Best Things I've Seen So Far In The 20's

It was about time for a new one of these anyway, but with everyone stuck at home, what better time than now to dig into the best things I've seen so far in 2020.


Before we begin though, I wanted to take just a minute to thank all of the Doctors, Nurses, medical support staff, and essential workers putting themselves in harm’s way every day to make sure the rest of us can stay healthy and safe. This video is for you.


Ok, here we go.


Most Important Facts First

I’ve been working on creating a small Spanish section of this blog for some time now. I wrote two articles and have begun to translate the first into Español. It has taken longer than expected, and I still plan to go ahead with the concept, but Driveline has just launched an entirely free section of their site with all their most popular articles translated into Español. This is tremendous for the game. I’m so happy that the Latino players will now have access to this information.



Everything Spin

If you don't know Barton Smith or his work at Baseball Aero, stop reading this now, go to his site, and start from the beginning.


If you're a little familiar, check out this post on how a scuffed baseball moves, and this post on how you can orient the seams to make a pitch move as if it has a scuff.


Also, he found a new pitch he's dubbed The Looper. Here's how to grip it. It should be able to create extra movement with just a seam orientation adjustment.


There's also a video on seam shifted wake axis and more information about the gyro degree needed to throw a pitch with a seam shifted wake.


Lastly, here's a summary of what we know about the aerodynamics of a baseball.


Now that you’ve got all that, take the ideas for a spin with this modeler. (Pun sooo intended.)



The Physical Exercises and The Physical Training

If you don't already know, do yourself a favor and look up how successful Anatoliy Bondarchuk has been as a coach. Then watch this. Then lose lots of sleep thinking about how our current training methods may be closer to bad than to good.


Next, check out how Zach Dechant uses parts of the Bondarchuk Method to train aspects of the pitching delivery.


By analyzing data on the muscular firing patterns of its football players when they sprint, Indiana uses the weight room to train speed by directly addressing disorganized patterns, leading to increases in sprint speed. My mind instantly raced to throwing. The corollary to this must exist.


What is smoothness? How can we teach it? When will we be able to measure it, and how will we do that? And once we do, what insights will it give us?


Major injuries cause more than just tissue damage. They can negatively impact the brain and the systems involved with and surrounding the injury site. Just rehabbing the tissue is not enough. We need to do more. I need to learn more.


I created an entirely new section of this website dedicated to at-home training, but I keep seeing more and more unique exercises and training methods that seem interesting. If you’re looking for a new, challenging core and shoulder stability exercise, check this out.


The concept of training with sandbags was interesting before coronavirus, but now, with everyone stuck at home without gym access, these exercises might be a great way to train at home.


Here's a bunch of tremendous info on stability training.


I’m definitely going to add this to my toolbox to help players load their back hip.


Check out this new drill hybrid from Tread. They're calling it the Step-Back Pivot Pickoff.


I tried this exercise, and it's hard.



The Mind, Growth, Mastery, Leadership, and that type of stuff

Let's call this the hierarchy of learning. I'll always love to read, but I'm beginning to understand the massive advantages inherent in writing and building to learn. It’s one of the main reasons I write these blogs.


Writing about writing, here’s Paul Graham on How to Write Usefully.


I love this idea of "doing the verb." If you want to be a songwriter, write songs. If you want to be a painter, paint. Whatever you want to be, stop thinking about how hard it is and just start doing it. If you don't want to read an entire article, this tweet sums up the concept.


Tom Donnelly is an all-time great coach. This article gives a little insight into why.


Despite everyone's likely current lens, not all contagion is bad. In fact, I'm continually amazed at how positively impactful humans can be on other humans. Check out this great read on how Good Vibes are Contagious.


James Clear with great advice for achieving a lot.


"Mastery means having a black belt skill set and a white belt spirit."


Ryan Holiday is a writer who has written a bunch of great books. His article How Does it Feel to Get Everything You Ever Wanted is written for the person who has already achieved a huge life goal, but it presents some great information for all of us. Specifically now, In The Time of Coronavirus, this spoke to me: “To be alive, that is the accomplishment. To have your health. To have people you love. This is winning. To get to do the work—that’s the reward, not whether the work is recognized.”


The legendary Bruce Lee doesn't believe in being fixed in anything. Here he explains his thoughts on continual growth.


The best train the mind.


Daniel Pink with an efficient, effective way to reset throughout the day.


One great minute on why data + feel is what we all need. "Inconsistency is the key to becoming consistent."


8 tidbits of wisdom


WE>ME


This might be the best list of things.



Fun Videos

Just a YouTube playlist of high velocity pitchers in super slow motion, courtesy of Dean Jackson. No biggie.


For those of you not familiar with Portal Ido, I'd recommend investing a little time in watching some of his stuff. It's endlessly fascinating and occasionally eye opening. This video is a fun, short place to start.


Satchel Paige in slow motion makes me so happy.


Baseball is a game. It's fun. It's okay to sometimes do fun, weird stuff, like this.



Miscellany

Maybe the world isn't getting worse. Maybe we're living in the best time in history.


A pretty great free pitch tracking chart.


Some great count data displayed simply and in an easy to digest format.


The concept of Mike Trout aging is horrible, but it’s also inevitable. Here are some projections of his decline.


Luis Castillo's full pitch mix visualized via Driveline Edge.


I miss baseball. You miss baseball. Play this baseball game where you try to guess the pitch type.




That’s all for now. Stay safe everyone!

-Nat

© 2020 by Nat Ballenberg