But it's not just a look and improved mechanics. Jim Salisbury at CSN bring us this fantastic nugget about Hamels and his new "coach."
Beginning last summer and continuing through throughout the offseason, Hamels worked with Performance Specialist Jim Brogan, a Philly native based in San Diego. Brogan focuses on on the mental aspect of the game. One of the 26 exercises Brogan does with Cole (the only one they would reveal), involves having him juggle tennis balls while standing on a balance beam. It's all about the mind, focusing, and blocking out distractions. That's the name of the game for Brogan:
“I was walking through Jaguars’ practice facility recently,” Brogan said. “Beautiful place. They have a room where the receivers meet, a room where the offensive line meets, a room where the defensive line meets. I was like, ‘Hold on, where’s the room for focus and concentration?’
“I hear people say baseball is 90 percent mental. Oh, really? Then where’s the mental coach. You have a pitching coach, a hitting coach, a strength and conditioning coach — where’s the focus and concentration coach?”
Before every game Brogan sends Hamels a text message to trigger his thought patterns for the day. Sort of like the Manchurian Candidate- only different. Clearly, it's worked for Hamels, he's been the Phillies' best pitcher of late. Rich Dubee notices the differences too.
“I really like how he’s handled the season — his presence, his maturity, how he’s handled adversity in games,” Dubee said. “Whether he has a good inning or a bad inning, he never changes his body language or loses focus. There have been times this year when he’s gotten poor run support. It’s never affected his preparation or the way he goes about his business.”
Read much more at CSNPhilly.com– really good stuff.