CSP Elite Baseball Development Podcast: Tom Koehler

About the Author: Eric Cressey

We’re excited to welcome recently retired MLB pitcher Tom Koehler to this week’s podcast. Tom shares some great stories from his playing career, reflecting on how he developed – and how up-and-coming players and their parents and coaches can learn from his path.

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

  • How growing up playing football and being raised in a blue collar family gave Tom an edge early in the game of baseball
  • How Tom became an 18th round draft pick out of Stony Brook
  • How Tom worked to make such a strong initial impression in pro ball and what adjustments he had to make to ascend through the ranks of minor league baseball
  • Why the biggest initial adjustment for Tom in professional baseball was throwing on a 5-day rotation and how finding a routine transformed the direction of his career
  • How entering affiliated baseball and throwing to wood bats impacted Tom’s outcomes
  • Why Tom reworked his off speed as he developed through pro ball and how he transformed two blending breaking balls into a hard slider and sharp curveball
  • How Tom eventually learned to throw a true slider
  • What grip and mental cues Tom used to continue to remain consistently nasty with these two different breaking pitches
  • How each of Tom’s pitches fit into his game plan on the mound and what specific counts and scenarios he looks to use each pitch
  • What level Tom found to be the toughest promotion in the minors and how the game changes as players progress to show ball
  • How Tom consistently made his starts every 5 days for nearly 8 years (2008-2017) and how finding a routine and having a bulldog mentality gave him 30+ starts in 3 of those 8 years (2014-2016)
  • Why Tom’s greatest attribute was his consistency and durability
  • Why the IL was more detrimental to Tom than other professional players and how Tom fought to never miss a start even on days he wasn’t 100%
  • How a shoulder capsule issue developed into a career ending injury and how Tom believes currently technology could have impact the derailing of his career
  • What TK’s Pitching Policy is and how your sweet spot on the mound is the balance between what your nastiest stuff is and what you can execute consistently
  • What value Tom finds in the new analytical side of baseball and how these numbers should be used to support your strengths as opposed to causing confusion in your ability
  • What Tom loves and hates about the direction the game of baseball is heading
  • How coaches can also learn to be more adaptable in their tactics and interventions and learn to recognize each player’s unique needs
  • You can follow Tom on Twitter at @TKRefresh22 and Instagram at @TKRefresh22.

Sponsor Reminder

This episode is brought to you by Athletic Greens. It’s an all-in-one superfood supplement with 75 whole-food sourced ingredients designed to support your body’s nutrition needs across 5 critical areas of health: 1) energy, 2) immunity, 3) gut health, 4) hormonal support, and 5) healthy aging. Head to www.AthleticGreens.com/cressey and claim my special offer today – 20 FREE travel packs (valued at $79) – with your first purchase. I use this product daily myself and highly recommend it to our athletes as well. I’d encourage you to give it a shot, too – especially with this great offer.

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