My name is Joe Janish. No relation (as far as I know) to the good-field, no-hit shortstop. I played baseball well enough to earn a full scholarship to a D-1 school (Saint Peter’s College, now University, Metro-Atlantic Athletic Conference), starting four years behind the plate, earning All-Conference accolades twice and named ABCA Northeast Region All-American Catcher in my senior year, when I finished 15th in the USA in hitting (.418). In addition to college ball, I played in several semipro leagues and had the honor of playing with dozens of former pros; a highlight was catching Jim Bouton, he of the knuckleball and Ball Four.
After my college playing days, I stayed on as Pitching Coach for St. Peter’s for two years, helping several players get to the pros, including one MLB pitcher. Since then I’ve been sporadically coaching and/or providing pitching, hitting, and baseball instruction, privately and with Akadema’s ProPlayer Academy. I’ve also written about baseball for blogs, including one for ESPN, and did marketing for Don Mattingly‘s now-defunct baseball bat company. None of this qualifies me to teach pitching mechanics, unfortunately.
In fact, I stopped teaching pitching mechanics in 2010, when I came to the realization that despite over 20 years of catching pitchers, pitching myself, coaching pitchers, and researching pitching, I had no business making adjustments to the pitching motion. I can teach how to throw different types of pitches, pitching strategy, mental game, and every other part of pitching, and I can keep a pitcher relatively safe, but I’m not qualified to fine-tune pitching mechanics.
Chances are, neither are you.
That is, unless you have in-depth knowledge of body movement — meaning, you have an advanced degree that covers subjects such as physiology, anatomy, kinesiology, motor control, and the like. If you do have this knowledge, then you probably don’t need this site, though you may find a few bits of info here and there. Otherwise, Step One toward reversing the current trend of pitching injuries is to drop your ego and accept the fact that you are not an expert on the pitching motion. If you THINK you have this knowledge because you pitched professionally, or because you were taught by a former MLB pitcher, or because you read a few books about strength and conditioning, then you probably should start poking around the site and listening to the podcast. Inform yourself and help change the world, one pitch at a time.
If you’re a pitcher, coach, or parent of a pitcher, have an open mind, and can leave your ego at the door, you’ll learn how you can keep arms safe — and when you should call in a real expert. Further, you’ll know what IS a “real” expert. Often, you’re better off leaving things alone, rather than having an unqualified person muck things up even worse.
Begin your journey by reading the bio of one of those “real” experts — Angel Borrelli.