Movement > Mechanics
Time pressured throwing progressions implicitly allows the brain & body to: 1.) Produce isometric co-contractions 2.) Remove unnecessary muscle slack present in the system (which often times contributes to poor movement/performance). 3.) Promote athleticism On the contrary, trying to teach “mechanics” does no such thing! But yet so many of us coaches still try to teach mechanics. WHY? (Loaded question) I truly believe that most coaches have great intentions & strive to produce quality movers & athletic pitchers. Unfortunately, most just get stuck taking an algorithmic approach to player development.
*Graphic by Frans Bosch (@fransboschsystems)
There was a time in my career when It seemed logical to focus on mechanics when results weren’t at the forefront of an athletes development. But over the years, I’ve learned that logical ideas often fail when it comes to combating the inefficiencies of human movement & pitching. Logic demands universally applicable laws. But human movement is not consistent enough for such laws to hold. In the physical sciences, cause & effect map very neatly; in human movement, not so much. Living organisms are far more complex. Never forget that human beings are not mechanical robots. We are not a preset algorithm. We adapt based on our environment & the sensory information present at that moment in time. Every time. It would serve us all well to accept that there will always be some level of variability involved when dealing with complex organisms. So attack variability with variability! Not mechanics. Keep it simple but try not to think like a robot. Instead, challenge your pitchers to be athletic throwers first. And whenever you find yourself stuck or in doubt…. just ask yourself these simple questions: Am I allowing my athletes to spend enough time under tension in their daily throwing program/protocol? OR Am I too focused on producing rainbow unicorns that I am promoting a training environment that is far from optimal & acting as a crutch to prop up short term performance without fostering learning and self organization? Read more about our Annual approach to training