Be careful of over-reliance on video

There is definitely value in watching video of high-level players. Seeing their approach provides some good general clues as to what youth and other players should do. If you watch enough to pick up on patterns, it can even help guide more specifics.

But there is a danger in becoming over-reliant on it too. Hal Skinner made a great point about this on the Discuss Fastpitch forum. He said you have to know what you’re looking at to determine whether it’s what you should follow or not.

I want to take that a step further. Just because you see and imitate the movements doesn’t mean you’ll become a high-level player. To understand that, let’s look at it in a different context.

Suppose you could gain access to videos of Eddie van Halen, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Joe Satriani playing guitar. The video would be focused on their finger movements. Do you honestly believe you could learn to play guitar as well as they do simply by watching them and then trying to apply what you see? Doubtful. You might learn to play, and might even develop some pretty decent technique if you worked at it enough. But the odds are you won’t be able to play in their league. They have a level of ability hard-wired into their DNA that you can’t acquire by watching video and imitating.

The same goes with high-level softball players, or MLB hitters. There is simply more to it than that. And quite frankly, a lot of those elite players don’t have ideal (or even the greatest) mechanics. They do have an incredible level of talent that makes up for it, though.

Again, video is good and helpful. It can definitely help you find clues to success and let you know whether the path you’re following is the right way to go. But over-reliance on what you see on video may actually get in the way. Take the general principles and find the rest of the way yourself. It’s the real key to success.

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About Ken Krause

Ken Krause has been coaching girls fastpitch softball for nearly 20 years. Some may know him as a contributing columnist to Softball Magazine, where he writes Krause's Korner -- a regular column sponsored by Louisville Slugger. Ken is also the Administrator of the Discuss Fastpitch Forum, the most popular fastpitch discussion forum on the Internet. He is currently a Three Star Master Coach with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and is certified by both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and American Sports Education Program (ASEP). Ken is a private instructor specializing in pitchers, hitters, and catchers. He teaches at North Shore Baseball Academy in Libertyville, IL and Pro-Player Consultants in McHenry, IL.

Posted on March 16, 2009, in Coaching, Hitting, Pitching. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Video can’t teach you what quick and effective feels like to you. Yes, all learning is trial and errror hard work. Yes, studying video of elite hitters can keep you from listening to bad advice and give you a clue who is giving good advice. Yes, video can give you a clue where you are losing time. IOW, I agree with you, it’s about your personal hard work. The video is there to reduce the time involved in your trial and error hard work.

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