February 2017 - Tip of the Month
How to take 2 tenths of a second off your pop-time in 2 tenths of a second!
Now that I got your attention, I have to apologize. There is no possible way anyone could give you a way to take 2 tenths of a second off your pop time in just 2 tenths of a second. It’s not possible. It takes a lot of time and focused energy building the muscle memory necessary to make that type of improvement. This will not be what this month’s tip of the month will be about. Why, you might ask? Very simple. Listen very clearly. Pop. Times. Don’t. Matter.
Now if I were some run of the mill Joe Schmo telling you this, you would laugh me out of the room. But I am hoping that whatever respect I’ve earned from you that lead you to subscribe to this newsletter will buy me just a moment to explain myself.
I’ve been an MLB scout for the last 6 seasons and have built up relationships and earned the respect of some of the best college coaches, both baseball and softball, in the country. I point this out, not to pat myself on the back, I assure you. I do so to point out the fact that the person you all strive so hard to impress, the person holding the stopwatch. I’m one of them.
And I can tell you right now that the throw you just made at the showcase with no batter in the box, no runner running to 2B, cheating up out of your crouch… it meant very little to me. And that goes for many of the college coaches and scouts you are hoping to blow away with your fake 1.9 throw.
Does that throw give me a glimpse into your potential as an athlete? Sure it does. Does it allow me to gauge arm strength? Yup. Does it prove to me anything other than you are really good in practice? Nope, it does not.
I will ask the same question over and over again. What can you do in a game?
We get asked constantly why we don’t time pop-times during our camps. It seems that this is the one thing folks want over everything else. And it’s absolutely baffling. Whatever methodology you subscribe to when it comes to throwing from behind the plate. None of it will make you faster until you put in the work to own the approach. Are some changes going to have a very immediate impact on your ability to lower your pop-time? I would surely hope so. But, will those changes translate in a game environment? Not a chance. That’s not how your brain works.
Your brain needs time to reprogram the neural pathways to adopt a different physiological response when a runner takes off from 1B. That will not happen during one of our camps.
You might now be asking yourself why any of you should attend our camp if you are trying to improve your in-game pop-time? Well, it’s very simple. We can give you the one magic tool that will lead to the largest possible drop in your pop-time… information.
Not just any information, but information that will give you a mechanical advantage over all of the other catchers who are trying to get the ball to 2B faster than you.
It’s truly up to you to do something with it and only that will lead to an improvement in your in-game pop time and the number of runners you successfully keep from making you look bad.
Catchers, remember, if you can’t repeat what you did in practice in a game, it doesn't matter. It also mean you’re not practicing enough.