Throwing bullpens in practice is where you will get much of you're pitching instruction from the coach. A pitching coach normally stands behind the mound or off to the side and gives mechanical tips, calls pitch Lokation and selection, gives sequential patterns, and general advice. We use physical props and a helpful hand approach when talking mechanics and they are obviously not possible in a game situation.
During games coaches are allowed one short mound visit per inning and if they make a second trip during that same inning the pitcher is automatically removed from the game. In most leagues a coach is only allowed two total visits for each pitcher and on the third the pitcher has to be removed.
When you take the mound in a game you have to be your own pitching coach. While pitching you undoubtably become the leader of the team, you control the pace and momentum of the game, you're in charge of the running game, and your body language represents the whole defense. You are the most important person on the field when you pitch, no question about it!
In games you have to make adjustments without being told by a coach. A coach can relay pitch calling signs to the catcher or bark keywords to refresh memory but that is basically the only help they can give from the dugout. You have to identify and defend against all the different variables that arise during games on your own. Success depends on adjustments you learn to make in game situations.
Game-time adjustments include:
- Pitch Lokation
- Pitch Sequencing
- Pitch Selection
- Pitch Signs by Catcher with runner on 2nd
- Umpire's Strike-zone
- Game Situation
- Defensive Alignment
- Hitter's Current Game Success
There are too many in-game adjustments to form a complete list but you get the idea of the categories you must take into consideration and prepare yourself for. It is important to recognize these types of situations while you are in the game, be conscious of the decisions you make, evaluate afterwards, and learn from the experience. There is no better teacher than experience!
Take note of your in game experiences and apply game imagery to bullpen sessions while using the Lokator System. The better you know the System, the more prepared you will be when you take the mound and the game is on the line.