BASEBALL EDUCATION CENTER
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This page is designed to help pitchers pitch better. The information listed below will allow you to increase your velocity, strength, accuracy and understanding while helping to reduce the potential for arm and shoulder injuries.
Many pitching coaches/ instructors make things so complicated and have pitchers do so many unnecessary drills it confuses the player, wastes their time/ money and Interferes with their game performance.
Secondly, most treat the symptom of an issue not the cause. A pitching coach/ instructor needs to reverse engineer a player’s movements to identify the source of an issue. They also have to take into account a players age, body strength, physiology, knowledge of pitching (both the physical and mental) and other factors. No two pitchers are the same.
A coach’s role is to make things simple to understand and easily learned. They should teach to make it so that the player needs them less and less because the player has been taught to assess themselves and have the ability to correct themselves (which is very important if you’re in the middle of a game!). Many coaches teach to have the player come back to them over-and-over. That’s not my purpose. I want to have you get to the point where you understand so that you only have to come back to me 3 or 4 times a year for a “tune-up”.
Fair warning. Just because a coach has pitched in college or the pros doesn’t mean they can teach. Some of the best coaches I have known over my 30yrs coaching never played in college or the pro’s.
This is HITTING TRAINING not swing training. Huge difference. We teach players how to consistently and successfully hit a moving baseball.
Swing Training on the other hand has players do drill after unnecessary mindless drill that interferes with their game performance and wastes their time/ money. They are only teaching swinging a bat and not how to hit a moving ball . In fact, the majority of training out there is swing training which actually restricts a hitters development, timing, bat speed, etc.
Being quick or strong is no guarantee of success.
The Best Hitters in the World Fail 70% of the Time – WRONG!
How many times have you heard?
"The game of baseball is a game of failure – even the best hitters fail 70% of the time."
“Hitting a baseball is one of the hardest things to do in sports.”
These two very popular statements are believed by many players, coaches, parents, industry gurus and even sports media. It’s sad to say that just those two very popular statements have been said by so many people over such a long period of time it is assumed to be true. Unfortunately, it has programmed a negative mindset – a Belief System or BS in millions of players over the years. Their mindset, their core belief, their foundation has been brainwashed in believing that baseball is a game of failure. IT'S NOT.
Don't just take my work for it. This training is evidence based, research supported and real life tested and proven. All covered in the training.
A FEW COMMENTS
Former Head Coach Cumberland Co. College
2019 NJCAA DIII National Champions
2019 ABCA/ Diamond National Coach of the Year NJCAA Division III
Current Head Coach - Barton College
“Baseball has really taken an odd turn with summer ball and some of the teaching techniques youth players are getting. It is nice to see your teachings and the articles are based on the reality of what works at the collegiate and professional level."
Dr. Charles A. Maher, PsyD, MBA, CMPC
Sport and Performance Psychologist, Senior Director Department of Personal and Organizational Performance Cleveland Indians Baseball Organization.
National Advisory Board Member, Positive Coaching Alliance
Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University
"I have known Coach Matt Helke for several years, primarily in his role as Founder and Editor of The Baseball Observer, a publication that provides educational and instructional content for coaches and players about how to play baseball, including the task of balancing the game with other aspects of their lives. As such, I have had the good fortune of interacting with Coach Helke with regard the mental and emotional development of players and staff and I have been impressed by the quality of articles that he includes in this publication.
More specifically, it is within this context that I provide the following comments in his support:
Coach Helke is committed to make sure that players learn to value how to play the game of baseball and how to balance it with the rest of their lives.
In all of his writings, Coach Helke manifests a consistent theme: How to make sure that players receive solid, research-based instruction about how to play baseball and, relatedly, how to cope effectively with the range of demands that they encounter, on and off the field.
Coach Helke has impressed me as being a consummate educator, whose number one priority is the overall welfare of the players who are fortunate to receive evidence-based coaching from him.
In my thirty-three years of working as a sport and performance psychologist in a range of professional sports and at the collegiate level, I have been involved with many managers and coaches. In this regard, Coach Helke is someone who’s clearly very knowledgeable and is devoted to the overall well-being of players and to working in collaboration with the players’ support systems."
Parent of player
"Coach Helke has helped our son excel both
as a player and young man physically
“Our son has enjoyed playing for Coach Matt Helke. We have seen a great improvement in his skills as a hitter and a pitcher in Coach Helke’s one-on-one instruction. Coach Helke has improved his pitching form and accuracy through his training. His experience has greatly improved our son’s stance and swing at the plate. He has also helped in his mental focus on the mound as a pitcher and at bat.
We have seen his love of the game grow after each practice session. Coach Helke has helped our son excel both as a player and young man physically and mentally through his instruction. We are looking forward to having our younger son work with him in the future as well.”
Parent of player
"In working with Coach Helke for only a year now, our son has gone from considering wanting to quit baseball to this year being selected to play in the All-Star game. In the game he hit four doubles. "
"Over the past year my son has been working on hitting with Matt Helke and we could not be happier with the results of Matt’s coaching and teaching approach. As a parent of a young baseball player, my son is only 8, I am thankful to have found someone as knowledgeable, reliable, and fun as Matt. He is able to teach the skills of baseball at a level & pace kids understand. That is what makes Matt special in his field, his ability to relate to kids, the patience he has to keep working with them until they get it right, and his ability to keep baseball fun. When my son began with Matt, he was coming off his 3rd season playing baseball. He loved playing baseball, but he was not hitting the ball, which left him feeling defeated after every game. As a mom it was hard to watch and as a kid it was hard to keep showing up. He needed help not only with the mechanics of hitting the ball, but also with the mental aspect of baseball. Matt has done an incredible job helping my son with his swing and making contact with the ball, but most importantly with his confidence in the batter’s box and his ability to shake it off if he doesn’t hit the ball. I appreciate coaches like Matt Helke because he invests his time in both aspects of the game, physical and mental. When dealing with young players, like my son, who are just starting to learn and love baseball it is important to have someone like Matt influencing them because he helps them understand every aspect of the game and most importantly, he helps remind them through his coaching style that baseball is exciting and fun, that is how it should be for kids. My son is always asking “when do I get to work with Coach Helke again?” Matt has made practicing something he wants to do, not something he has to do. Matt has made a huge difference in my son over the last year. We are in the middle of his 4th season and watching him play & bat this year has been exciting, for both him and us. His attitude about baseball is different than last year. Watching him walk up to the plate with all the confidence in the world makes me see what a great gift Matt has given our son. "
Addendum: "In working with Coach Helke for only a year now, our son has gone from considering wanting to quit baseball to this year being selected to play in the All-Star game. In the game he hit four doubles. "
Parent of player
My 15 year old son says,
"Coach Helke makes me WANT to play better."
“I have had the honor and privilege of getting to know Matt Helke over the past 3 1/2 years. As a parent of two boys who are active in many sports, I get to see many coaches in action, but I have seen none better than Coach Helke. The gift he has in being able to recognize and develop raw talent and passion in kids is truly amazing. The skills training that he utilizes when working with kids is truly beneficial to their understanding of the game and their improvement in playing it. Kids are able to walk away from a training session and know exactly what they need to work on to perform better. But, just as important as skills training is Coach Helke's mental skills training. He teaches kids how to obtain the cognitive and psychological skills that are needed to perform at their best. My 15 year old son says, "Coach Helke makes me WANT to play better". His passion for motivating kids to want to be a better version of themselves is something truly remarkable to see. Coach Helke truly exemplifies the meaning of an amazing coach and we are grateful that our son gets to experience coaching at its finest.”
Parent of player
"Coach Helke is amazing! After the first lesson we already noticed improvement in my son’s hitting. He is patient and able to fully explain to my son at a level that he understands. Coach Helke provides words of encouragement and advice along with visual explanations. We have been lucky to find him as we enjoy how personable and thorough he is."
"I could not be where I am today without his instruction and his help."
“When I first started playing for Troy’s Junior High program, I didn’t realize how fortunate I was not only to play for such a great program, but also for such a great coach, Coach Helke. Coach Helke has taught me a lot this past summer, both mentally and physically. He has helped me improve my swing and my pitching with one-on-one instruction. He has taught me that you can always improve and that talent can only get you so far--you must work to improve and play in the next level. Most importantly, he has taught me to be, as he calls it, “a student of the game.” This has helped me understand the thoughts of the batter and the pitcher. It has also helped me grow and become a better player. Not only has Coach Helke helped me be a better player, but he has also helped me become a better man. I could not be where I am today without his instruction and his help. Thank you.”
Parent of player
"Coach Helke coaches knowledge of the game and is very motivating."
"Earlier this year some friends recommended Matt Helke as a hitting/pitching coach for our son. We couldn't be happier with the results. Matt's philosophy is to work with the athlete from the ground up. The hitting lessons focus on the skill from a physical and a mental standpoint, but in terms and examples our son can understand. Matt coaches knowledge of the game and is very motivating. Matt doesn't forget that he is instructing kids. Even though the focus is on learning, Matt works to build a relationship with them. My son leaves each session knowing what he has to work on..."his homework". We are excited to watch Matt's philosophy of baseball and our son's love of the game continue to make him a successful individual on and off the field. "
Parent of player
"As a result of his training sessions, my son went from batting lower in the batting order to having the second-best batting average on his baseball team in one season."
"I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Coach Helke for the improvement of my son’s overall positive mental approach to the game and batting skills. I was given the name of coach Helke by the parent of a teammate of Braden‘s. I would say my child is an overall athletic kid but he needed some help with his batting. Coach Helke started from the ground up and did not move on until my sons overall basic positioning of his legs and lower body was truly understood and mastered and then continued to work with his upper body and dynamics. He also was able to video this and explain to my son from a visual standpoint, which I think has also helped to make him visualize the differences in where he was at before and after. This was done by showing him his before and after side-by-side slow motion comparisons with annotations. Coach Helke was able to break down the movements and as he was doing this gave positive constructive criticism and which my son never felt like he wasn’t good enough. He provided corrective action and also was able to give him drills to work on at home that were simple enough that he would go and work on these by himself because he was seeing the improvements. As a result of his training sessions, my son went from batting lower in the batting order to having the second-best batting average on his baseball team in one season. He was also able to work with the mental aspects of playing sports especially baseball with my son. My son is a perfectionist and when he doesn’t have things come easy to him, he can kind of shut down. Coach Helke continued to provide him with positive reinforcement resetting his mindset making him an all-around more positive baseball player. We are thankful for the time and commitment he gives to our son and improving him. He is always a work in progress and continues to make improvements and what is great is it my son still wants to work with him to make himself better because he has seen the improvements in himself. "