LoKator System Case Study
Elliott Fuller took a leap of faith and traveled from California to Southern Indiana to play college baseball with one of his best buddies Brandon Weller. Brandon (Wells, Wellski, B-Well, etc) was a former junior college teammate who arrived at Indiana University Southeast a year earlier than Elliott (Fulls, Fulski, Big E, etc).
Fuller originally signed with Cleveland State after his first two years of Junior College, but they discontinued their baseball program the year before he got there. When Fuller told Weller the news on the phone, Wells said "you should come to IUS, I'm learning a new pitching system under a pitching coach named Steve Stemle who played MLB baseball." Everything fell into place and the next thing Fulls knew, he was starting the fall season with the IUS Grenadiers.
Fuller had little to no pitching instruction before he got to IUS. He had never been taught the physical side of pitching, mechanics, running routines, bullpen schedules, arm exercises, etc. But just as importantly, he had never even been introduced to the mental or strategic side of pitching either. His first two years of junior college statistics at Los Medanos tell the story.
During Fuller's first fall with the LoKator System at IUS, all instruction, physical and strategic, were completely new and seemed to be a lot of information to comprehend. At first, the wealth of information and attention to detail within the Lokator System was a bit daunting Fuller admitted, but he quickly recognized how much sense the instruction made and found it more interesting as he continued to learn.
One of the first adjustments Fuller had to make was to change physical aspects of his delivery, mechanical habits, and muscle memory. Early in that first fall season he suffered a shoulder strain that would limit him to doing dry work without a baseball. This was essential to retraining the mechanical inconsistencies he developed over years of repeating the same erratic delivery. His shoulder strain was a blessing in disguise because it taught him to work on mechanics without throwing and putting any stress on his arm.
By the time Fuller's Junior Season rolled around in 2012 he was still building the base of good mechanics by simplifying his delivery, creating proper weight shift and late rotation, finding direction moving towards the plate, and creating rhythm and timing throughout his body to work as a whole unit. As he improved in the mechanics department he realized that there was less stress on his arm and he was becoming more consistent throwing strikes.
Around the middle of the 2012 Spring Season Fuller started to see and feel marked improvement as he continued to build on the base we formed in the Fall. As I saw his confidence growing and his shoulder getting stronger I increased his pitch count and inserted him in the starting rotation. Fulls took his newfound confidence and applied it for the rest of the season helping the 2012 Grenadiers Team Pitching Staff to school records in ERA, WHIP, and BB per game. Fuller improved in his Junior Year as seen below, but he didn't stop there!
Fulls continued his routine dry work along with regular workouts on his own with the Lokator System over the summer. He was able to see hard data in the Lokator Bullpen App as to what his strengths and weaknesses were. He focused on his weaknesses all summer while keeping his strengths sharp during side sessions.
Going into his final year at IUS Fuller felt more confident than ever because he knew he had put in all the necessary work to have a successful senior campaign. He was ready to lead the pitching staff and team as a whole, but there would be one big difference in the 2013 season. I had to resign as the volunteer pitching coach and turn my full attention to the LoKator Pitching Academy. Fuller would use the LoKator System as his full time pitching coach in his senior season.
Fuller took full advantage of the LoKator System his senior year and had the best pitching year of his life! As a matter of fact, he had the best year of any pitcher who had ever attended IUS, shattering the individual school records seen here. His school record ERA in the 2013 season was a microscopic 0.89 over 60.2 innings of work, topping the previous best by more than a full run. He also set a new WHIP (Walks Hits Per Inning Pitched) school record posting a 0.99 mark. Fuller ended the season with the third lowest ERA in the nation for NAIA schools among 5 other national individual pitcher ranking while also being named the 2013 KAIC Conference Pitcher of the Year.
In Fuller's own words "The LoKator System helped me become a pitcher rather than a thrower. I threw pitches with purpose and always had a plan of exactly what I wanted the ball to do every time I threw a pitch. There is a lot more to pitching than simply throwing hard. Learning the mental and physical aspects of pitching are the first big steps I took, then applying the System in game play gave me success I honestly didn't know was possible."