The Baseball Zone Blog

Rick Johnston | Jun 12, 2014 9:13:00 AM

Scheduled to Start? 19 Tips to Help Pitchers Prepare on Game Day

Winning and losing, it is often said, is decided on non-game days and in the off-season, i.e. how you PREPARE to win will decide whether you win or not. We can also add to this thought that how you prepare to win on game day can also affect your success that day.

In this light, here are some tips for pitchers to help them prepare for their next start. I often see players who really have no idea how to prepare, simply expecting to stroll up to the mound and be successful. It is just not that easy and they usually find that out quickly, wondering what went wrong. Well, it could have been any of a number of little, preventable things that contributed to not being prepared.

These tips may seem simple, and it is hard to argue that they are not, however a failure to follow any of them can lead to interruptions, distractions, and ultimately less than ideal preparation and performance:

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Topics: baseball pregame, pitching, pitching tips, pregame drills, pregame observation, bullpens, pitching advice, long toss, pitching preparation

Rick Johnston | Nov 4, 2013 12:06:00 PM

19 Pet Peeves of Baseball Coaches - Pitcher Edition

Pitchers.

Everyone wants them and everyone needs them. The game is designed just for you guys. You have good pitching, you have a chance to win; without it, it will undoubtedly be a long season. Even with good pitching, most pitchers are creatures of habit and some of these habits are actually pet peeves that drive baseball coaches off the deep end. Here are 19 of them: 

1. Poor pre-game routine and bullpen...ok, this is not a blanket statement to all pitchers, but, boy oh boy, the lack of preparation, warm up, throwing and bullpen presence is sometimes just flat out awful. It starts with a uneventful warm up, followed by playing poor catch, very little long toss, then a bullpen that lacks conviction and intent. Hey pitchers, it’s your start, make the most of it. Prepare like you are going to go 9 innings. Don’t assume you can just show up and pitch. 

2. Too many pitches in their repertoire...that’s right guys, you all have five pitches, I know. So really you are a jack of all trades and a master of none. What is that going to get you? I would ask this then; if you have five pitches (and maybe five different arm angles) how many of those pitches do you "own"? Geez, even big league pitchers don’t own 3 pitches let alone 5. Hey pitchers, learn to own two pitches and show a third. I will bet 5 pitch pitchers rent, lease and borrow every outing, hoping that they can sneak by with this. Owning pitches will get you more in the long term because all 5 can’t be that good!

3. Complete game in the bullpen...

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Topics: baseball pregame, pitching, PFP's, baseball pet peeves, defensive baseball, pregame observation, bullpens, mound presence

Rick Johnston | Oct 7, 2013 4:16:00 PM

21 Baseball Pet Peeves of Coaches - Outfielder Edition

Don’t worry outfielders, I have not forgotten you!

As previously tapped into, I have blogged on Pet Peeves about coaches, players in general and most recently, infielders. It is time to move on to the players that patrol the outfield; the players that have to cover the most range; the players that people often disregard; the players for many reasons that get left out in practice as far as their development goes.

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Topics: baseball coaching, team Defence, baseball communication, baseball pregame, baseball practice, baseball fundamentals, throwing errors, baseball pet peeves, Outfielding

Rick Johnston | Sep 16, 2013 6:35:00 PM

21 Pet Peeves of Coaches - Baseball Players Listen Up!

The previous blog I wrote I devoted to pet peeves of coaches inspired by other baseball coaches. Well, now it is time to pick on players and identify numerous baseball pet peeves that irk coaches to no end, and in spite of these, often times nothing is ever done. While nothing is ever done coaches will continue to condemn players amongst themselves without taking more responsibility to clean up and fix many of these pet peeves they find fault with. (So maybe I can add that one to the last post!)

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Topics: baseball coaching, baseball pregame, baseball practice, baseball pet peeves, playing catch, baseball warm up, bullpens

Rick Johnston | Sep 9, 2013 11:57:00 AM

10 Baseball Coaching Pet Peeves to Drop From Your Repertoire

I would like to voice my thoughts on some pet peeves I have as a coach from viewing other baseball coaches. Yes, other coaches. Not to suggest I am perfect and don't inspire pet peeves in someone else, but these are a few things that really bother me as I don't see them as contributing to the development of the most important people...no, NOT the coaches themselves, but THE PLAYERS.

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Topics: baseball coaching, baseball pregame, baseball practice, baseball pet peeves, baseball warm up

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