yourself and pitch to your strengths. Too many young pitchers want to be good at everything and they end up struggling to find success. In my first couple years of coaching I know I was guilty of focusing on “turning a weakness into a strength” and it caused some guys to go backwards. Whatever a young pitcher is best at he needs to maintain that edge. We (coaches) need to help our players work on glaring weaknesses that can keep them from success, but always keep them focused on what makes them good.
Craig Moore Hitting Coach Creighton University One characteristic of a pitcher that I look for – either when playing against or recruiting – is mound presence. A guy who is very confident in what he is doing, a guy who does not get phased by an adverse situation – a guy that is going to be a “bulldog”, not going to beat me attitude-are tough guys to face. Another characteristic that makes up a good pitcher is the ability to keep hitters off-balance. A guy that can throw his secondary pitches for strikes and have that one out pitch is not the guy you want to face too often. That type of pitcher will keep an offense guessing all day. The last characteristic that makes a good pitcher is the ability to locate. The guys that can keep the ball down, the guys that can work both sides of the plate and get ahead in the count by doing this, gives the offense a lot of times the inability to barrel baseballs. Hitters are taught to get the barrel on the ball and when they run into a situation where the pitcher has the ability to “miss” barrels they are going to get frustrated -and we all know what happens to success rates when guys get frustrated.