Interview with Tom Roy, UPI

up logoby Keith Madison

Tom Roy is the president and founder of UPI. He played minor league baseball in the Giants organization and has coached at the high school and college level. He has also been a team chaplain for the Chicago White Sox and has conducted baseball camps and clinics internationally. He is a baseball “lifer,” having been involved in the game as a player, coach, chaplain, clinician, radio personality and author for over fifty years.  I recently caught up with Tom at the NCCAA Baseball Tournament in Mason, Ohio and asked him the following questions: Continue reading

The value of the team-first mind

by Jason Kuhnnavy seal teamworkBrotherhood does not mean we agree on every last thing. It doesn’t mean we have to like each other all that much. It means we choose to set aside our differences to serve a cause greater than ourselves. This happens naturally in war. In it’s most raw form the cause becomes to stay alive. Our differences become very silly when we’re driving into a gunfight. We commit ourselves to proper teamwork in service to our cause, because the cause is worth it. Whether combat or competition we have all experienced the power in proper teamwork and do our best to communicate the concept to our team. Reflecting on my time on the baseball field and the battlefield, I now teach teamwork as the following: Continue reading

Training our young arms

1 (4)by Dan Olear— Pitching Coach/Instructor Cranford, NJ

I started my coaching career when I was 23 years old, a varsity assistant in high school.  By the age of 29 I was a head coach at a St. Peter’s (NJ) College.  I knew nothing about pitching and had no money in the budget for a good pitching coach.  Pitching wins games, I had no choice but to learn all I could about it, and how to develop strong, reliable arms.  That was 1998. 18 years later, I no longer coach in college yet I am still learning all I can about pitching and pitchers themselves. Continue reading

Five ways data can improve pitcher performance

by Seth Daniels, Managing Director of North America

Rapsodo_LogoPitchers occupy one of the most high-pressure and physically taxing positions in the sport of baseball. At all levels of the game, great lengths are taken to maintain pitchers’ performance and ensure that they are in top form season after season. But across the professional, college and high school levels, one thing is lacking when it comes to the building, training and preserving elite pitchers – data analysis. Many will say that overuse, lack of conditioning, and improper pitch mechanics are the biggest problem facing pitchers over the course of their careers, and that may be true at some level. But, the real issue is coaches and trainers need more data on how their pitchers are performing over time, and in specific instances.

New data collection and analysis tools allow teams to track every single ball a pitcher throws, measuring velocity, strike zone, curve, rotation, and more. By analyzing this level of data over time, coaches can get a far more accurate read on a player’s ability and performance levels.

Statistics and baseball have always gone hand-in-hand. But, big data in baseball is a relatively new development. Coaches have always been aware that arm strength, stamina, max pitch count, recovery time, and warm up routines vary from pitcher to pitcher. But until recently, observation has been the primary metric for determining player readiness and performance.

Here are several game-changing applications for pitch data collection and analysis:

Continue reading

Brian O’Connor on culture and competing

summer16The head coach at the University of Virginia since 2004, Brian O’Connor is a five-time ACC Coach of the Year and three-time national coach of the year. In addition to bringing the 2015 NCAA title to Charlottesville, O’Connor boasts the third-highest winning percentage of all current head coaches in Division I baseball and the 14th-best mark all-time. O’Connor is the second fastest ACC coach to reach 500 career wins and has ushered a boatload of talent into professional baseball, including the likes of Ryan Zimmerman, Mark Reynolds, Sean Doolittle, and several others.

He came to Virginia after nine years at Notre Dame (1995-2003) under current LSU coach Paul Mainieri, where he was named the 2001 National Assistant Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association and Baseball America and was AFLAC National Assistant Coach of the Year in 2003.

Inside Pitch recently visited with the Cavaliers’ head coach to talk about how he manages his clubs, his staff, and the winning culture he has developed at UVA. Continue reading