Some people see pitching as an art. It’s a series of motions that move smoothly like water down a river or a series of events (such as pitch sequencing) that pain like strokes on a canvas and people call a masterpiece. A pitcher who throws hard or has nasty movement and just lets the pitch do the talking. It’s not about which pitch follows another or avoiding that hitters’ strengths. The mound and the ball field are the canvas. These are typically pitchers that have one very dominant pitch or pitching style that they’re known for. This is the Picasso.
There’s another group that see’s pitching as a chess match. It’s a highly calculated decision that holds a purpose and is setting up potentially for many moves ahead. The pitch is executed and before the result has even occurred there are options A, B, C, and D ready to answer the next step. The master even sets up the sequence of events hours, days, weeks and in some situations years before he faces certain opponents. This is former chess prodigy, Bobby Fischer who would know the result of a match, step-by-step, before it even started. The poster boy for this archetype is the great Greg Maddux.
My take is, why not be both? With the current landscape of analytics and sabermetrics along with growing technological innovations, every single person that steps on the mound should have the capabilities to do both. The art of pitching is established with well thought out training to better generate the sensation of “feel” on your pitches or when spinning the ball. Technology like Rapsodo will give you direct feedback to help refine that “feel”. It’ll let you know how the ball is spinning, how fast it’s spinning, and how much it moves.
The expertise and decision-making skills are trained by both experience and technology. It takes someone that’s been there and has enough repetitions to know the trends and know how hitters think. You can blend this expertise with the budding advances of technology. Certain devices now have the capabilities to see the release of each pitch on a horizontal and vertical axis on each pitch (fastball, changeup, breaking ball, etc.). You can take this information and predict a pitcher’s pitch tunnels which can make them much more difficult to hit. This information can make each pitch look the same out of the hand.
If you’re looking for the opportunity to train like an analytically skilled artist, then you should consider the Mach 1 program. With technology like Rapsodo, pitching instructors that understand human movement and have pitched at the highest level, and well thought out strength and conditioning programs with the pitcher in mind, this program is what you’re looking for.
If the injury bug strikes or if you’re looking to improve your body’s performance, let Gestalt Performance take care of you. We have 2 offices located in Eureka and Troy, Missouri.
Keep working hard,
Tyler White, Gestalt Performance Co-founder