When it comes to pitching mechanics, it’s important to remember this.
No two pitchers are exactly the same…
I mean, you’re an individual, right? You’re not built exactly like that 95 MPH pitcher you see on TV… you’ve probably got your own strengths and weakness, your own physical constraints…
So it doesn’t make any sense for you try to COPY that pitcher’s delivery, right?
Or does it?
This may seem a little off-topic, but I want you to ask yourself a simple question.
How do great writers get GREAT?
It doesn’t even have to writers… how do the great ones (at anything) get that way?
Innate talent? Sure, there’s some of that at play… but there’s a lot more to it than that.
In fact, you can even learn something from a little-known secret that top writers have known about for a long time…
See, I don’t know about you, but I love learning new things… It’s why I took Japanese in college instead of an “easy A” taking the French I’d learned in high school.
And during the off-season (back when I was playing ball), when I wasn’t busy training, I always liked to learn or develop some new skill…
One year I took drawing classes at the Chicago Art Institute.
(Quick tip… the link between athletes and artists? Well developed powers of perception…)
Another year, I taught myself web design.
I studied investing and the stock market (how I ended up trading for a tech-focused hedge fund before turning my focus to coaching full-time).
And one of the things I learned that helped speed my learning curve in all these endeavors is understanding this…
“Success leaves clues.” (I’m pretty sure that’s a Tony Robins quote)
See, I was also an English major in college and have always had a love for great writing…
And when I got to studying how great writers developed their craft, one of the recommended techniques I came across again and again really stood out… It seemed so basic.
Study great writing…Read it over and over… And then COPY it.
(Not plagiarize… we’re just talking about a writing exercise here)
Either from memory or actually word for word. Some examples… Jack London learned by copying passages from Kipling… Robert Louis Stevenson (Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde,Treasure Island) copied Shakespeare… To actually feel the words flowing through him.
Ben Franklin developed his own method for learning to write good essays. He’d find a piece of great writing, read it, and then try to recreate it (from memory). Then he’d compare his work to the original… and try again.
The way I saw one writer put it recently, it gives you the “neurological feel” for great writing… it creates a sort of “neurological imprint.”
That same writer went on to emphasize how you ultimately don’t want to “copy” another writer’s style…
In time, as it becomes more natural, you develop your own rhythm and style.
Now back to pitching (knew I’d get there eventually, right?)
I’ve seen a LOT of videos of young pitchers over the years… and 9 times out of 10 there are some big glaring differences between these pitchers and what you see with 90 MPH guys…
And I’m not talking about where they break their hands or any of the million nit-picky things people tend to get hung up on.
I’m talking about major timing issues and the BIG drivers in your pitching motion.
And it speaks to how so many young pitchers are taught… They either never studied a good model, or were simply shown generic steps that only remotely resemble what you actually see with successful big league pitchers.
Over time, these movements get ingrained… the pitcher isn’t even aware he’s doing them. It’s why motion analysis can be such an eye opening experience.
This email’s getting long in a hurry so I’ll end it there, but expect more on this tomorrow…
In the meantime, the Ballistic Pitching Blueprint still comes with a complimentary motion analysis from yours truly.
Until next time…
Committed to Your Pitching Success,
PS – To be clear, I’m generally not a fan of “copying” someone else’s motion… but when you understand how athletes LEARN (and the 3 stages of learning) you’ll see why there’s a time and place for it… more on that soon.