Today’s baseball world is driven by data.
And that’s a good thing as long as you know how to deliver it.
So, in today’s blog post…
I’m going to layout exactly how I use my FEEL method to deliver data in a way that’s specific to the individual.
Let’s start here…
Seems ironic to me.
Unlike kids, adults are conditioned to ask “how”.
Maybe, it’s due to previous incidents or accidents in our lives, or because of our increased level of literacy… we choose to seek out others way of doing things. We don’t trust ourselves nor our instincts, at least very few of us do.
But toddlers, they have a process…
Case in point.
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The other day, my three year old wanted to know why a fire truck was parked in the road.
There was probably a fire, Remy.
Why was there a fire?
I’m guessing the kitchen caught on fire.
Why did the kitchen catch on fire?
And the same goes for her while at play. If you really watch a kid play, what you’re really seeing them do is problem solve. Because that’s what the whole “mechanics” thing really is. It’s your brain and your body teaming up to solve a movement problem.
She was climbing a tree and kept falling down. So, she tried several other ways until finally getting up the tree. Like so many kids, everything to her is a game. She’s not afraid to explore and she’s not afraid to try new things. Or, risk embarrassing herself.
It’s crazy to think but here’s a 3 year old kid that has no fear. Why?
She’s her very own best tree-climbing coach and she’s gained a higher level of confidence in climbing trees.
I guess you could say, she trusts her instincts and her ability to adapt, simply because of the increased confidence that came with “doing it herself” and not relying on someone like me “guessing” the best way for her to climb the tree.
She never asked one time… “Dad will you help me?”
Instead, she only directed… “Dad, watch me.”
With each failed attempt she learned a new way of “how” not to do it. Based on the information she gathered from each failed attempt, she came one step closer to finding the answer
In other words…
And when it comes to the quality of your practice and development:
But, if you’re constantly asking someone else’s opinion with the question “how”, you’ll never learn how to climb a tree, or throw a baseball, or trust your instincts.
And that’s a lesson that can be applied in today’s instructional game.
Add to the fact, they are conditioned to experience immediate gratification at the touch of a button and you start to see how our culture leads to us never trusting our instincts or putting in the work to establish a process of self-coaching.
Honestly, the only person that can truly answer How is your own body.
So, here’s the process I use to teach my athletes and it’s without question, the reason my guys are able to shorten the learning curve and…
See night and day differences in the middle of the afternoon.
Let’s start with the concepts of FEEL and it’s important you understand before we start…
FEEL is actually a three-fold method for teaching.
In other words, FEEL can mean many different things.
So, my method for teaching involves integrating all three concepts to help pitchers…
Here’s the 3 areas we are integrating with the FEEL Method.
Here’s the 3 step process undertaken by the nervous system when developing a motor program.
2. Awareness- Become your own coach: It’s a process of self-exploration and guidance to help players become their own coach by attaching a physical FEEL to a positive or negative movement, to shorten the learning curve.
Until a player can FEEL what you’re asking him to do.. He will never truly understand. Tony Robichaux
3. Increased Confidence – FEEL Good: The 3rd and final goal for teaching players, and coaches, how to learn or teach by FEEL is the emotional aspect.
Once an athlete becomes more confident, he’s not afraid to stray off and try new things. He will engage in a deeper level of self-exploration.
But, most people who are unfamiliar with the concept or methodology of my teachings make one vital mistake.
They fail to understand that FEEL is a method for teaching, it’s not the teach.
What are you trying to do? If you don’t like the results your getting (outputs) change the instructions to your body. (Inputs)
How are you going to try and accomplish it? It’s through experience that we learn what to expect. Allow the player to choose his options of how to do it, regardless of our opinions and expectations of the outcome.
Gather your feedback and determine what works and what didn’t work. The entire development process is a system of trial and error. But unless there’s a focus and different experiences, there is no system.
Put it in your own words, and repeat the cycle. Your body is by far and away your best coach. By maintaining a clear focus, eliminating expectations and inviting new experiences, the player will begin to learn by elimination and before you know it… Learn what works best for them.
As a coach, the key to the FEEL Method lies in your ability to
Some common mistakes made by coaches is…
Telling an athlete what they should FEEL, or expect to FEEL.
Anytime you tell or ask an athlete, “Did you FEEL it here?” They will often agree, even though they didn’t actually FEEL it or they suddenly FEEL it there and terminate their searching. Either way, the goal to becoming your own coach through self-exploration, trial and error, is deleted.
And that’s something I learned the hard way.
Unfortunately, in todays’ age of Pitching Mech-addicts, kids are conditioned to be over-coached.
And because we blame anything and everything on mechanics. Because we trick them into seeing what we see, doing what we do….
The body would have never actually organized itself in this way had it not been confused by an external source.
Anytime the body is confused, it will appear in the form of inefficient movement.
So, with all that being said…
Data can often be the problem because we over-load our athletes and…
But the best part is…
Until a kid knows you believe in them, they will never buy into you.
Trust what you FEEL!
P.S: Here’s the latest t-shirt in the new apparel shop… Let me know if you like it by leaving a comment on twitter.
Scale of 1-10… How much do you like this shirt? pic.twitter.com/vXQ9ILxlAh
— BaseballThinkTank (@LantzWheeler) August 29, 2018