Posted by: Knightbird | May 25, 2010

Job Breakdown Sheet for Pitching

With 2 talented sons who play baseball (and a Dad who didn’t), it was a struggle to help them with developing their skills. I listened to what I thought were wiser and more experienced coaches about the mechanics of pitching, and eventually became accepted as knowledgeable in the little league and juniors circuits. One of my sons had good enough stats to become one of the faces in the crowd at Sports Illustrated. As happens with me, I began reading about what it takes to be a coach of a great pitcher and my research eventually led me to Dr. Tom House and the National Pitching Association (NPA). I attended Dr. House’s training in San Diego in 2007 where I was certified by NPA as a pitching coach. Because the research is discovering new pitching information constantly, I went for recertification in 2009.

What I discovered is that conventional wisdom about pitching is neither conventional, nor is it wisdom. What is wise is a science based approach. Dr. House has debunked most conventional wisdom about coaching pitchers, and replaced it with knowledge based on high speed videography and computer analysis. National Pitching Association website.

Why do I mention this tidbit. Well, I am glad you asked. It is for two reasons. First, Training Within Industry is a well researched, well designed program to train workers to become productive with less training time and a higher retention rate of the knowledge being taught. It may well be debunking myths about how to train workers. The NPA is a well researched, well designed programs to train and condition pitchers. TWI is also concerned with the safety of the worker. The NPA is also concerned with the health and well being of the pitcher. I love both approaches.

At the 2009 TWI Summit, I had a chance to ask Mr. Kazuhiko Shibuya, a keynote speaker at the Summit, whether he thought the mechanics of pitching could be taught using Job Instruction. He replied with what I took as an enthusiastic yes. He certainly seems to love baseball. Anyway, During our Job Instruction (JI) Certification session at the 2010 TWI Summit, I asked our instructor Terry Cox to help me do a Job Breakdown Sheet (JBS) for pitching. He did and I think we did a credible job. I will now be working on a JBS for each part of the pitching motion, as identified by Dr. House, and try out JI with some new pitchers.

I just had a conversation with one of my senior executives about a number of our program managers who do not want to adhere to standard work. We now know that when we have a team design standard work, we need to train (deploy) the knowledge, along with a firm “do it this way.” TWI will help us make our employees more productive by eliminating non-compliance with standard work. I am hoping I can figure out a way to do the same thing with my pitchers.


  1. Hello Mark:

    I stumbled on this when I was looking for examples of JIs. This is interesting. Would you be able to make your JI for pitching available to me?

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