Pitching Coach Uses Circus to Get Inspiration for New Drills
WACO, TX--Every pitching coach knows that if he’s going to be successful, he needs to convince parents that he’s somehow better and/or different than all the other pitching coaches in the area. In order to do that he needs to be able to think up more original or complicated drills, even if they don’t necessarily work. No one is better at this than Jose Valdez, elite pitching coach in Waco, who gets his inspiration for new drills from the popular Vegas attraction, Cirque du Soleil.
“I go at least once a month,” explained Valdez, “And I record the parts I think are most interesting and think about how I can tie it into pitching. Sometimes I can’t, but that’s not all that important.”
Jose started coaching after he was released from the Mariners in 2009, making it as far as high-A ball.
“Shortly after I got released, I started doing private lessons, and it was a blast!” recalled Valdez, “I realized pretty quickly how little people know about pitching, and that I could pretty much tell them anything and they’d believe me. I just love having that kind of influence.”
After a few years, Valdez started to get a lot more competition as more local ballplayers were drafted and then released by their respective teams.
“I became kind of the ‘old guy’ you know, so I had to start doing something different.”
It was around that time that Jose and a group of friends visited Vegas for some wholesome entertainment. While at the famous circus, inspiration hit.
“I watched all the acts and thought, ‘This would get me some attention for sure!’”
Knowing that none of the drills he used worked anyway, he began implementing circus acts into his repertoire of drills, advertising himself as an innovative pitching coach.
Some of Valdez’s drills involve knife throwing, laying on nails, and balancing baseballs on your nose.
Although none of the drills actually improve arm strength or mechanics, they are fun for the kids and parents are always left in awe. What more can you ask from a pitching coach?
“That’s really the important thing. As long as the kid is entertained, the kids are happy, the parents are happy, and I get paid.”