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General  | Blog  | 4/3/2024

Wolforth Throwing Mentorship: Article 38

Ron Wolforth     

What Trevor Bauer Can Teach

Young Travel Ball Pitchers About Preparation

 

 

Trevor Bauer first came to the Texas Baseball Ranch the summer between his 8th grade year and his Freshman year in high school. Trevor then trained regularly at the Ranch until his third year with the Cleveland Indians. Trevor even stayed at our home over the parts of two summers while he was at UCLA.

 

Occasionally I’m asked, “What was it like to train and work with Trevor Bauer?”

 

My answer has not changed 1% over the many years I have been asked that question.

 

Trevor was easy to train.

 

Trevor was extremely inquisitive. He was highly skeptical. He thrived on autonomy. He was driven.

 

Many people in authority typically don’t care for inquisitive, skeptical, autonomous, driven individuals. Fortunately for Trevor in his very formative developmental years, his home base of Jim Wagner’s Throwzone in Santa Clarita California, his throwing mentor Alan Jaeger and the Texas Baseball Ranch® all encouraged Trevor to be Trevor.

 

Trevor demanded the ‘why’ behind each ‘how’.

 

I would estimate about 60% of the time my explanations of the “why” was sufficient for Trevor and he immediately was ALL IN on that segment, philosophy or process. Another 15-25% required extra work from me which also forced me to grow as a critical thinker and communicator.

 

And just as importantly, 15-20% of the time my explanation was insufficient for Trevor, and he simply rejected it. I stated, ‘just as importantly’ because this is where so many coaches and leaders go wrong in my opinion. We often view skepticism and resistance automatically as obstinacy and willful defiance. I did not.

 

I wholeheartedly believe skepticism is the sign of a working mind. It shouldn’t be squelched or punished. It should be encouraged, directed and cultivated.

 

I deeply respect autonomy and the desire for self determination for if our Heavenly Father gave us free will, then why wouldn’t we afford it to our fellow human beings? But so often we do not. Far too often we demand compliance and conformity.

 

I firmly believe this culture of hyper-personalization was the primary reason Trevor remained training with the Ranch for such a substantial period of time. We allowed Trevor the freedom to question, reject, debate and challenge the information and build his own personal ideal process.

 

As Trevor became more and more well known in the baseball universe, his unique pregame preparation really grabbed the attention of many in the traditional orthodoxy of professional baseball. They took exception to his intense and detailed ramp-up process. The criticisms were frequent and severe.

 

I was asked about Trevors pregame on many occasions… “Did I in fact TRULY agree with and endorse his ‘insane’ and ‘extreme’ pregame ramp up?”

 

My answer to that question along with the primary message of this article is this:

 

“Trevor Bauer dedicated a vast majority of his young baseball life to finding out what specifically worked for him personally. If it made sense to him, he immediately incorporated it. Once he incorporated it, he began to shape it and customize it. Trevor does what so few have the will, the tenacity or the courage to do. Trevor built his ideal pregame process with no concern of what the world at large thinks of it. It works for him. That was the sole goal and I’m quite certain he is not yet finished polishing it. So yes, for Trevor Bauer, I fully endorse his process.”

 

I have not visited with Trevor for many years now but I assume knowing Trevor as well as I do, that process remains ongoing.

 

Trevor Bauer's journey from a young pitcher to a professional athlete provides valuable lessons for young travel ball pitchers. Here are 5 things I personally think can be learned from his approach:

 

Be True to Yourself: Know who you are and what you believe in. Work diligently to become your own best coach, understanding your strengths and weaknesses.

 

Be a Lifelong Student: Continuously learn about pitching, movement, and your craft. Take responsibility for your performance and own your process.

 

Embrace Individuality: Avoid one-size-fits-all approaches. Build your process intentionally, tailored to your unique needs and strengths

 

Experiment and Innovate: Don't be afraid to try new things and think outside the traditional norms. Innovation can lead to improvement.

 

Prepare Thoroughly: Injuries often occur due to under preparedness. Ensure your body is ready for the demands of the game through thorough preparation.

 

By following Bauer's example, young pitchers can develop a personalized approach to preparation that sets them up for success on and off the field.

 

 

Coach Ron Wolforth is the founder of the Texas Baseball Ranch® and has written six books on pitching including the Amazon Best Seller, Pitching with Confidence. Since 2003, The Texas Baseball Ranch® has had over 579 pitchers break the 90 mph barrier, 208 have toped 94mph or better, and 135 of his students have been drafted in the MLB’s June Amateur Draft. Coach Wolforth has consulted with 13 MLB teams, dozens of NCAA programs and has been referred to as “ America’s Go-to-Guy on Pitching” and “The Pitching Coaches Pitching Coach.” Coach Wolforth lives in Montgomery, TX with his wife, Jill. They are intimately familiar with youth select, travel baseball and PG events as their son Garrett (now a professional catcher) went through the process. Garrett still holds the PG Underclass All-American Games record for catcher velocity at 89mph which he set in 2014 at the age of 16.

 

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Summer Events at the Texas Baseball Ranch®

 

Join our 3-Day “Elite Pitcher’s Boot Camps”, designed for pitchers aged 12 and above. We’re

hosting seven unique camps this summer between Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend. For additional details, visit: https://www.texasbaseballranch.com/elite-pitchers-bootcamp/

 

Interested in learning what sets our boot camps apart? Request our comprehensive information package “What Makes This Bootcamp Different?" by emailing Jill@TexasBaseballRanch.com.