Hi! I'm Steve, founder of LoKator. In 1998 I signed my first professional baseball contract with the St. Louis Cardinals. After pitching for six full seasons and almost 1000 innings with the Cards, I threw my first pitch in the Major Leagues with the Kansas City Royals in 2005. I worked as a pitching instructor every off-season while moving through all levels of the minor leagues. During that time I noticed most pitching targets on the market were four sided boxes.
RECOGNITION OF TEACHING OPPORTUNITY
Most of the pitching instructors I came in contact with were catching their lessons or having them throw into a strikezone square. After catching a few lessons without equipment I realized how difficult it was to give high quality instruction from 46-60 feet away. I heard a lot of instructors talking about mechanics and velocity, but very little was said about pitch command, selection, and sequencing.
PROBLEMS AS A PLAYER
In my off-season workouts before Spring Training it wasn’t easy to find a throwing partner or capable catcher for bullpens and flat-ground work. When a catcher was available it was hard for me to communicate where the target should be and the sequences I needed to practice. I always wondered whether my pitch command was getting better or worse as Spring Training approached.
PROBLEMS AS AN INSTRUCTOR
I never had a legit pitching target other than two batting tees set up on each corner of the plate with a net behind. I needed a frame of reference to aim at and talk about, zones inside and outside of the strike zone. Terminology was more simple and consistent with numbers compared to words. I wanted hard data to show my guys that they were improving. Giving lessons, I would always encourage pitchers to practice hitting spots before the next lesson, but they didn't have a target at home to practice with.
PROBLEMS AS A COACH
My first year as the pitching coach of the Indiana University Southeast Grenadiers I rotated three freshman catchers. The kids were hard workers, but they didn't have the knowledge or experience of a veteran catcher when it came to calling pitches and giving a target. As the year began I taught the pitchers and catchers the LoKator System, so when I called pitches from the dugout I knew the catchers mitt would be in the right place and our pitcher would be on the same page.
CORRECTING THE PROBLEMS
I always understood that pitching was much more than mechanics, velocity, and executing a pitch in a strike zone square. So when my professional career began I started to gather and implement my own pitching experiences, instructional philosophies, and observations into a physical pitching target that eventually took shape as the LoKator. After the LoKator Target design had been patented I started work on the LoKator Bullpen App. My goal is to give all pitchers the opportunity learn pitch sequences, track results, and compete against other pitchers.
The LoKator solves multiple problems I had as a player, instructor, and coach. I tested it in the field with amazing results. After years of research and development I finalized the complete design and materials needed to produce a long lasting durable product. Now it's available to you! Players, coaches, and parents will benefit from using the LoKator System!