Ahead Of The Curve with Jonathan Gelnar

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September 20, 2018  

53: Ryan Starwalt- Head Baseball Coach, Crescent Valley HS (OR)

  • Building a baseball player isn’t always exciting, so getting them to internally compete with themselves and the game has to be a priority.
  • We teach our upperclassmen to bring the next group along. The older kids job is to get the younger kids as educated as quickly as possible.
  • Its important for kids to ask questions.
  • #1 in building a better baseball player is getting them to love the game. They learn to love it so they can learn to love the work.
  • The first 10-15 minutes of our practices, the players are on their own. So they’re expected to have a plan each day on what they’re wanting to work on.
  • We almost never take traditional rounds of BP. Our guys are just up there to crush a baseball. Hit it where its pitched and run like crazy.
  • Twitter
  • Oregon State Practices 
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September 13, 2018  

52: Hitting Round Table with Doug Latta, Curt Nelson, and Cody Atkinson

Doug Quotes
  • We dont chase results. We chase the ability to move in balance and take an effortless swing.
  • The human body is the strongest and most efficient in a position of balance. 
Curt Quotes
  • The more information we can spread about good swings, the more our game is going to progress in the right direction and especially for the players which is what its all about.
  • Timing is the most important thing, always
Cody Atkinson
  • We’ve got to learn to time for best fastball and adjust on the fly without taking panic swings.
  • An athlete will self organize if you give them the right things to focus on.


Doug Latta

Curt Nelson

Cody Atkinson

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September 3, 2018  
August 30, 2018  

50: Keanon Simon- Head Baseball Coach, Mustang HS (OK)

  • We play wiffleball in the fall. One because its fun and two because it helps our kids be competitive. 
  • We chart with a point system in batting practice

    • 4 points for a home run
    • 3 for a gap shot
    • 2 for a line-drive 
    • You’ve got to hit the ball well to be able to get your points
  •  We have big brother/little brother program. Every senior gets 3-4 kids and the seniors have to communicate and and all expectations of the program.
  • (On player responsibility)  I tell our guys that we dont punish you, but we do hold you accountable to be a better man and a better baseball player.
  • Until we start scrimmages, all of our teams practice together. We break them up into 4 groups and they rotate around to 4 different stations coached by 2-3 different coaches. That way all of our players get coached by all of our coaches.
  • We all want our players to go out and be leaders, but what have we done to teach them what that looks like?
  • Its really hard to lead if you’ve never been taught
  • 7 keys to leadership
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August 23, 2018  

49: Justin James- Head Baseball Coach, Point Loma Nazarene University (CA)

  • Not all throwing is created equal, so we want to try and track every single high intent throw.
  • Its easy to tell kids we want them to be leaders and be responsible, but you’ve got to give them some opportunities to mess it up and grow. The only way kids will learn to be responsible is to have some responsibility. 
  • I try to be the best example possible for my players.
  • You want to know what the problem with “kids today?” Its not the kids. Its us.
  • If we want to win long term, we have to understand the game within the game.
  • (On command) Its about how good are our misses not necessarily how man hit spots we have.
  • Other coaches
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August 16, 2018  

48: Josh Garcia- Head Baseball Coach, Brophy College Prep HS (AZ)

  • Make yourself worth following.
  • We compete every day in the fall.
  • You have to earn the right to compete for championship and that starts in the weight room.
  • Leadership and mental toughness are behaviors and behaviors can be developed.
  • When we get on first base, were either stealing or were anticipating ball in dirt.
  • I want our practices and our program to be the best part of the players day.
  • Email and Call other coaches  
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August 9, 2018  

47: JL Buchanan- Hitting Coach, Taft College (CA)

  • (on hitters) We need more guys that use the big parts of their body and use their stride foot with a purpose
  • Hitters have to test themselves and challenge themselves daily. That's what it takes to get better 
  • Sometimes hitters get caught up in the results from the weekend and, as a coach, i'm focusing more on on where they'll be in a few months.
  • We start every batting practice with gap to gap rounds. I don't want them trying to push balls oppo if I throw the ball inside
  • One of the ways we win games is by raising pitch counts early
  • I see a lot of programs that are training players to win games. But I want our players to excel at the next level.
  • Social Media
  • Youtube
  • Watching baseball games
  • Starting9
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August 2, 2018  

46: Darrell Coulter- Mindset & Pitch Command Consultant, Creator of STARTT Pitching (MO)

  • The key to this for me is relationships
  • The first thing we have to do is understand what these kids are thinking. Once we understand what they’re thinking, then we can take our teaching methods and plug them in
  • Pitcher development is not a problem to be solved, its a bunch of individuals that we need to try to grow and be the best players they can be and go win games.
  • I think that bullpens can be the biggest waste of time ever. We need to have performance level bullpens and track to see if they can on throw with velocity, movement, and location on purpose.
  • The best way to save pitchers arms is to teach them to get hitters out faster
  • Of course I want my kids to throw as hard as they can, but i also want them to get hitters out. 
  • If your job is on the line, you want the kid who can execute pitches and give your team the best chance to win.
  • Competition is preparing for the things that have to go right, but at the same time preparing for uncertainty. That's what separates the best players.

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July 26, 2018  

45: Rob Cooper- Head Baseball Coach, Penn State University

  • It pays to be a winner. And it pays to be a loser too, just not the kind of payment you want.
  • Competing does not just mean competing against another person, its also competing against yourself to get better.
  • You may be having a bad day but Ken (Ravizza) used to say all the time to “Give me 100% of your 50% today.” Thats competing. You’re making the choice to compete even though you don't feel great,
  • The power of choice is always there. The great ones make the right choices.
  • We believe that failure is an opportunity to learn. If something is hard that means only a few people are doing it.
  • Lets just say the kids today are different, well what if they are? Its our job as coaches to adapt and coach them.
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July 19, 2018  

44: Randy Sullivan- CEO for Florida Baseball Ranch

  • Everyone wants to be data driven and science based but skill acquisition science is the science that all of this is undergirded by.
  • Its not that you should never use verbal cues its just that words mean different things for different people.
  • There’s no such thing as a best swing, they’re all snowflakes and every single one is different with some sort of variance. 
  • Instead of chasing repeatable mechanics, we need to learn to be real time adjusters.
  • Every time someone says “this is something everyone should do.” Then I’m out. There’s not much that everyone should do.
  • When you use variability to enhance command, you’re training adjustability.
  • Velocity, arm health, command and secondary stuff dont have to be mutually exclusive.
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