Learning About Pitching, or How I Know Everything I Happen to Know About Pitching

Occasionally I am asked how it is that I know so much about pitching. Self-deprecation immediately kicks in and I say something like “Oh, I don’t know that much” or “There is still so much yet to know” and brush the question off. But the truth is that I know a shit load about pitching, or really, throwing a baseball. So instead of being a dick and hoping the person who is asking me that question simply ignores my response and the deeper meaning of said response (which tends to be: “You don’t really want to know the answer to your question”), I’ll list all the resources that I can think of that I’ve devoured.

If for some reason you think I am the ideal pitching coach and/or baseball trainer (or at least you think I’m on an ideal path), then these are the resources I consumed – totally inclusive of everything regardless of whether or not I accepted, rejected, or modified their messages to fit my model of how we train guys. There is no question that I am forgetting resources in the list (probably very influential ones), but hopefully it’s concise enough to give you a head start.

This list has zero sorting value. I simply went off the top of my head and inserted them randomly. No one item should have greater weight over another, not because they don’t deserve it (obviously they do), but because I am not willing to take that kind of effort at this time.

Third-Party Resources

  • Ron Wolforth – The Athletic Pitcher, meeting him in person, Coaches Bootcamp 2012
  • Paul Nyman – Every post on SETPRO’s forums using the Wayback Machine, every article he’s written for The Hardball Times
  • Carlos Gomez – Every article he’s written for The Hardball Times and Baseball Think Factory
  • Trevor Bauer – Personal correspondence
  • Kevin Goldstein – Most articles he’s written for Baseball Prospectus
  • Steven Ellis – Let’s Talk Pitching site, Ultimate Guide to Advanced Pitching
  • Bill Peterson – RPM Pitching forum archives, RPM Pitching unreleased book, personal conversations
  • Dick Mills – Momentum Pitching
  • Tom House – NPA Books (Art and Science of Pitching, Fastball Fitness, Picture Perfect Pitcher, Million Dollar Arm), NPA Online Pitching Mechanics Test, various other materials
  • Dr. Mike Marshall – 37 Chapter Book on Pitching Mechanics / Pitching Training, All Videos on Pitching Mechanics / Pitching Training, Email Correspondence
  • Eric Cressey – Maximum Strength, Assess and Correct, Optimal Shoulder Performance, Magnificent Mobility, every single baseball blog post he has written
  • Bill Hartman – Various resources/articles
  • Mike Robertson – Various resources/articles
  • Dr. Kevin Quade – Tour of the UW Human Motion Analysis Lab
  • Dr. Murray Maitland – Personal correspondence regarding Dr. Marshall pitchers and rehab efforts
  • Dan Blewett – Warbird Academy site, personal correspondence
  • Max Marchi – PITCHf/x corrections
  • Trip Somers – Blog posts (texasleaguers.com) and personal correspondence
  • Perry Husband – Effective Velocity
  • Andy Lodato – Personal correspondence
  • Mike Reinold – His website, some webinars
  • Dan John – Never Let Go, various articles/resources
  • Mike Boyle – Various articles/resources, mostly strength/corrective exercise oriented
  • Mark Rippetoe – Starting Strength, Practical Programming for Strength Training, Strong Enough?, Mean Old Mr. Gravity, every post on startingstrength.com up until early 2012
  • Lyle McDonald – Every article on his site about endurance training and nutrition
  • Kelly Baggett – Vertical Jump Bible, various articles/resources
  • Alan Aragon – Subscription to the AARR
  • Jim Wendler – Various resources/articles, mostly strength-oriented
  • Dave Tate – Various resources/articles, mostly strength/power-oriented
  • CrossFit Journal – Review of articles
  • Charlie Francis – CNS Training articles/resources
  • Dr. Vladimir Zatsiorsky – Science and Practice of Strength Training
  • Dr. Kelly Starrett – Becoming a Supple Leopard, the majority of the Mobility WOD videos
  • Alan Jaeger – Thrive on Throwing, long toss videos on YouTube, correspondence via Twitter
  • Dr. Walter Lewin – MIT lectures on physics, For The Love of Physics
  • Dr. Richard Feynman – The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, What Do You Care What Other People Think?, various videos/articles
  • A ton of academic books on Human Anatomy, Biomechanics, and Human Kinetics (Gray’s Anatomy being the most notable and obvious)
  • PUBLISHED RESEARCH ARTICLES: Every study pre-2011 that had the keyword “baseball” in it via PubMed and other aggregator searches. (And most post-2011 when I can find them.) Notable authors include – Dr. Shelly Werner, Alan Blitzblau, John Bagonzi, Dr. Glenn Fleisig, Dr. James Andrews, Dr. Lewis Yocum, Arnel Aguinaldo, Dr. John D’Acquisto, Dr. Michelle Sabick, Dr. Alan Nathan, Dr. Kevin Laudner, John C. Gardner, Dr. Koji Miyashita, Dr. Vladimir Zatsiorsky, Dr. Paolo de Leva

First-Party Resources

Stuff I did on my own or mostly on my own.

  • Purchased multiple high-speed video cameras and built my own biomechanics lab to perform inverse dynamics and calculate kinematics of the pitching delivery as well as different modalities of training and mechanical models (traditional vs. Marshall vs. hybridized, for example)
  • Tracked the results of control vs. basic vs. MaxVelo training protocols in the 2012-2013 offseason
  • Developed and tested various weighted baseball training methods using muzzle energy (ME) and other descriptors to derive theoretical maximum effectiveness in protocol deployment
  • A bunch of other stuff I am not disclosing (sorry!)

Just looking at the lists I know I have forgotten another 10-20% of stuff out there. Such is the problem when you try to summarize your life’s work over the last 5-7 years.

What I said in the intro is true, however. There is still so much yet to learn, and I look forward to every single day of training my athletes, because ultimately they are the best teachers I have ever had.

2 thoughts on “Learning About Pitching, or How I Know Everything I Happen to Know About Pitching

  1. Great stuff. I feel the same way when people ask me about investing. ‘Uh, know yourself, read everything, and talk to as many smart investors as possible.’

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