Growing up I was blessed to have a couple of really solid pitching coaches. These two
coaches embody many of the good traits that make a good pitching coach.
Starting out as a young pitcher, Letty Morales-Bissaro, former St.
Mary’s University standout, was perfect for me. She taught me the basics, the
correct mechanics right off the bat. This included teaching me the proper
stride, arm circle and release. I still remember her telling me to push off and
reach for the sky - impressing on me the importance of a strong leg drive. But
above all, Letty showed me that pitching should be FUN. The idea of having FUN
is something I stress to my own students. Work hard, play hard, but have FUN
doing it. Afterall, if the student is not enjoying herself, she is unlikely to
commit the necessary time outside of pitching lessons practicing her pitching.
She is also likely to lose interest in pitching.
Louie Aguayo, longtime
San Antonio area pitching coach, taught me that in some areas of pitching there
is no right or wrong way, but rather a preferred style. That is, a style that
works for one pitcher, may not work for another. For example, I often
experimented with different grips until I found one I was comfortable and
confident in. He also helped take my game to the next level by teaching me junk,
movement pitches. As pitchers advance to the next level of play, hitters become
more adept at hitting speed. Speed especially that lacking in movement and
location tends to get tagged at the higher levels. It then becomes necessary for
pitchers to mix-up speed and throw the kinds of pitches that keep batters
off-balance, constantly making them look for pitches up and down the strike zone
as well as side to side. Equally important, he taught me the importance of being
mentally strong on the mound.
Coaches Letty and Louie definitely helped
develop my pitching and in many ways my instructional style. Thanks Coaches
Letty and Louie……