CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Developing College Pitchers with Dusty Blake

About the Author: Eric Cressey

We’re excited to welcome Duke University pitching coach Dusty Blake to this week’s podcast for a multi-faceted discussion that covers college recruiting, building a winning culture, optimizing pitch selection, using technology, and reflecting on the unprecedented times in the current baseball world.

A special thanks to this show’s sponsor, Athletic Greens. Head to https://www.athleticgreens.com/cressey and you’ll receive a free 10-pack of Athletic Greens travel packets with your first order.

Show Outline

  • What inspired Dusty to start his career in coaching and how his passion for player development originated on his own quest for greatness
  • What specific coaching experience Dusty acquired prior to stepping into his current role as Duke’s pitching coach
  • How being a head coach at a smaller university prior to Duke uniquely prepared him for the challenges of being an ACC skills coach
  • How college baseball has evolved since Dusty first began his coaching career in 2004
  • Why fastball usage is trending down in professional baseball and how pitchers can learn to develop their own unique advantage by pitching off their best stuff
  • What the non-negotiables are for being a successful college pitcher
  • Why Dusty emphasizes winning counts for being an effective pitcher and how working ahead statistically impacts hitters’ performance
  • How head coach Chris Pollard and his staff have transformed Duke baseball since his hiring in 2013 and what intangibles have the coaching staff emphasized to revolutionize the culture of the program
  • What specific attributes the coaches of Duke are looking for when recruiting athletes to build their program and how players can stand out through the sheer volume of outreach collegiate coaches are receiving on a daily basis
  • What big mistakes players and parents are making in the college recruiting process
  • How the use of video and social media as a tool for exposure is more relevant than ever and how amateur athletes can maximize the usefulness of video when showcasing their skills to recruiters and scouts
  • How the influx of data in baseball has impacted coaching and developing players at the collegiate level and what the truly valuable resources bring to player performance
  • What specific analytical metrics Dusty initially evaluates when evaluating a pitcher
  • Why Dusty focuses on defining what a good pitch looks like analytically and how establishing this understanding with players allows them to be their best coach
  • How understanding what a quality pitch looks like for an individual is the foundational knowledge necessary for mastering the craft of pitching and creating consistency in a player’s skill set
  • Why no specific data point or analytical category reigns supreme for developing elite pitchers and how being hyper aware of certain attributes can hinder our ability to holistically evaluate a player’s ability
  • What specific challenges college coaches are facing heading into the 2020-2021 season
  • How Dusty relies on honesty and stresses the importance of routine and reliance to perform consistent at the highest level possible and specifically avoid slumping
  • Why player’s need to free themselves of the outcome and the idea of throwing with perfect command in order to dominate hitters
  • You can follow Dusty on Twitter at @Pitching360.

Sponsor Reminder

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