“Seam Readers need to know Rotation before Location.”
Dennis Tiefenthaler, Co-Founder, Seam Readers
Ladies and gentleman, welcome to Seam Reader’s seventh blog of all time. We continue to be amazed by everyone who is checking in with us on a weekly basis. Last evening, we were contacted by folks from the United Kingdom and Sweden letting us know our information and content is helping them. Pretty humbling indeed… God is great!
For the last month, we have been teaching you the Seam Reader’s Process. Let us do a quick recap, so others can be brought up to speed. If you are a Seam Reader, the first step is always think fast-ball and adjust to everything else. Step number two, you learned about soft-focus and hard-focus and finding the release point in the on-deck circle. Step number three is load to read which is a fluid, quiet, backward movement of the hands as the front foot moves toward the pitcher. I can hear some of you saying, “Why are we going over the same things, week after week?” Here’s why: Repetition is the Mother of Skill, and we are trying to be as consistent, strong, and balanced as we can possibly be before the pitcher releases the ball. We are also trying to give ourselves the best chance to succeed at what has been called the hardest thing to do in sports: Hit a round ball with a round bat.
Everything that you have been taught to this point is everything that you need to know before the pitch is released, or thrown. From now on, you are going to be taught what you need to know after the pitch is released. That starts with the last step in the Seam Reader’s Process. That is the need to know the ROTATION of the PITCH BEFORE the LOCATION of that SAME PITCH. This step is crucial in deciding whether we are going to swing, or not. Seam Reading Rotation comes before reading Location, although we need to know them both almost simultaneously. We must know what the pitch is so we know what movements it is going to make. Every pitch has a certain way it looks and a certain way it moves. Some pitches will always look the same and move the same from pitcher to pitcher, but most pitches have different variations for the way they look and move. The solution to this as a Seam Reader is to identify what pitches that pitcher throws by talking with teammates who have already faced that pitcher and by watching them in the on deck circle. Then when you are at bat you will see how their pitches look and understand how they move.
In conclusion, knowing the rotation of the ball before anything else is absolutely the first thing you do after the release of the pitch. Without Seam Reading there would be no purposeful TIMING.To be on “TIME is every hitters goal.Without Seam Reading we would all be guessing. So remember “Rotation before Location”. Have a great week.
At Home Drill: This week’s drill involves two parts. The first part involves playing catch from the distance you or your players hit from. To start one person will be the hitter and the other the pitcher. The pitcher will throw 4 and 2 seams to their partner who will be standing sideways in their hitting stance. Once the pitch is released the hitter is to yell out what the pitch is as soon as they read it and then catch the ball. They can then be the pitcher and throw the ball back to the hitter, if needed.
The next drill, takes the catch idea to the cages. As a hitter in the cage it is your job to call out what every pitch is as you hit it. Coaches and parents pitching, make sure you are throwing 4 and 2 seamers to the hitters and that they are calling them out correctly.