Give Me a Drill to…..

Too often we receive an email or call asking if I can give parents a drill to help their daughter throw harder, stop bending over, or to stop hurting somewhere. That is like asking a doctor for his most popular prescription without examining you.

Would you ask an auto repair shop to replace random parts until your car runs better?
If you do not know the cause, how can you solve the problem? Fixing any issue is the easy part. Identifying the origination of the issue is the key.

Recently one of our very advanced students saw another of our pitchers doing a drill. She loved the way it made the pitcher look and wanted to know if it would work for her. I explained that we had worked for two years to get that student to the point where she could do the drill in a way that increased her performance. The pitcher asking the question had a specific issue that would be exacerbated by the drill. In other words, we would be adding movement to dysfunction, thereby increasing the dysfunction.

Here is a simple example. A carpenter cannot drive a nail straight, so he decides a sledge hammer will give him more power. The damage will outweigh any benefit.

A great running back on a football team has a favorite pair of shoes, but the cleats have become worn down and will no longer provide traction. He chooses to work harder on leg strength so that he will not slip on muddy fields. Obviously, that does not make sense.

Recently I was given the opportunity to work with a high school kid who had practically given up on her dreams. She had a serious crowhop. It threw her body out of position and slowed her arm at the top while her body tried to reposition itself for the finish. As expected, she was experiencing some pain as well. I asked for one thing. Trust the process. Allow yourself to go backward for a few weeks until we rebuild your base.

Very few kids like hearing that, but we were the last hope for this kid. It was a tough, frustrating process, but she never wavered. A few weeks later I stood in amazement when we finished the final step and this kid threw blistering speed that quickly bruised her regular catcher’s hand. I could not help but jump into the air and pump my fist. These are the things that get me excited to get out of bed each morning.

Correction must happen before progression can begin. Trying to ignore the first, in search of the second, is like trying to run a marathon while wearing a backpack.