By Steven Ellis, former Chicago Cubs pitching pro
Teaching pitching is a very special and unique talent. I say "talent" because not everyone can do it. It takes a special eye to be able to see what a pitcher is doing wrong, and then fix it.
To be a good pitching coach, you need to be able to watch a pitcher throw, and pick out several parts of their mechanics that needs work. This is an acquired trait, and will take time to fully develop.
Once you find a mechanical flaw, you should be able to explain to the pitcher in simple terms what they are doing wrong. It is one thing to know what someone is doing wrong, and it is another thing to be able to explain it to them.
After you have explained the mechanical flaw to the pitcher, you need to be able to show them a specific pitching drill that can fix their flaw. Many of these drills are learned over time, but you also need to realize when a certain drill is useful.
Certain age groups require different kinds of teaching. The younger kids need everything to be extremely simple and easy to understand. If things get too complicated, they will lose focus of become frustrated. The older a pitcher is, the more complex ideas they will understand, but the harder it will be for them to break a bad habit. Each age group has its own characteristics that you will learn as you teach more and more pitchers.
The most important thing to remember when teaching pitching is to not fall into a cookie cutter mentality. You should be able to look at a pitcher's mechanics and make several small changes to them while still keeping the general mechanics of that pitcher. Don't keep a standard image of what a pitcher should pitch like in your mind. Every pitcher is different, and each pitcher will have different mechanics that you as a coach need to adapt to.
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