I’d like to use this great quote from Charlie Weingroff about the golf swing and baseball swing as an example of my belief that exceptional movement precedes exceptional skill. I didn’t say proper or correct. Elite athletes are elite because they are exceptional at getting a task done. Frequently, exceptional performance comes with a cost. The cost is potential for injury and their longevity depends on the quality of the movement. So, maybe “elite” athlete is not accurate? Temporarily proficient athlete?
So here is what he says:
“Of all the complexities that challenge the golf swing, the baseball guy has to strike a moving ball that may not even be moving straight. They are both amazingly challenging.
I do believe the golf swing requires more movement integrity by its nature.
All of that being said, training for movement and performance has nothing to do with sports skills. It can have adjustments for injury patterns, but I would not support training a golfer and baseball player any differently.” -Charlie Weingroff
As a kid playing baseball, I was fortunate enough to have a father that was very involved. He coached everything and had his own softball team (still plays now at 75, but plays with the younger guys @ 65). I was a catcher and even pitched a couple games. I never had a full wind up and my short stop had to know that when someone was stealing 2nd base, I was going to throw a slider that hopefully would end up on target. Occasionally, the right fielder had to make the play. It wasn’t on purpose. It actually helped me when I pitched, but I really could not not do it. Dad would say “Stop flicking your wrist!”
Stop Flicking your Flicking Wrist!
I didn’t know how to do that. Didn’t understand it. My skill was pretty good. Throw to the left of the bag and the ball will dive into the target. Sucked for anyone fielding since they had to catch a ball much like a batter trying to hit a curve ball. I may have broken my brother’s glasses when he was playing second base. Good chance he still has a scar. I recall he said “Throw it at my eye.” Point is, I figured out how to execute a task. What I could not figure out was what the flick was “flicking your wrist.”
Years later, fortunately no injuries, but more education, I was exposed to different schools of thought. My friend George Samuelson introduced me to Z-Health. Among other things, one take away was “Speed in the enemy of good movement”. So, flicking my wrist in the midst of a baseball throw was beyond my ability to understand or correct. So, sustainable and durable skill, requires an elite acumen of movement. Proprioception. Where am I in space?
I needed movement coaching so my Father’s skill cues would land on a receptive mind. Between internal or external rotation of contralateral hips and shoulders, elbow flexion, shoulder extension and wrist wharrgarbl.
How could any mind, let alone a teenager taking instruction from a parent, affect any change on movement at a high speed. Not gonna happen. Nothing except stepping back and slowing down would have made a difference. Honestly, it would have taken a lot at that time to even make me receptive. Psychology of exercise and athletic performance is another variable that can’t be denied. Maybe it’s not in your wheel house as a trainer, but know what you don’t know and refer out when necessary.
There was no FMS assessment in Ohio in the 1980’s and Ronald Reagan only offered this.
Trickle down fitness didn’t work. Since I wasn’t destined to be a major league baseball player, no harm was done. In reality, a valuable lesson was learned that I pass on to my friends and clients.
Move smarter, not harder.
Whether elite athlete or homebody that loves to garden.
Move smarter, not harder.
Skill can be learned and movement can be learned. Superior movement quality will foster more durable skill.