The Importance of Balance…

April 14, 2010 at 6:11 am Leave a comment

One thing I’ve spent alot of time talking about through this blog thus far is the actual motion.  In regards to velocity, location, arm slot…just general consistency in performance, what I’ve talked about is very important.  Every thing in the windup creates a kinetic chain which is used to transfer energy to the baseball and hopefully to the catcher for that all important third strike.

The most important word out of all that above paragraph is “consistency.”  Without it pitchers are just throwing.  Anyone could do it.  Luckily pitchers have something that keeps them separated from all the other lowly fielders out there.  What is it you may ask?  Well they can balance.

Here is what I’m not saying.  I’m not saying that you can just stick a pitcher up on a high wire and expect them to not fall to there death.  Pitchers just need to reach this point for a second.  And here’s why.

I’ll start with an extreme example.  Grab a ball and try to make an accurate throw at a target while falling sideways.  If you took me literally and fell to the ground from a full sideways dive, I laugh at you.  But my guess is that you didn’t hit exactly where you wanted.  Now put yourself in your most comfortable throwing position and try again.  Probably got closer right?

Now to apply to the pitcher.

Pitching is a matter of consistency.  Consistent start, consistent end.  The balance point in the windup can be thought of more as a checkpoint between the start and the end.  It’s right there before the pitcher moves forward.  Some glide on through, some stop there briefly.  Either way, you reach the checkpoint.  If the point isn’t reached properly, you aren’t going to reach the right destination.  It’s pretty simple really.  In absolute layman’s terms, balance right, pitch right.

I suppose now you’re wondering what this could affect?  Well it’s not really going to affect a pitchers velocity.  With pitchers, improper balance usually isn’t going to cause enough of a displacement of momentum to cause much affect to velocity.  Location however is subject to inconsistency with inconsistent balance.  Making a throw, or a pitch is all about lining up the body correctly.  Landing improperly on the GS foot for a pitcher can be quite bad, even if the difference is unnoticeable to the naked eye.  Pitching is an art defined by a strike zone.  You hit it you’re successful.  You miss it you’re not.  One single inch is all that stands away between a pitcher and success.

All in all, balance point is simple to understand, hard to execute, and in the game of pitching, separates the men from the boys.

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Entry filed under: Pitching Mechanics, Terminology.

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