What is the right pitching philosophy?
Recently I have been doing a lot of research looking for the answer to how baseball players, turn into physically elite ones. I have come to the conclusion, that the underlying principle is a mental/emotional one.
Discussing pitching philosophy is a lot like discussing religion. While debating about why one philosophy is superior to the other, I think the truth of why anyone picked up a baseball in the first place is being overlooked.
Let me ask you this. Did you pick up a baseball to be right? To feel validated? To win an argument?
Chances are, no.
You picked it up because it gave you a sense of meaning. Even as a child, you understood that being on the field was almost as important as being alive. I never worried about wether or not I was using the right mechanics or not. I simply listened to my body.
So we have now come to a point where, at the advent of the online world, where publishing content on baseball technique has made it’s way into the tradition of “The school of baseball”. I feel that we are distracted with appearances about how a true baseball player looks and what he does to be successful.
Should a baseball player do long-toss? Does that induce injury?
We have plenty of “experts” that have done their research and have come up with their respective philosophies. Most of the time contradicting the person before them. As well as after. “Experts” like Paul Reddick, Dick Mills, Jaeger, Brent Pourciau, Dr.Mike Marshall, all have certain philosophies that I feel like can truly help a player, but only to a certain extent.
Things get complicated because their so called evidence is sometimes based on interpretations, and let’s be honest, most people are biased and are governed my incentives.
So here is my take on the theories of long toss.
Do what feels right. Eventually, as a baseball player, one of the greatest tools you will ever develop is your intuition. Why? Because this intuition will help you make the correct adjustments within an at-bat, inning, game, season, and career. If you haven’t learned by now, making adjustments is everything.
So when I look at long-toss and hear others opinions, there is a lot that I agree with on both sides of the spectrum.
Pitching exerts like Jaeger, who have done a fantastic job with integrating eastern teachings with western baseball is so inspiring to see. He is a long-toss enforcer with philosophies that highly contradict someone like Brent Pourciau or Dick Mills who believe that long-toss actually increases pitching injuries and lowers pitching velocity and arm strength.
When I look at these players in the Big Leagues, I find that very few of them really give credit to some pitching or hitting guru, and the ones that have are (seemingly) coincidently injured or simply average players. What I’m saying is that the ultimate source of were 99.999% of their success comes from are from an internal place. They may point to somewhere in their head. Maybe the chest….or the sky.
So yes I feel that wether or not long toss is god or bad for you is completely inconsequential.
Yea I know that the point of long-toss is to strengthen and lengthen the muscles to develop arm strength. It is a form of strengthening and condition, not a simulation of pitching motion.
Mmmhmm… I know that long-toss is a violent form of throwing and has the potential to cause injury. But so does anything else related to the physical aspect to baseball.
You may disagree, but you could have the best pitching program in the world, but if you haven’t developed the ability to positively envision the type of player you aspire to be, the results will never come. thoughts are everything. Sure there are exceptions. The players who don’t have to work nearly as hard to develop arm strength may not need the mental/emotional and maybe spiritual skills that an average player like me needed. Increasing velocity for them may just be a matter of time, but how about the ones that are willing to sacrifice everything to play this game at the highest level?
If and when they make it do you think they will thank some pitching program that saved their career? If baseball is a beautiful as i think it is, I would say no. They will say it was because of their faith. Their determination to dedicate themselves to an idea and apply it to the development of themselves as a baseball player, and that my friends….is something that no pitching program, instructor or guru could ever give you.