There’s an old saying that is often translated into all kinds of sports through their coaches. For me, I’ll send say it in softball terms:
Pitching is a marathon, not a sprint.
I’m sure many of you have heard that saying before and really
know/understand what it means. But, sometimes this gets lost on your
daughter or whomever is the pitcher in your life. There’s no way
possible to understate that old proverb.
We live in a “I want it now” society. If something isn’t picked up immediately, then too many people think it’s too hard or isn’t correct. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is especially true among pitchers. And some of this even starts at home from the parents of the aspiring pitchers. So, it’s important that all of you parents keep this in your mind also!
Every pitcher is unique in some way. Not everyone understands or grasps
everything in the same manner or speed. And, it’s also overlooked
sometimes that when pitchers are learning something new, often times what they are learning is extremely difficult. Bad habits must be broken and correct ones put in place before much can be accomplished as a pitcher.
I cannot even begin to count how many parents really want their daughters to learn the grips, rotations, etc. of “junk” pitches after a week or 2.
Sometimes even less! But, the hardcore reality is, many are just not
ready for it. Some parents even resort to buying videos/DVDs of “how to
throw pitches” before their regular coach thinks the student is ready.
And, learning/throwing pitches without the correct mechanics is twice as crazy!
When I am teaching a student, I sometimes have to start at square one.
This is often an unpopular thing! Especially when the student has been to another pitching coach and “learns” all kind of new pitches. We all have stories we’ve heard or seen where a pitcher claims to have up to 6
pitches and none of which do what they are supposed do. This happens a
lot because the mechanics are incorrect and a riseball is not going to explode upward if the pitching mechanics are not putting the right amount of spin on the ball. The right amount of spin can only be accomplished through the amount of snap. The amount of snap can only be accomplished by the mechanics. Etc, etc. Most often, it takes an actual demonstration of what I’m talking about to make both the pitcher/parent understand. When they see what a REAL riseball looks like and how I do it, most everyone is more willing to “relearn” correct mechanics even if it means going backwards and trying to unlearn a lot of what they’ve already been taught. That too is often unpopular!
I try to explain to pitchers, parents, and coaches that it is, not only a marathon and not a sprint but, learning to pitch is also like a carpenter building a house. Nothing can be done until the foundation is set and sturdy. Otherwise, the entire house will be shaky and will not last.
The first DVD I made is solely about mechanics. I did this on purpose and for a reason. Without these mechanics, learning the riseball or any other pitch is a waste of time. Leslie and Cara at SoftballOne (www.softballone.com) did an unbelieveable job on this DVD. Where most videos consist of someone talking to a camera on a tripod, this video is unique. Lots of analyzation aixds are included, like split screens, slow motion video at every angle, drawings, 3D animation, and keypoints to help illustrate the fundamental concepts of pitching. It’s our intent to soon begin work on the next DVD project about the riseball. But, again, without the mechanics being correct, the riseball simply won’t work.
Remember, it’s a marathon not a sprint. And, if just anyone could be a pitcher, then everyone would!