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  • Writer's pictureSteve Potter

12/20/20 : Just Thoughts

As one who spends the majority of my time thinking, conversing and writing about baseball it often dawns on me how the game mirrors life. Baseball can’t exist without the human element ... the ability to perform well within the game is predicated on desire, ability, education, belief, opportunity and support. From this fan’s view that applies to any endeavor 🧐.

The ability to deliver a baseball with movement, speed, torque and rotation have long been and will always be the inexact “science” of pitching. Repetition and muscle memory will always be at the core of success. The use of ongoing technological developments , incorporations of body biomechanics via kinetics and training methods and the various analytical measurements are not so much new discoveries as they are ongoing enhancements to the age old desire of a pitcher seeking pathways to getting hitters out. It shouldn’t equate to “old school” vs “new school” but rather be embedded into a collective desire and willingness to learn. Plain and simple ... the ability to consistently deliver pitches at a high rate of success will always equate to mechanics, mindset and athleticism. It’s not a robotic equation nor will it ever be as long as humans are the ones playing the sport 🤔.

In similar ways on the hitting side “Launch Angle” parallels that thought process. It equates to where a batter “catches” the baseball on the bat. When a ball is hit out in front of the swing path and earlier on the bat it will rise ... the further it travels into the swing path determines the contact point and the resulting projection path. Many line drives and ground balls are hit just as hard as balls that fly over the fence ... the difference in trajectory being contact point. That’s my inexact take 🤓. Training methodology is predicated once again on repetition, mindset and muscle memory.

Don’t get me wrong ... bat speed certainly factors heavily into the hitting equation ... those blessed with the ability to warp the bat with more power and velocity will drive the ball harder regardless of trajectory. It’s the combination of training both the body and mind accompanying athletic ability that delivers “success” no matter how it’s perceived. Some may not have to work as hard on it as others but all have to exercise the effort.

No one excels in Baseball without support ... that’s perhaps where knuckleheads like myself come in who choose to encourage folks in their endeavors whether that be with a text, a note or an occasional conversation. It’s primarily the coaches who serve in this role, the great ones have an unwavering commitment to teaching, molding and improving the game and the players. No player has succeeded without support of some sort ... none ever will. Akin to any life endeavor it’s the human element of need.

When I retired from Corporate life my boss told me that most folks drift away from their work acquaintances and lose touch after leaving. That’s certainly true but it’s been my approach to maintain contact with my former team and colleagues as best I can ... whether that’s an occasional text, note, card or conversation. I think it’s important to continue that support while also making new friendships.

Similarly when a ballplayer or coach we’ve come to know moves on to another organization or is released or an injury perhaps ends their baseball careers we don’t stop our interaction. Purchasing an old uniform of theirs and sending to them, even at times anonymously or just checking in on occasion to see how their lives have evolved since leaving baseball is our way. We never forget the person nor do we ever want to ... Baseball mirrors life you see🤓.

It’s more than just wins and losses ... that’s a good thing that I hope we can all continue to learn from and embed within ... no matter how we do it.

Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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