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Topic: Mental Reflexes
Replies: 5   Last Post: Feb 26, 2012 10:00 PM

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Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Mental Reflexes
Posted: Feb 25, 2012 6:53 PM
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Robert Hansen Posted: Feb 25, 2012 9:18 AM

>I got this idea from watching the differences in kids
>learning to play baseball during the last couple of
>seasons with my son.

I observed exactly the same thing when my son played little league baseball (<Sigh!> Those were great days.) When they are 5, 6, 7 yrs old, the little honies are all the same. By the time the kids are 10 yrs old, differences in ability start to become pretty apparent. Furthermore, I was the team's pitching coach, and that gave me a sharp perspective on the matter.

The park in my neighborhood has 7 baseball fields, cheek by jowl. On any Sat and Sun during the season, you can just walk around and see game after game, from the little pishers at 5 and 6 yrs old, to high school kids at 15, 16, and 17 yrs old playing some pretty exciting baseball. With rare exception, pitching is almost uniformly awful.

So, the only reason a kid joins a little league baseball team is because he wants to play baseball. Some of these kids want to pitch. I would take the prospective pitchers aside and start talking to them about the mechanics of what is probably the single most complex act in all of sport. It was all show-and-tell, hands on, throw the ball to the target sort of stuff.

I could not get them to focus on the issues. I could not break their bad (often dangerous, in the sense of self-injury) habits. Mostly, they would not come back a second or third time for pitcher training. Even the few that did return regularly only wanted to throw against the target, they did not want to discuss and analyze mechanics.

Some of our friends in this forum might be tempted to think the fault lay in me. Quite possibly so, except that pitching was almost uniformly bad across all the teams.

If most kids do not have enough focus and discipline for a subject they like very much and want to do: pitching a baseball, what chance is there they will have focus and discipline for a topic they loath, like mathematics or history? (Hint: none whatever.)

Shovel ready? What shovel ready?

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