By Coach Flint Wallace –
The other day I came across some of my old practice plans from when I was coaching at Weatherford College. At the bottom of every practice schedule I would put a quote or saying. One of those old plans had a saying that is one of my favorites, Pump the Pump. This saying came from a story that I got from Fred Corral, the pitching coach at the University of Georgia. I changed part of it to adapt to our team, and I would give my pitchers a copy of the story at the beginning of the year. Whenever I felt we were close to a break through or going through a tough stretch, I would post the saying at the bottom of the Practice schedule as a reminder of how close we could be to something great. Here is the story as I would give it to my Players.
Pump the Pump
This is the story of the pump. A simple pump, when used properly, can be used for many important tasks, such as providing drinking water for a community, or removing unwanted water from a flooded area to mention a few.
To understand this story, you have to be able to understand the physics of a pump. As you begin to pump the pump, fluid begins to fill the inside of the pump. During the early stages of your efforts, you do not see any results in terms of fluid coming out of the pump. During this time, the pump is being “primed”, meaning, the fluid level inside the pump is being built up so that eventually fluid will come out of the pump.
The problem arises when you stop pumping the pump because you are not seeing any fluid come out of the pump. Once you stop pumping, the internal level of fluid in the pump decreases and you will have to re-prime the pump if you ever are going to see any results from your work. If your goal is to get anything out of the pump, you must continue to pump the pump.
Pumps are like baseball players. Some pumps take longer than others to prime, just like some players see results from their work faster than others. Also remember that the inner workings of a pump are hidden from sight, just like the inner working of a baseball player. It is impossible to know when you have done enough priming and the results are about to flow. How many times have you quit when you were one pump away? You will never know how good you can be if you stop pumping the pump.
For a pitcher, pumping the pump can mean many different things. It can mean doing your Long Toss and Drills with complete focus on the ball’s “destination” with every throw, working on the Flat Grounds and Bullpens with your upcoming opponent rolling through your mind, or being as precise as possible in your Arm Care and Conditioning. You have to pump the pump in your strength training as well as your mental game.
Remember the bottom line of this story is that you have to pump the pump. If at any time you stop pumping, you cease to get results. You have to pump the pump when you are tired. You have to pump the pump when you are pitching poorly. You have to pump the pump when you are frustrated. You have to pump the pump when things are great. If you want to continue your baseball career, you will never be able to stop pumping the pump. When you are done pumping, you are done playing.
Pump the Pump.
I hope you enjoy the analogy of the story as much as I do, and remember, it does not matter what endeavor in life you are facing, Pump the Pump daily!