Ahead Of The Curve with Jonathan Gelnar

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February 21, 2019  

88: Deskaheh Bomberry- Pitching Coach, Sacramento City College

February 21, 2019

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Summary:

In this episode of Ahead of the Curve, I welcome Deskaheh Bomberry, a highly experienced pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Sacramento City College. Our discussion delves into how Deskaheh first became involved in not just baseball as a player, but also his conversion into coaching and the initial moves that brought him to Sacramento City College. Deskaheh provides ample advice for preparing players for strength and mental game training.

Show Notes:

  • Guest: Deskaheh Bomberry, Pitching Coach/Recruiting Coordinator at Sacramento City College

  • Deskaheh Bomberry received the ABCA award for assistant coaching

    • He was the first JC coach from the Pacific region

  • Deskaheh’s Path to coaching

    • First he thought he would want to be a high school wrestling coach
    • After senior year, he switched from wrestling to baseball
    • He went to Cosumnes River College for two years and connected with Coach Rod Bilby
    • He started out as an empire and transitioned into a pitching coach
    • Coach Rod Bilby was his mentor and they are still friends
    • Sonoma State University for three years
    • Rob Cooper, head coach at Penn State, referred him for a coaching job with Eastern Kentucky University with Coach Ward
    • He came back to Sacramento and worked at Sacramento City College for the last 21 years
  • Sacramento City College has had a tremendous amount of big league players and coaches

  • Typical preparation for Coach Bomberry

    • 1st week: throw 250 feet, 2nd week: 275 feet, 3rd week: 300 feet

    • Meetings and administrations to set high standards and expectations

    • Strength and condition for physical therapy, Bomberry gets spreadsheet of results

    • Throwing program training:

    • Players fill out questionnaire about their strengths

    • Third week is scrimmaging

  • He customizes training for players’ needs

  • Assessment of strike percentage, swing and miss percentage should be measured

  • How Coach Bomberry teaches

    • Our goal is to play one pitch at a time

    • Weekly mental game meetings with focus on weekly topic

    • Mental game is about thinking about your thoughts, where you mind goes in certain situations

    • Most of practice show replicate a real game environment

  • How to make practice feel more game-like

    • Keep track of flat ground work with a competition element
    • Rewarding players when they perform well
    • Give the catcher the script that the pitcher is using
    • Add PFP to a bullpen
  • Typical practice plan

    • Pitcher practice plan starts with dynamic warm up

    • wrist-weight exercises  

    • Weighted balls

    • Throwing program (untimed, unscripted)

    • Flat ground work (20-30 minutes)

    • Traditional PFP and pick off work

    • Breathing and routines

  • Structuring a new player’s training

    • Recovering protocol

    • Throwing practice by day two

    • Give player objectives that they can plan around

    • Send to work with trainer

  • Players have goals, coaches are the guardrails during that journey

  • Why Deskaheh has become serious about pitch development and movement-based training

  • “20 Minutes of Hell” is a favorite drill for flat ground work

  • Favorite coaching book: “Heads-Up Baseball” by Ken Ravizza and Tom Hanson

  • Podcasts he recommends: “Ahead of the Curve,” “ABCA,” “Drive Line,” “Finding Mastery”

  • Authors he recommends: Simon Sinek, Ryan Holiday, John C. Maxwell, John Gordon

  • Coaching is not about the coach, it’s about the players

3 Key Points:

  • Player development requires individualization.

  • Real information, not opinion, is needed to assess players.

  • Core elements of the mental game: breathing, routines, and body language.

 

Tweetable Quotes:

  • “A lot of the banged up shoulders and that kind of stuff happens early in the fall.” - Deskaheh Bomberry (19:15)

  • “As long as I can remember, going back to the 80s and 90s, Sac City has always had a pretty high priority on player development.” - Deskaheh Bomberry (20:16)

  • “Whatever each guy needs, try to maximize the time you spend on those things.” - Deskaheh Bomberry (22:27)

  • “If you invest all your time in addressing a weakness, the strengths will disappear.” - Deskaheh Bomberry (22:37)

  • “When we are recruiting guys, the number one thing we try to address is strength.” - Deskaheh Bomberry (25:36)

  • “If they don’t do it in practice, you can’t expect it to show up in a game.” - Deskaheh Bomberry (35:15)

Resources Mentioned:

Website and Social Media sites for the show