TESTIMONIALS

“Let me start off by saying, I am not a person who ever writes comments, testimonials or any other type of review for any product or service. I’m a very busy attorney in the New York area and generally do not have the time to spend on such things. However, in this particular instance, I truly felt the need to share my thoughts in relation to Phil Schonberg and his system of pitching. I have two daughters, the oldest 13 and the younger 11. Neither of them had ever been the best on their team, nor even extremely athletic as far as I could tell.

During the spring 2013 season, my oldest daughter attempted, but failed to pitch at the 10U level. At the end of the season, we made an appointment to see coach Phil. She began working with him in July and we saw him almost every week and certainly put in our time practicing. When she returned to her team in September for fall ball, my daughter was expected to be just where she was as a number 3 fill in/mop up pitcher. When she showed up for practice on the first day, the coaches mouths fell open with what they were seeing. Not only had her velocity jumped well above any pitcher on the team, more importantly, her accuracy was unsurpassed. Before the first tournament of the fall, she became the number 1 pitcher on the team. The biggest problem that we had during that season was that we felt she was pitching too much and had to speak to the coaches about allowing some of the other girls pitch for fear of injury.

Needless to say I could not have been happier with the progress my daughter had made and continues to make. She has since left that team and has moved on to a higher level tournament/travel team where she remains the number 1 pitcher. Initially, I chalked my daughter¹s success to the fact that she just happened to have a propensity to be able to throw hard, accurately, and have the ability to learn multiple pitches in a short amount of time. This was not the case.

At the beginning of the summer of 2014, my younger daughter told me she wanted to start pitching lessons with coach Phil in an effort to be like her older sister. I told my wife that I thought this was a bad idea as I believed our older daughter just had a special skill and our younger daughter was setting herself up for failure. I had practiced pitching with her and she exhibited no speed and a complete lack of control.

In any event and in an effort to keep a happy household, I began taking my younger daughter for lessons with coach Phil. At first, I felt that my greatest fears were being realized, as she continued to struggle with the drills that my older daughter had easily mastered. However, due to the continued desire of my younger daughter, we carried on. She certainly put in her time, listened and followed coach Phil’s instructions to the letter. It was not easy and was certainly frustrating at times.

She has been seeing coach Phil and Coach Jillian now for about nine (9) months.  Today, she pitched in her first tournament, and it was her performance that prompted my writing this testimonial, as I believe credit should be given, when credit is due. My younger daughter was not only consistently throwing strikes, but, her velocity was right up there amongst the top pitchers in the tournament. I lost count of the strike outs because there were  so many dropped 3rd strikes because the 10U catchers were having difficulty catching her. The parents on our team who did not even know she pitched, because she got so little time last season, were standing in awe.. wondering how she became so good .. so fast….but, only I knew the answer.

Following these games, I texted Phil and Jillian with a picture of my daughter and her Three (3) MVP medals to let them know what had happened. They were excited and congratulated her and credited her for the hard work she had put in. Obviously, there is a long road ahead, but I am confident my daughters’ are getting the best coaching available. Phil is Second to NONE.

I suppose what prompted my writing of this testimonial was simply, as previously stated, giving credit where credit is due. There is no question in my mind that due to the knowledge, guidance and positive support provided by coach Phil, he has not only made both my daughters successful pitchers, but, provided them with an enjoyment of the game that I do not believe they would have had.  They look forward to his lessons and his positive reinforcement.

If you have an opportunity to have your daughter train with Coach Phil, I would advise you to run, not walk and get in as soon as you can.. He is truly the best and I only fear my words do not do him justice.”

Jay Hausman, Parent

 

“I just received Julia’s video analysis. This is just what we were looking for! Fantastic to say the least. I had to show parts of it to other parents that have daughters that pitch and they couldn’t believe how thorough the analysis was and the plan to help Julia be the best pitcher she can be. I am sure you will hear from some of them in the near future to work with their daughters. Again, I want to express my appreciation for helping Julia have a clear and precise plan to make her a better pitcher. You, Carly and Joe have done a great job and I hope we are able to meet and work with you in the very near future.”

—Joseph Whipple, Parent

 

“Video analysis has been extremely helpful to my daughter’s development as a pitcher. Phil has a complete vocabulary for all aspects of the pitching motion, and he can explain what he is seeing using terms and concepts that both my daughter and me (not a softball coach or trained baseball player) can understand. Now, when my daughter I practice, we know what to work on. Initially, the analysis is all about basics, but over time the video work becomes more subtle, and there’s a “baseline” to work from as my daughter’s technique develops. No doubt pitching takes years and years to master, and my daughter has a long, long way to go. But video work with Phil has been a crucial part of the learning process. One of Phil’s most memorable lines is: “Don’t confuse achievement with excellence.” In other words, striking out nervous batters in 12U or 14U tournaments is fine, but if you want to pitch at the highest level then the goal is to develop effective mechanics.”

—Wally Levis, Parent

 

“Fastpitch Power’s video analysis showed my daughter improvements to make and used images of her pitching to show why the changes would help her pitching. A pitching coach can explain what you’re doing wrong, but nothing beats FPP’s use of video stills of a pitcher’s own motion, along with customized video drills, to show a pitcher how to improve. Can’t wait for the summer to put these suggestions to use!”

Bill Duck, Parent, Salisbury MD
My daughter Isabel has been going for pitching lessons to Phil and Carly Schonberg for about 3 years. Isabel is a freshman in high school and made the varsity softball team as the starting pitching and we owe it all to both Phil & Carly and their softball video analysis. By utilizing Isabel’s video they were able to spot her bad habits and identify her mechanical flaws. When Phil utilized the slow motion feature and advancing frame by frame it really depicted the problem areas and he was able to provide great advice with correcting her form. Within a few sessions she was increasing her stride off the rubber and throwing the ball faster and with better accuracy. Video analysis is truly a great tool but it is how Phil and Carly perform their analysis and provide their recommendations which makes it invaluable. Thank You Phil and Carly!

—Sal Monaco, parent

 

“My daughter, now in 8th grade, started pitching lessons with the Schonbergs almost 5 years ago.  In clinics, private lessons, and small-group lessons, I’ve watched not just Phil, but the entire Schonberg family teach young girls the techniques of windmill pitching.  Their success in young pitchers is ample evidence of their ability to break down and explain the complex mechanics of windmill pitching in a way that young minds can understand and young bodies can master.  But I think what makes the Schonbergs so effective as teachers is not so much their technical expertise (which is extensive) or their instructional techniques (which are both creative and well-crafted).  What I appreciate most about them is their ability to engage and inspire their students.  There is no praise I can give my daughter that makes her light up the way she does when Phil Schonberg says she just threw a perfect change-up.  There is no one my daughter is more excited to see show up to watch her in a tournament.  That relationship that she has with the Schonbergs kept her motivated to stick with it in the early days when every pitch was an unpredicatble missile, and it still motivates her now to practice and improve in a way that just would not happen otherwise.

In addition to pitching instruction, the Schonbergs have also provided multi-skill instruction to the dozens and dozens of girls who’ve enrolled in the off-season clinics that our local youth softball organization has offered for girls ranging from grades 2 through 9.  After five or six sessions, the improvement in the girls’ skills is always noticeable and sometimes even astonishing, but the most exciting thing is when the season gets underway and we parents and coaches get to see how much more the girls enjoy the game when they know what they are doing and feel confident about their ability to swing the bat, field the grounder, catch the fly ball, make the accurate throw.

Those clinics have been so successful that we were finally able to put together a “travel team” for the first time in many years.  When the parents on that team invited the Schonbergs to help coach the team, Phil and Carly threw themselves into that role with infectious enthusiasm.  They ran effective and well-planned practices, and they coached during games in a manner that was both inspiring and educational for the players.  Within a year, a team that was tentative about playing doubleheaders became a credible tournament team.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to co-coach that team with Phil and Carly, and I learned most of what I know about coaching from my experience with them.  As a board member of our youth softball organization, I wanted our rec league coaches to have the opportunity to learn from Phil, so I invited him to speak to the coaches for an evening at the beginning of the season, which he graciously agreed to do.  The feedback from the coaches could not have been more positive:  “fantastic” and “best I’ve ever been to” were among some of the post-meeting comments from coaches who attended.

We’re extremely fortunate to have the Schonbergs as part of the softball community in our area.”

—Andrew Moloff
Commissioner, Youth Baseball of New Rochelle

 

“I have been coaching travel and tournament softball for the past eight seasons throughout Westchester County. Early on I noticed that pitching is the name of the game. The problem was my organization and I couldn’t find a pitching coach that could adapt to the various needs of our pitchers and also take seriously the commitment they made to our pitchers to help get them to the next level. About three years ago I was introduced to Phil and Carly Schonberg. It was the most important introduction I had when it came to softball. I could see the immediate positive impact upon my daughter. She was throwing more consistenly than ever. Phil and Carly have the attention to detail, genuine love of teaching and care for their students that a coach and parent is always looking for. I cannot express enough how happy I am that they have taught my daughter, and most of the girls she has played with over the past three years.”

—Hank McAllen
Diamond Dolls 14U Assistant Coach

 

“I will always look back on my experience working with Phil and Carly as one of the best memories of my softball career.  I had worked with many pitching coaches throughout my 8 years as a pitcher, and they were by far the best.  They are both so knowledgeable about their craft, and the techniques they use speak to the basics of pitching. They are also both so incredibly kind and patient.  They really stick to the fundamentals, and it’s rare that you don’t see results, sometimes even just in the course of one clinic. Twice in my time with Phil I had to completely change my style of pitching–once when I first began working with him, and once again a few years later when I fell into some illegal habits. Both times Phil worked tirelessly with me–changing your motion isn’t something that’s easy to accomplish, and with Phil’s help I was able to pull through. I can’t express how much Phil and Carly have helped me over the years–they are not only excellent pitching coaches but also mentors. Pitching is largely psychological and emotional, and through all the ups and downs they were always there for me. They are awesome! Two of the best people I know. Anyone would be lucky to be able to call them their pitching coaches.”

—Becky Prager, student

 

“My daughter Christina started working with Phil and Carly Schonberg at the age of 9. With Phil and Carly’s pitching
instruction and coaching, Christina has developed flawless windmill pitching mechanics. She has a
superior command of her different pitches and with this has developed a self-confidence and field
presence. Joe Bonyai’s personal training has emphasized a power and strength to heighten Christina’s
pitching performance. Joe works with Christina on core development and conditioning. Phil, Carly,
and Joe have been working together to give Christina a multi-faceted workout and conditioning
regimen. This experience has made Christina a multi-dimensional pitcher; she has not only developed
mechanically, but also physically and mentally.”

—Joe DeCarlo
Mt. Vernon High School Varsity Coach

 

“As a middle school and high school pitcher, I had jumped around from pitching coach to pitching coach trying to find the right place for me to improve my skills. None of the coaches I went to have helped me as much as the Schonberg’s did. I was recommended to Phil and Carly by a friend on my softball team and could not be happier that I listened. I am confident that I was able to become a three-year all-league/all-section pitcher for the Scarsdale varsity softball team because of my time spent with them. I loved going to weekly pitching lessons as well as seasonal clinics with the Schonberg family. They are all so warm and inviting, and you can clearly see the passion they have for the sport as well as how much they care for all the girls they work with. They not only taught me how to improve my physical pitching skills, but also helped the mental aspect of the game, which is arguably more important. Phil and Carly Schonberg are the nicest, most knowledgeable pitching coaches I have ever been to and I would recommend them to girls of all ages who have a love for softball. I am so glad that I got to spend so much time with them over the years and that I continue to have a great relationship with them today.”

—Nicole Lee, student

 

2 comments

  1. kev

    Several years back my daughter and I experimented with her swing with the goal of maximizing power. We threw out conventional wisdom (the physics didn’t support the mechanics), but most importantly didn’t produce results, and ended up with swing mechanics that drew much criticism by those stuck in their old ways, regardless of her obvious success. After many years of controversy I’m finding it interesting the fastpitch world is finally embracing those same swing mechanics because the value of hitting with power can no longer be denied.
    I am now giving batting lessons to jr. high, high school and college players with the same positive results my daughter experienced. During these lessons I am constantly asked if I know a good pitching coach. The story I always hear is that the pitcher in question has peaked at 49, 53, 56 mph and can’t seem to get up to a competitive speed to be the high school ace she wants to be.
    I’m no fastpitch pitching coach but it breaks my heart to see these players paying for lessons and being told to “kiss the elbow” and “close the closet door” which results in no improvement to the pitcher’s results. Again, I’m no pitching coach but I can see there is a huge difference between what these girls are being taught and the motion Monica Abbott and Keilani Ricketts (two local fastpitch heros from Salinas and San Jose) employ. It’s so obvious to me that they snap their wrists at the bottom of the circle and do not bend the elbow out front to “finish high” that I can’t understand why no one else sees this.
    Today I decided I’m going to embark on a journey to learn the fastpitch motion of those in the 70+mph club. I am so happy I started by googling Monica Abbot because I found your website. Everything I see about your “forearm snap” makes complete sense, physics-wise, and it describes what I’m seeing Monica Abbott do.
    Thank you for having the courage to break away from the old guard and teach what is really producing the results that the elite pitchers are attaining. You have knocked years off of my search for the optimal pitching mechanics. Thanks again,
    kev

    1. Carly

      Thank you so much, kev!

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