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How To Watch a Game
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Darrell Coulter
Bonne Terre, Mo

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September 28, 2011 – 12:12 am
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Brent,

With the playoffs coming on soon I wanted to throw this challenge out to all the pitchers out there.

Find 1 or 2 pitcher’s that you throw like in the playoffs and sit down and watch how they pitch.  What I love about MLB is that in most parks right before the pitch is thrown they switch to the centerfield camera and you get a great view of the pitch and pitch location.

Make every pitch with them.  Mentally pitch the game with them.  I think you will be amazed at not only how much you can learn but also that it changes the way you watch the games

Look for what pitch they threw and when.

The location 

How they pitched the 2nd and/or 3rd time through the order.

I think you will find it fascinating to how much detail the Pros use in their mental and physical pitching plan for every game.

If you can’t watch it live, Record it and then pause and pitch. This a great way to learn the mind set and pitching game plan of some of today’s best pitchers.

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Brent Pourciau USAW Certified
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September 28, 2011 – 12:45 am
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Darrell, great post! I would also focus on how these pitchers handle pressure. What always fascinates me is when a closer can come in during a close game in the playoffs and pitch in front of millions of people and dominate. When Brian Wilson closed the final game of the World Series last year like it was nothing, this just blew my mind. I really believe what separates minor league ball players from major league ball players is the ability to handle pressure. Just like you pointed out here their mental preparation has a lot to do with this.

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Coach Robo
Broken Arrow, OK

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September 29, 2011 – 12:29 am
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Tonight would have been a great night for them to watch.  One of the most fun nights of baseball I've seen in a long time.  MLB Extra Innings paid for itself tonight.  My Cardinals catch the Braves for the wildcard.  (Joe Blanton started for the Phillies.  He's my candidate for the worst mechanics in MLB.  No triple extension there.  Cole Hamels gave up a couple of runs in a tune-up appearance.  I think his foot strike sequence was off tonight.)  The Rays come back from 7-0 against the Yankees and Papelbon blows a save as the Rays catch the Red Sox for the other wildcard.  Gotta love this game.

Great post, Darrell – and a very, very good point.  I always tell my teams this time of year that there's no better way for them to learn the game.  Unfortunately, our players aren't that big a fans of the game anymore.  There's so much for them to do and so much to entertain them, it's hard for them to sit and watch a game for three hours.  Darrell's right.  The play-offs will be like a pitching clinic for you young guys.  Just like everything in Brent's program, becoming a student of the game will give you a tremendous advantage.    

A couple of times, when I'm coaching older teams I've had pitchers chart a game with a pitcher like Halliday or Lincecum throwing.  Then we talk about it afterwards.  Halliday's a master and Lincecum is a very misunderstood pitcher.  He really knows what he's doing on a mound.  And pitching has changed dramatically since they tightened up the strike zone.  Are you guys familiar with Perry Husband's Effective Velocity?       

Proud father of a U.S. Marine (HOME from Afghanistan)

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Zedoryu
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September 29, 2011 – 12:39 am
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haha, yes that was a great game. I watched it too. They had a lot of relief pitchers too. like 4 of them came to the mound in that game. Also did you guys watch the marlins? they were having this hall of champions thing :D. Yes, i agree with you Coach. it is like a pitching clinic. I learn from them by watching how they pitch and what they pitch. I also try guessing what pitch they are going to pitch, which is what makes it fun for me to watch.

       

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Darrell Coulter
Bonne Terre, Mo

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September 29, 2011 – 10:01 pm
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Brent,

Poise under pressure is what makes a Major League Pitcher’ a superstar.  And October is where superstars and legends are made.

Coach,

I also like to teach pitchers how to Chart pitchers and Scout hitters watching a MLB game. They can also learn how to put a Scouting report and pitching plan together.  

You make a great point about young players loving the game.  The other night might have been the best 5 hours of baseball I have ever witnessed. 

The Pressure

The Unsung Heroes

The Pitcher’s mental meltdowns.

It will be interesting to see how the young Atlanta Pitchers rebound from their meltdowns.

The emotional train wreck the Red Sox Fans must have been.  And needing the Yankees help, OUCH!

This is why you play and love baseball.

What is there not to love, that was not boring!  

Oh yeah did I mention The Cardinal Express is back on track.

Here’s to October, The way baseball was meant to be played.

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Zedoryu
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September 30, 2011 – 4:14 am
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Hey, Darrell, can I learn how to chart pitchers and scout hitters watching an MLB game? And so on? You said you’d like to teach pitchers (like me :D). I’m sure it would be something interesting to do.

       

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Darrell Coulter
Bonne Terre, Mo

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September 30, 2011 – 8:21 am
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Z,

There are a couple of ways I use them. 

  • Is to teach the how to chart a pitcher. You can download Brent’s Chart here .  Get a clipboard and literally chart the pitches as you watch the game. Just as above when the camera angle switches to center field you can usually get a pretty good view.  Now most major TV networks have a strike zone all ready on the screen to show you where the pitch was. It will teach you what pitches they throw, any pattern they have and it will give you some idea about how every hitter approaches their at bats.  All pitchers need to have some one charting your pitches for you so after the game you can do a post evaluation on yourself. So it is also a good way to teach someone else how to chart your pitches while you are pitching that day. A friend, Dad, Mom any body who can sit behind home plate and get a good view of what your throwing and its location.
  • Is to create a scouting report on other teams hitters.  I like to use a chart something like this one at GameGrade here  (Baseball Scout Card w/ Pitch Seq)
  • It lets you create a personal pitching plan for each hitter.  So you can either use the above chart and then come back later and create and individual chart based on the pitching chart or you can just use this chart in a three ring binder and create one for every hitter you will be facing.  So You would take the starting lineup and make a chart for each batter, then use it to chart every a bat during the game.  Then after the game you could take that info to help put a pitching plan together for each hitter you are going to face.

Just another way in help prepare so that on game day you will have a plan build trust and confidence.
Hope this helps.  The best way is to print out a couple of pitching charts and try it out this weekend.

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Zedoryu
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September 30, 2011 – 5:57 pm
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Great. Will hopefully start charting my pitchers and hitters. Hey Darrell I have a question. It’s good that we are charting batters, but to have the same pitching sequence for the batter (eg Fastball, curve, fastball) wouldn’t the batter find out soon enough? Also some hits could be that they’re in a good mood gets a good swing at it. I know that we should make our pitching sequence confusing. Like in some video games, the harder the difficulty, it starts to confuse me and I can’t get a good swing at it. I’m not saying we shouldn’t chart batters, but keep the sequencing confusing and it’s a good way to help prepare and build confidence.

       

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