So last night I’m sitting quietly watching a junior college pitcher train like a madman. He’s focused, intense and throwing the ball hard.
And he’s going for personal velocity records.
He throws several balls at 87 and 88 mph. And the pitching coach is encouraging him big time. But he doesn’t look like he’s got the juice to break any records.
Being there were only two guys training (I guess everyone else took the night off to watch Notre Dame get crushed) and the coach trusts me, I finally spoke up and revealed a couple secrets:
“Could I make a suggestion?” I asked.
“Sure, what is it.”
“Well, first let me ask. Where are you throwing the ball from.”
“From my hand.”
“I know that. But where’s your focus when you throw the ball. Where in your body do you feel a sense of your own energy.”
“In my head,” the young man said, pointing to his noggin.
“That’s what I thought,” i replied.
I stood up and walked toward him. “I’m wondering what will happen if you throw the ball with a different focus, with a different awareness.”
I noted that the athlete was very open to my suggestions, so I continued. I pointed to various power centers on his body (not his head) and gave him very brief instructions on how these centers work. Then I asked him to throw the ball again.
This time he threw it 90 mph.
The coach was blown away and gave me a hi-5.
Then I gave him new mental pictures of what to imagine when he throws the ball. He threw again. Once more, he added more velocity, hitting 91.5.
After this I gave him a different breathing pattern.
Once again, more velocity.
Then the coach switched drills – having him do a “turn and burn” – an exercise that yields maximum velocity. Just like before, the coach and the athlete are all ears, taking in my out of the box, Zen suggestions, applied to baseball.
Five minutes later the young man set another record, throwing the ball 100.2 mph.
Anyone who thinks what you picture in your mind doesn’t matter – doesn’t know what he’s talking about. What you imagine makes a monumental difference. How you see yourself, how you breathe, where you breathe from – all of this matters – and matters A LOT.
In sports today, there’s a ton of emphasis on mechanics. I would say that 99.9999 percent of what athletes are taught has to do with where you place your foot, your head and your hand. But there’s virtually nothing on what to picture, what to imagine and how to really use the biggest mechanism you have – your own mind.
Incidentally, when the athlete focused on the images I gave him, guess what happened. Not only did he throw harder, but his mechanics improved. He moved as one unit rather than a group of independent body parts. And boy, was he ever smooth.
I love it when I witness this change in athletes, especially when it happens in a matter of minutes.
But the truth is that anyone in any endeavor can derive the same sort of positive benefits, once he knows how to use the power of mental pictures – as taught in the Zero Resistance Living System.
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