What did you learn to do first?

I want to you think back to when you were a child and ask yourself this question; “Did you learn to throw a baseball first or hit a baseball first?” The reason I ask is if you look at youth baseball you will notice some kids are really good at throwing/pitching a baseball, while some are really good at hitting a baseball. Sometimes you might see those who are good at both and those are the ones who luckily just get it.

Ever stop to ask why? If you look at the mechanics of each you will notice one requires that the athlete learns how to stop momentum, and brace through rotation. The other you must create forward momentum, accelerate momentum forward, rotate, post up on one leg and decelerate. They may seem similar but they are very different frontal plan movements.

I have been lucky enough to interact with some really smart pitching and hitting coaches over my tenure as a strength and conditioning coach. This interaction has played a key role in the development of our baseball performance programs at ProForce Sports Performance. This knowledge has helped me understand the small things even with youth athletes. If I have a parent tell me; “Johnny, can throw/pitch really well but struggles with hitting” I now know that he struggles with quickly decelerating and bracing his frontal plane power development (which he has if he can throw well).

It works both ways as well so if I hear he can hit but struggles with throwing/pitching, then chances are he tries to stop the momentum and brace too soon as if he is hitting. Once again he knows how to develop power in the frontal plane he just needs to learn how to continue to accelerate through rotation and decelerate it differently.

Remember if you are coaching your son, a team, or sports performance, no two athletes are the same and not everyone will learn the same way. Ask questions that will help you get the results you and they want, and please keep the training simple!