Ahead Of The Curve with Jonathan Gelnar

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July 11, 2019  

Justin Willard- MiLB Pitching Coach, Minnesota Twins

July 11, 2019

Video Link

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Episode Highlights:

  • Why did Justin Willard get involved in baseball coaching?

  • In what ways have the Minnesota Twins changed in recent years?

  • How can you maximize individuals in a team setting?

  • How does Justin Willard access his players?

  • In what ways can a player’s skill faults be fixed?  

  • As far as proprioception, does it have to be sport specific?  

  • What is Justin looking for in a pitcher?

  • What does communication look like with his players?

  • Are their common problems that Justin sees?

  • How can coaches get players to implement individual corrections?  

  • How is the communication system within coaches established?

  • How do we develop command to help pitchers compete in the strike zone?

  • What is Justin’s advice to teach a lefty pick move?

  • What would a week look like for training a pitcher?

  • How can you prepare the pitcher’s body to throw?

  • How does rest and recovery work after a pitcher has been throwing?

  • How can you simplify data to make it accessible to players?

  • The ultimate goal is hit and miss.

  • What is the fine line between having too many pitches and focusing on go-to pitches?

  • What resources have Justin really excited right now?

  • What training routines keep Justin’s players motivated?  

  • Are there any books that Justin loves?

  • Baseball is an organism with many moving parts.

 

3 Key Points:

  1. Justin Willard accesses players by rating their proprioception, mobility, stability, and mental capabilities.

  2. 70% of our brain is optical power.

  3. The training goal is to ‘feed the flaw,’ which is to help players feel what their flaw is and overcorrect it.  

Tweetable Quotes:

  • “The people aspect is something that we as coaches often overlook. Helping people grow is a huge, huge aspect of coaching.” – Justin Willard (01:38)

  • “I’m going to put you in the best position to see the ball. That’s what we as humans do. We want to see.” – Justin Willard (09:07)

  • “If you can’t throw a change-up, it’s probably because you can’t get a proper extension of your arm. So, let’s work on the things that will help you get there.” – Justin Willard (20:55)

  • “You need to have all your information and your ability to communicate in one kind of central location.” – Justin Willard (22:09)

  • “I’m very big on restraint-based training, understanding and manipulating the organism, the task, and the environment.“ – Justin Willard (25:59)

  • “Throwing should be the easy part. Getting our body warm and ready and sweating, that happens before throwing.” – Justin Willard (36:41)

  • “I would rather have a guy with an 80-grade pitch and no command than a guy with a 40-50 grade pitch with phenomenal command.” – Justin Willard (40:07)

  • “If you boil down this whole player development process, you can’t just look at one sphere.”– Justin Willard (51:1)

Resources Mentioned: