A hot topic when it comes to Baseball Instruction is “What drills should I be doing?” I want to first and foremost talk about the goal of anything that you do when it comes to Baseball and working towards improving your skill.. I think often times youth athletes will seek out certain “Pitching Drills” in hopes that it will just automatically improve their skill level. For me that’s a total disconnect and if you’re an aspiring Baseball Player you’ll be doing yourself a total disservice if that’s how you approach certain drills.
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The “goal” of anything when working on your skills for baseball should always be to get a better understanding of yourself. I think too many kids go into drills and they just perform them rep after rep in hopes that they’ll improve. Again, your doing yourself a disservice. I talk a lot about having an intent behind everything you do and that especially applies to when you’re performing such drills. Everyones body is going to respond differently to different inputs. That’s why certain drills work for some guys while other guys see no benefit at all when performing the same drill. It goes back to understanding yourself/body more n more each time you perform something.
As a pitcher I believe that it’s extremely important to first identify what you’re trying to accomplish. After you’ve identified that then you must really focus on connecting your Brain and your Body. This is where the magic happens.. Once you can establish that connection between the two then you can start creating Personal Cues that you can revert back to when you’re in the heat of competition and don’t have time to “think” or “feel.” These personal cues are created because you understand what it is that puts your body into positions to be extremely efficient.
Now take this “drill” that I’m performing in the video above. I have noooo idea how I even came up with something like this but I knew what I wanted to accomplish.
In this particular Drill I’m trying to do/feel the following:
- Force into the ground w/ my whole back foot
- Preset hinge position to get my brain to understand that position
- Box in front of back knee to entice more of a hinge
- PVC pipe to ensure optimal separation
Once I can establish that connection and that feeling that my body is telling my brain then I can work off of that.
You’ll see that I do a couple of dry rotations just to see what my plant leg wants to do. I make sure to have an idea of what it is that I want to be feeling for each rep.. and each rep can be a totally different input that I’ve pre-established before performing the rep. For example on a few reps I wanted to do what was mentioned above. A couple other reps I wanted to feel when my torso wanted to rotate. On the last few reps I wanted to feel how long I could go forward until my back hip wanted to go into rotation.
All of this is just getting an understanding of your body on top of giving your brain/body feedback on what you actually want to do.. because often times those 2 things won’t be connected.
I have no idea if this “drill” would work for any other Pitcher nor do I know if it’ll actually work for me in what I’m trying to accomplish. But what I do know is that a lot of this stuff is just trial n error. Throw something up against a wall n see if it sticks. There’s no magic button for Optimal/Efficient Mechanics. It takes a lot of time and dedication to really get to a point to where you feel good.
When it comes to the instruction side it’s the same thing.. That’s why I believe that establishing a relationship with the athletes you’re working with is so crucial. Both sides need to be on the same page. If I suggest a drill that’s worked for me in the past to one of my Clients and he comes back to tell me it didn’t do anything for him then we move on. But it’s that connection of having an open line of communication with Clients as well as the Client being open and honest with the Instructor as far as what they’re feeling throughout. Remember, I can’t help you if I don’t know exactly what we’re dealing with. I’ll never be able to “feel” exactly what my Clients are feeling.
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