Ahead Of The Curve with Jonathan Gelnar

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March 14, 2019  

91: Dr. Fadde- Professor and Chief Science Officer for gameSense Sports

This episode is brought to you by baseballcloud and OnBaseU.



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In this episode of Ahead of the Curve, I welcome Dr. Peter Fadde, pitch recognition expert, Chief Officer and Co-Founder of gameSense, and Associate Professor of Learning Systems Design & Technology at Southern Illinois University. Dr. Peter Fadde breaks down the science of pitch recognition and the valuable methods of training hitters to achieve this skill. Coach Sherman also explains occlusion training, and ways that his pitch recognition product at gameSense is preparing players and coaches to implement it into their training regimens.


Show Notes:

  • Guest: Dr. Peter Fadde, Chief Officer and Co-Founder of gameSense, and Associate Professor of Learning Systems Design & Technology at Southern Illinois University

  • Dr. Fadde explains the benefits of occlusion training

  • Dillan Lawson’s presentation at Slugfest used a soccer player kicking a goal with the lights turned off 2/3 of the way to teach occlusion training

  • What is “pitch recognition” and how is it different from “plate discipline?”

  • Dr. Fadde’s occlusion training offers the batter’s view point facing the pitcher with a maximum possible score of 250

  • Video cued tee work is tee work that includes the timing off of the pitcher

  • Hitting baseballs is not like hitting golf balls or baseballs off of a tee

  • Vision training focuses on visual skills like dynamic tracking, acuity, peripheral vision, and focus

  • Pitch recognition should help hitters get the feel of the pitcher’s wind-up

  • If you aren’t looking at a pitcher, then it isn’t really pitch recognition

  • Live drills for hitters to call out “yes” or “no” on a particular pitch type before the ball hits the catcher’s mitt strengthens pitch recognition

  • The best form of pitch recognition is standing in the bullpen

  • Mike Schmidt wrote a fantastic books on hitting

  • Attention occlusion drills should keep the batter focusing on the pitcher, not the catcher

  • gameSense certified their first hitting coach Coach Killian at Elite Velocity in St. Louis, Missouri

  • Softball is getting a boast again from entering into the Olympics


3 Key Points:

  1.    Pitch recognition is the perceptual skill of making an actionable meaning out of the pitch you see.

  2.  Your eyes can’t track pitch speeds over 83 miles an hour all the way into the bat.

  3.  Visualize the pitcher. Visualize the pitch. Visualize hitting that pitch.  


Tweetable Quotes:

  • “If you can test it, you can train it.” - Dr. Peter Fadde (4:53)

  • “Human beings, and other animals, can learn incredible things with repetition, immediate feedback, and progressive difficulty.” - Dr. Peter Fadde (5:04)

  • “When we say, ‘somebody has a great instinct for it,’ well, that’s where we now say, ‘ok, let’s try to figure out exactly what that is.’” - Dr. Peter Fadde (6:32)

  • “Some guys like to have success at every level and build it up. And some guys just like to identify the wall they want to go through and then start smacking it.” - Dr. Peter Fadde (14:41)

  • “The best way to practice recognizing pitches is to look at pitches.” - Dr. Peter Fadde (30:56)

  • “A softball hitter really focusing on and getting good at pitch recognition could be looking at at a 20 or 25% improvement.” - Dr. Peter Fadde (51:20)

Resources Mentioned:


Website and Social Media sites for the show 
March 7, 2019  

90: Reed Peters- Head Baseball Coach, San Joaquin Delta College (CA)

This episode is brought to you by baseballcloud and OnBaseU.



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In this episode of Ahead of the Curve, I welcome Reed Peters, the head baseball coach at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, California. During the course of this discussion, Reed Peters puts a strong emphasis on the importance of ‘the mental game’ of baseball. Coach Peters equips listeners with an overview of his practice drills, why focusing on the players makes you a better coach, and how to prevent past success from making your team lazy.


Show Notes:

  • Guest: Reed Peters, Head Baseball Coach at San Joaquin Delta College

  • They discuss David Smith, a former player of Reed Peter’s was also a former coach of host Jonathan Gelnar

  • Coach Peters won National Coach of the Year for the Pacific Division and the 2018 California State Championship

    • His team went from having a chip on their shoulder from losing the previous year to becoming champions

  • Players are trained in all facets of baseball so no one player is burdened with carrying the team

  • Teams will be bring their best game against you when you are coming off of success while entering a new season

  • It isn’t just about champions, it’s about reaching toward the next level of your career

  • California teams are limited to 12 hour practice weeks so Wednesday is the team’s recovery day off

    • Training days include academic study halls, mental baseball class, conditioning, throwing program, defense training, hitting, and the weight room.

    • Saturday is for playing other teams to see how they compare

  • The competitive culture is instilled by making players compete for their playing time

  • Calvin Riley, a very competitive player, was shot and killed and is used as a reminder for players to stay focused

  • After college, Reed played major league baseball with the Angles and the Giants

  • Coach and author Ken Ravizza inspired Reed on improving the mental game of baseball

  • The spring practice plan is less intense and includes, conditioning, throwing, hard dirt skill training, offense, defense, swing drills, and competitive games

  • Coach Peters would rather see a ‘live arm’ so they don’t use pitching machines on the field

  • Your career as a coach is as good as that of your players’

  • Lead with your heart and your God-given gifts--not with punishment

  • Competitive point games keep the players interested and excited

  • The biggest reward is to stay in contact with players and hear that you have been a positive influence on them

3 Key Points:

  1.     Coach Peters’ team was: 1st in runs,hits, and on-base percentage, 2nd in doubles and stolen bases, 3rd in home runs, and had an overall .315 batting average.

  2.  Every year the players have to invent their own mission statement to have something to hold each other accountable to.

  3.   Realizing his success is based on his players’ success and having positive relationships with them made Reed Peters a better coach.

Tweetable Quotes:

  • “I think we ended up having, I think, nine guys move on to Division 1 schools.” - Reed Peters (1:13)

  • “Whatever our opponent gives us, we have to be able to take advantage of.” - Reed Peters (3:32)

  • “Our philosophy is ‘pass the baton.’ No guy has to carry the team.” - Reed Peters (3:58)

  • “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” - Reed Peters (4:43)

  • “We make no promises to anybody. All we are going to promise to them is that they are going to have to compete, and fight for a job and fight for their playing time.” - Reed Peters (9:03)

  • “I think what we do more than anybody else is really focus on the mental game.” - Reed Peters (12:46)


Resources Mentioned:

Website and Social Media sites for the show 
February 28, 2019  

89: Chan Brown- Head Baseball Coach, Parkview HS (GA)

This episode is brought to you by baseballcloud and OnBaseU.



Google Play




In this episode of Ahead of the Curve, I welcome Chan Brown, a coach with 24 years of experience, currently working in Lilburn, Georgia as the Parkview High School head baseball Coach, physical education teacher, and the 15u Team USA coach. During our discussion, Chan Brown walks us through his typical summer and fall training practice procedures, and how things change once the team is formed. Coach Brown graciously gives plenty of useful advice to not just help shape fantastic players, but to make great people out of the young guys he trains.


Show Notes:

  • Guest: Chan Brown, Parkview High School Head Baseball Coach, Physical Education Teacher, 15u Team USA Coach

  • What made Chan Brown’s championship-winning team so special

    • Eight seniors went on to college

    • They had the pressure of being number two in the nation and number 1 in the state

    • They lost about five games by mid-season and came together after that

    • The team had a meeting that included motivational quotes, let kids speak their minds, and got the team unified on the same page

    • Some of the seniors moved on from the team with two rings

  • What did Coach Brown’s team cover in training during the summer and fall of 2018

    • He has every baseball player also in the Advanced Fitness class that he teaches

    • Summer ball is played by the players before the fall

    • June summer ball is every Tuesday and Wednesday in June, with two hours on the field and one hour in the gym

    • July summer ball is optional and from August to September is an hour and a half of weight lifting each session

    • September training has pool workouts and push outs for three days a  week.

    • October-January is two days a week of speed and agility training.

    • The monday after Thanksgiving is throwing training and they start the bullpen the day after Christmas

    • Tryouts begin in January

  • Coach Brown is only the second coach in the 44 years of the Parkview High School team

  • Success of their baseball team is an expectation in the local community

  • Kids can train as young as 6-years old at Parkview with the same standards

  • Be a good person on and off the field

  • The team motto is going to be “Love. Loyalty. Leadership”

  • Parkview baseball does a player packet with a player contract, the county drug and alcohol policy, and even how to talk to the media

  • All three teams have a chance to practice together to keep the competitive edge strong

  • Game simulations and scrimmages are played in a competitive environment

  • Tryouts for junior varsity and varsity baseball teams are Monday-Thursday

  • Between the three teams there are 56 players and JV and varsity there are six coaches.

  • Fundraising ranges from everything from golf to selling Christmas trees

  • Coach Brown handles the hitting portion of their coaching bible and a coaching duty sheet

  • The first three weeks of team practice are intense, with five hours Monday through Friday

  • Batting practice includes game simulation

  • The pitching coach keeps extensive pitching stats to have data feedback for players and coaches

  • Chan Brown shows stats three times a year

  • The ‘Huddle’ video program allows Coach Brown to share video and track how long players have watched the videos

  • Positive relationships with the players are important to Coach Brown

  • If you do what you are suppose to do, the wins will come

  • Know what your particular program is all about

  • Reading the bible, visiting Division 1 programs, and being involved with USA Baseball have been helpful resources for Coach Brown

  • 21-Outs is a baseball drill that Coach Brown’s players enjoy

  • Don’t always try to be the guy talking. Find older coaches you respect and learn from them

3 Key Points:

  1.     Coach Brown’s team has a total of seven state championships with four since 2011, and three national championships since 2012.

  2.  In this order: be a great person, be a great student, be a great teammate, and that leads to being a great player.

  3.   Don’t let the scoreboard run you and believe what your heart says.


Tweetable Quotes:

  • “We went on to win state, and win our third national championship since 2012.” - Chan Brown (2:51)

  • “In my opinion, if you are not in the weightroom, you aren’t getting any better.” - Chan Brown (7:04)

  • “If we don’t go to the Final Four or the state championship, honestly, it’s a letdown for our community.” - Chan Brown (11:56)

  • “The culture thing for us starts at age 6.” - Chan Brown (12:54)

  • “Do the right thing all the time.” - Chan Brown (16:56)

  • “Our first three weeks, I’m going to be as honest as honest can be, we are a marathon program. We practice from 2:30-7:30pm Monday-Friday.” - Chan Brown (36:18)

Resources Mentioned:

Website and Social Media sites for the show