Principles of Pitching Success… Understanding Inertia

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Another quick story for you…

And pay attention because there’s a lesson here and it can be absolute death for you if you’re a pitcher.

So we’re on our way to church yesterday, and my daughter’s behind me in her car seat reading one of her giant animal encyclopedia books.

We’re cruising along and she’s telling us about different kinds of frogs (boggles my mind how much amphibian knowledge she can store in that little head of hers)… and then we come to a stop sign.

I was maybe a little heavy on the brakes. I hear a THUNK behind me.

“Aaah, my book!”

The force of the car stopping had caused it to slide out of her grip and onto the floor.

“Well, that’s inertia for you,” I say with a smile…

My wife just gives me a look like, “you’re an idiot, she’s four.”

So my daughter asks me, “What’s In-Err-Shuh?”

I realize I’m gonna have a tough time with this… how do you explain physics to a 4 year old?

“Well, sweetie… see, a body in motion wants to stay in motion…”

We go back and forth as she questions and I try to explain… I quickly realize my wife is right, I am an idiot.

Then my wife talks about how when you spin a wheel on a bike, how it keeps going until something slows it down. I think my little girl started to get it, and we eventually drop it and move on.

But it reminded me of a lesson I learned from an early pitching mentor, Bill Thurston.

I remember sitting with him in his office up at Amherst College, and he told me about one of his favorite analogies for explaining the pitching motion to young pitchers.

I still use this one all the time with new pitchers…It goes like this:

Imagine you’re pedaling along on your bike… you build up a full head of steam…

You’re pedaling, pedaling, pedaling… that bike is really moving now…

Now imagine what would happen if you slammed on the front brake?

Answer… the back tire comes up and you go flying over the handlebars. Newton’s first law once again…

Well, the same thing is happening in your pitching motion. You want to build up power in your stride (get your body moving towards home plate)…

But then you need to be strong with your landing leg so you can send all the power up into your trunk and throwing arm.

You want everything to catapult powerfully over and around that front leg.

Mess this part up by being soft or wobbly with that front leg and it will destroy both command and velocity…

It’s why the Ballistic Pitching Blueprint includes a slew of drills that specifically target front foot stability and powerful weight shift.

That’s lesson # 1 here if you’re a pitcher. Don’t ignore your lower half mobility and stability…

But there’s another way that INERTIA can wreck your pitching dreams… and this one is more deadly because you don’t even realize it’s happening.

The first part of Newton’s first law states that an object in motion tends to stay in motion…

Remember that second part?

An object at rest tends to stay at rest…

That’s the dark side of inertia… Once you stop moving in the direction of your dreams it’s easy to get offtrack… You lose that positive momentum.

The off-season is long… but believe me, next season will be here before you know it. What are you doing today that’s going to take you a step closer to your dreams? Keep it going…

Okay, that’s all for now, thanks for reading this far. And if you’ve gotten this far, maybe you could do one more thing. Drop a comment below¬†and let me know what you’ve got questions about. I love hearing from you.


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