The Side Effects Of Video Analysis & Ideal Mechanical Models

baseballthinktank Baseball Training, Featured Post, Pitching Mechanics

The following is an excerpt from my upcoming pitching program titled, “Teaching Pitcher’s To Teach Themselves.”

Two common tools in the development process, is video analysis and the emulation of other pitchers, via ideal mechanical models.

In fact, they are both can be very productive in the development process if used properly.

Unfortunately, both are highly influenced by the perception of others.

As humans, “we have a way of seeing what we want to see,”  and we all have a different perspective on what we view as “pleasing.”

Therefore, I must warn you before we begin:

Video Analysis & Emulation may cause dizziness, paralysis, blurred vision and mental association and…….


The  Side Effects of Video Analysis and Ideal Mechanical Models

Paralysis by analysis: The athlete is constrained due to over analyzing every movement, making even unconscious movements, conscious.  They often associate every issue and reference every adjustment, as a mechanical issue.  They are drifters in Stage 2 of motor learning,  conscious of every movement, nothing looks easy or natural and it’s constantly changing.

Imitation via emulation:  Emulation is very productive for younger kids learning to throw, however after a certain age or skill level it creates thought conscious movement patterns.  It takes away from individual strengths because they are imitating another pitcher.

After a certain age, your movement patterns have become ingrained and emulation is nothing more than imitation.  Why?  The model’s strengths are not your strengths, regardless of how much time you spend copying positioning and patterns.

In other words, his CNS is not your CNS, there lies the deciding factor!

 Why be happy impersonating Elvis, why not become the next Elvis?

Mechanical Disassociation:    Video has a strange way of sending mixed signals to the athlete.  Often players will lose sight of perspective and fall into the trap of mechanics.  They believe every issue can be resolved with a mechanical tweak.  Therefore, they find themselves unable to surpass the 2nd stage of motor learning.

It’s a never ending process, it’s insanity.

It’s the “eating disorder” of player development .  These guys don’t have a clear perspective on the situation and it becomes a nasty cycle.  You’ve all seen these guys, they’re the ones constantly going through dry delivery drills and after each pitch, they are analyzing their delivery.

They begin to think only in terms of mechanics, other adjustments are not considered.

  • They begin to place a mechanical fix with every issue and that takes away from what’s real.
  • They never learn to connect using other senses such as feeling and hearing.
  • Relying only on sight is not an efficient way to teach the CNS or tell the body what to do.

As I mentioned in the previous chapter, I believe the exclusive use of video for all aspects of training could become a constraint in it’s own right.

The body has built in mechanisms for learning and sight is only one of them.

Now don’t get me wrong, video is a great tool and it’s something I use daily.

However, it’s only a good tool when used conjointly with other tools for learning.


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