We’ve had an extremely busy January and start of February with the most exciting part being a trip to Italy. Ron was asked to speak at the Italian Baseball Federation Convention and I decided to tag along. Imagine that.
It was a great eight days between going to Rome and seeing both St. Peter’s Cathedral and the Coliseum as well as time in Parma at the baseball convention. I’d like say a special Thank You to our host Mimmo. Grazie Mimmo! (A quick side not, Mimmo receives my emails and until we met in Italy, he thought I was Ron’s brother. We had a good laugh with that.)
Onto this week’s subject, Ron and I were recently talking about teaching/training, all the detail involved and the role experts play.
We began discussing an individual who is of the belief that every pitching pain or injury can be solved through improving one’s alignment, mobility, stability and strength. Basically, this person is not concerned with mechanically inefficiencies believing those are a result of the before mentioned topics.
This discussion reminded me of a section that we included in both “The NEW Athletic Pitcher™” and “The Athletic Softball Pitcher™” training manuals. I thought you would find it entertaining and to the point.
Imagine I have a bike with a flat tire. I search for experts to help solve my issue of a bike that I cannot ride.
One expert happens to be an ‘inflation expert’ and he suggests the key to success is to make certain air is in both tires and that the definition of a flat tire is a tire which is underinflated. Who could possibly argue with that logic?
But if we simply put air into the good tire it might explode and if we put air into the bad tire without fixing the leak first it will shortly be flat again. Air…while important, clearly isn’t enough in this case. Air, therefore, must be put in proper context in its relationship to the problem as a whole.
Another expert whose expertise is ‘bicycle inner tube integrity’, immediately berates the ‘air’ expert as shortsighted and incompetent. First, he proclaims you must fix the leak BEFORE air will do any good. Who could possibly argue with that logic?
This expert boasts about his ability to find even the smallest of leaks and in his ability to even predict leaks in the future and actually correct those in advance.
But this expert spent so much time looking for a leak or weakness in the good tire first and putting patches in places that COULD possibly leak in the future (let’s call it prehab) while the real problem…the flat in the second tire… went undetected and/or unresolved while it was in the shop. But boy that first tire is a thing of beauty…unfortunately it has taken days and weeks to make one tire really sound yet we are still far from being able to ride our bike.
(A side note: We certainly can relate to this analogy. For the past few years now, we have been the best in the world at velocity enhancement. Yet our pitchers didn’t develop command nearly to the degree that they needed to in order to perform well at the elite level. But boy did they improve their mph. Many times we all can relate to the saying ‘Physician heal thyself’.)
Another expert tells me in his opinion bikes are overrated and shows me impressive statistics of death and injuries caused by biking accidents every year in my area. He also shows me statistics highlighting all the money spent on bicycle maintenance should I be stubborn enough to continue my current path. This expert suggests I sell my bike and take up running and swimming and that would end my anxiety of bike repair and also save me considerable cash.
Yet another expert of sorts, a veteran bicyclist who is very familiar with my bike route, suggests that even if I fix the flat, riding my bike back and forth in a field of thumb tacks, my flat tire is only a symptom of another far more pervasive problem which is my very poor route selection. He suggests my real problem is much deeper than a flat of my front tire. I must first change my bike route before true lasting change can occur. Otherwise I’ll be constantly changing my tires.
So much for experts, right? Experts by themselves are not always the answer. Yet sometimes they are exactly what we need. Other times we don’t need or aren’t ready for what they are expert in, but one thing is for certain, almost all experts are absolutely certain they have THE answer. The same dilemma would apply to a pitching athlete of any age.
Always remember ladies & gentlemen, he who is good with a hammer, often views everything as a nail.
And like I tell my students often: Not only do I not know all the answers, I don’t even know all the questions yet. Won’t you join me on my journey?
So, my message this week is be careful of letting yourself get caught in seeing something with only one way…yours.