Reference Points for Development and Improvement

As an athlete, you not only want to compete, but, develop and improve as well. So, it goes without saying that proper nourishment, good sleep habits and personal hygiene are some of the basic building blocks that go hand-in-hand with said development and improvement.

However, what’s often missing from the standard building block array, is a simple method of bench-marking your initial steps, or movements, while in the process of doing-this-doing-that. In other words, referencing various points on your body that move, progress, or fail to move and progress in a sequence of first this, then second that, and so on.

I have found over the years that breaking a pitcher’s body down into Platforms works rather well in communicating observations and directing said same to a pitcher under my charge. This approach has been very successful with pitchers coming off an injury where focusing on a particular muscle group has to be watched closely. Why? Because the human body has a way of favoring an injury, thus shifting a workload to other muscle groups.

Perhaps you could benefit from this approach with your progression and development.

I break down the body into the following:
-Major Platforms ----------------------------Minor Platforms

Pivot foot
Pivot Leg ---------------------------------- Knee, Upper Thigh
Stride Leg ----------------------------------knee, Upper Thigh
Stride Foot
Pelvis ---------------------------------------Hips,Buttocks
Torso ----------------------------------- —Belly/Abdominal, Obliques, Chest Minor (below Sternum)
Shoulders ----------------------------------Sternum, Clavicle, Arm Shoulder Joint Muscle Group,
--------------------------------------------------Scapular Muscle Group, Neck and Head.
Pitching Arm --------------------------------Humerus Muscle/Tendon/Shoulder Group,
---------------------------------------------------Elbow Muscle/Tendon Group,
---------------------------------------------------Radius/Ulna Muscle-Tendon Group,
---------------------------------------------------Wrist-Hand Muscle-Tendon Group
Glove Arm ------------------------------------Humerus Muscle/Tendon/Shoulder Group,
----------------------------------------------------Elbow Muscle/Tendon Group,
----------------------------------------------------Radius/Ulna Muscle-Tendon Group,
----------------------------------------------------Wrist-Hand Muscle-Tendon Group

Separate consideration would be given to the Lower Back Muscle Group and the Upper Back Muscle Group as the each participate - or not, with the even flow of motion and the sequence of progression. Then rounding out the chain of event would be considering the head and eyes that provide the visual witness and visual feedback.

So, Basically the objective here - start off your practice with focusing on a specific part of your body at the beginning of your session. A video camera works wonders here, especially if your can burn a DVD, then with a remote, slow down the action to 1/8th, the 1/16th speed as your play your session back. Using a DVD-RW works best, because you can add to the DVD.
Or, if your video expertise is really good, download then playback with a slow motion feature on your device.

The trick to all this is to focus on just one part of the body at a time - not the entire package. And like anything else that deals with improvement, don’t over do it right out of the starting blocks. Take your time to perform, watch and TAKE NOTES IN WRITING, re-watch and solidify your notes so your next performance actually puts your notes into action. Enlist the advice of others who can make suggestions - but be aware of those who are trying to impress you, rather than help you. ** You’ll know the difference, trust me**

As with any well throughout building project, whether it be a garage or your pitching motion, start basic with a reasonable plan, an outline that says…” I’ll do this first.” It helps to start with your foundation - foot work, then work up to each leg, then pelvis/hips, and so on. Don’t rush things here. Be observant, F E E L the differences with the before and after, repeat over and over until the motion(s) come automatically without thinking. But always remember - your trying to build a solid platform for the other parts of the body to sit on top of. Any weakness in a platform’s integrity will provide absolutely no support for the next platform to build upon.
I should point out that your physique and other things that surround your environment will have a huge impact on your experience. Don’t discount this part. Where you are, where and how you live, your age and at what stage of growth and development your at, family and social demands at school, play an impart part during this experience of practice and improvement. BE REASONABLE.

Another thing to consider is attitude. Today you could be very proactive, but, next week at this time your attention set could swing in the opposite direction. It happens, even to the professional, take my word for it.

Coach B

Nice points, Coach!