Throughout time, there have been ongoing battles between two sides. Intelligence versus power. I make the relation to weapons because I consider a player’s attributes consistent with weapon systems. The actual weapon systems, the strength and power at which they can destroy or dominate a target, are completely worthless without an ability for task, application, targeting, strategy, and execution. The same holds true for the pitching motion, throwing arm, and pitch types of any given pitcher in the environment of baseball training and game. Understanding how your body movement and positioning is vital. Understanding the goal of your pitching specific movement is to get the hitter out is vital. Understanding that the location and execution of the pitch you throw is the most important aspect of getting the hitter out, is vital. Pitching accuracy is the greatest attribute a pitcher may possess in terms of success. We are here to guide you on your journey to true pitching command by means of understanding the motor that drives our ability to throw pitches to desired targets, our brain and its ability to execute that action at optimal levels. I digress.
In the grand scheme of athletic life, the game of baseball is still a very young sport. We are stuck in an era where the culture continues to be awed by the measurables of the game—how far the ball can be hit, how hard the ball can be thrown. Reality, however, shows that just being able to hit far and throw hard does not make you a good baseball player. It simply means you are adept at those things. Applying technique and skill in measurables to the game and being consistent in your performance is the ultimate goal—a goal of which many aspiring players fall short. Players go through their careers witnessing fellow players at the highest level of the game, college athletes, draftable prospects, and what scouts seem to show the most interest in. And generally what is witnessed is what is imitated, and so the game continues to be played the way culture beckons it to be played: powerfully. Yes, the best in the world produce quality results. In the end, producing players that yield quality results and help contribute to winning games are all that matter to professional organizations and college institutions regardless of what culture thinks is refelcted. Measurables diminish because distance, player speed, pitch velocity, and “stuff” are all essentially worthless without the ability to apply them correctly to a particular skill set. Correctly and consistently applying just an average skill who continues to develop said skill can create an elite player with impeccable results. This is where the culture of the game subsides.
The game wants power, measurables, tools, things that according to culture are moldable to create an elite contributor. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy, and the player ultimately suffers. Years and years of training/grooming players’ mindsets to excel at certain measurables eventually creates a statue player, a player with the inability to make the adjustments (unless strategically broken down) needed to actually apply measurables in deft practice. It’s not because they aren’t coachable; it’s because changing a static thought process of any given measurable that has been ingrained over the course of eight to ten year and then applying the results over the course of three years in college or one to two years professionally is an extreme feat, especially while players are actively playing in collegiate or professional games. It takes a serious commitment by the player to address such needs for change, and the willingness to sacrifice output for the time being to gain new skills. Many players with great measurables fail because they mentally struggle greatly to make the adjustment from power to application and intelligence, while fewer players with correct applications of their skills who are successful through their entire career may fly “under the radar” in terms of prospectus and may never be given the opportunity to develop physically or improve / optimize “measurables” or movements after mastered application. It’s an epidemic among the game that needs further reflection.
Pitching is a particular skill set, and the art of pitching has nothing to do with how hard you throw the baseball. Elite pitching statistics can be produced with or without the attribute of good/great/exceptional velocity across any level of the game. The mission is to create pitchers who want to be successful first, while continuing to work toward their velocity goals. There is a major difference in the chronology of training, how developing skills are introduced and applied for those who don’t possess them, that is important for aspiring pitchers to understand. They need to learn, train, and apply the skill of commanding a pitch’s location first and foremost, as this is the most important aspect to pitching success. Elite results can be produced by a pitcher’s ability to command correct areas of the strike zone. Applying intelligence of pitch type and location can yield even better results and improve individual performance. Notice velocity is not even in the equation yet as a pitcher with elite results is being discussed.
Our mission is to change the culture of the game, to adhere, praise, and build up pitchers who may be successful to extremely successful in nature due to their ability to command pitches to locations. This core ability can yield even better results when velocity is stacked on command ability. The mission is to encourage aspiring pitchers to achieve what is achievable today: commanding locations while letting nature and science take their course with velocity development (see E-Guide).
The mission is to change the mind and perspective of evaluators and the people who invest in amateur pitchers. No longer should we be content with holding up a radar gun to determine worth or value. The game culturally accepts veteran pitchers who evolve their high velocity game to a lower velocity and a higher command of locations. The finesse evolution exists within the game of baseball at the highest level. Yet we cannot scout a master of command without scrutiny, even though his results may reflect elite results. No, we cannot scout a master of command because culture doesn’t endorse the immense importance of the skill, therefore there are little to no “hotbeds” of ELITE pitching talent, ones who possess optimal skill sets. Even when solid scouting finds true commanding pitchers and gives them a shot with professional organizations, they are still considered “anomalies” by culture, not regarded as intelligent pitchers with elite TALENT (yes command is talent) who understand the meaning of execution. At Lokation Nation, we call it being mentored well, with the maturity and intelligence to decide they want to succeed and dominate regardless of what recruiters are looking for. There are many examples of pitchers like this every year who won’t be highly recognized due to culture. Too much recognition could upset the business of velocity.
Current generations are flooded with the importance of power, strength, and force in order to “make it to the top”. “The top” will be achieved by .001% of players to be brutally honest, interpret and utilize that statement as you will, it should define how you go about your training. Training PRIMARILY AND CONSTANTLY for these measurables constantly through your career will eventually lead to failure, if not failing along the way, in reference to percentages. It may be high school, college, or professional. Failure and learning to make adjustments is encouraged especially within skill set tasks, but training for measurables and failing in performance doesn’t allow for a learning moments for skill. Training to succeed today can bring opportunity for the future. Command is the pinnacle of successful pitching, and can leave you with a successful career, while still giving the chance to make it to the top, the road less traveled. The opposite end of the spectrum yields inconsistent careers in search of an elusive mile per hour, and to still be brutally honest, once you’ve identified who you are as a pitcher in terms of performance, HS or College, it becomes an even longer road when organizations label a guy as damaged goods. Make intelligent decisions in your training.
Our mission is to shift the paradigm of what successful pitching truly is, and convey that velocity is not the key to sure fire success. Our goal is to make you think hard about how you are developing yourself as a pitcher, and if you are doing what you think will bring you success, or if you are doing what baseball culture tells you to do. Helping pitchers draw the line between fame and fortune and being a success in all forms of performance the ultimate goal. We believe our approach can not only bring both, but the ones who succeed in their training could be of the elite status, not of the “potential”/ project status.
The mission is to help pitchers make a very important decision, how do you define success?
Improving your control and increasing your understanding of command is essential to success. My E-Guide on commanding locations will help you start your journey toward that optimizing that skill set!