What I learned from pitching batting practice to Team USA!
I was recently asked to throw batting practice to Team USA as they continued to prep for the upcoming World Cup. After acting like I was 18 and asked to the prom, I was eager to see the difference after throwing bp for the past 22 years to division 1 athletes what the difference was in the swing of an Olympian compared to an All-American. Few things I learned... First, the athletes were extremely gracious and respectful to have someone pitching to them to help them prepare. Athletes as you train and practice everyday do not forget the coaches and volunteers that help you warmup and practice. Pick up the balls for them, say thank you and always speak with confidence. Second, their routine was flawless. Three short focused rounds with a specific task in mind. Each athlete executed two bunts and two opposite field swings in round one. Round two/three was a round of three to five swings to feel their swing of the day and get their timing down. And finally, what separates an Olympian from everyone else is their plate coverage! Almost every other athlete I have pitched to for 22 years (trust me that is a lot of pitches in this arm and seen by these eyes) hits only one to two locations on the plate best. Olympians can cover all 17 plus inches of the plate with power. It was truly awesome to see and learn the difference. So to all you want to be Olympians... get to work on hitting the entire plate for power! Good luck to Team USA and thank you for an opportunity of a lifetime.