I’m Blaming it All On My Kids!!!
When I was 13 years old our family drove from our home in Sumter, South Carolina went to visit my uncle Ronnie in Roanoke, Virginia for Thanksgiving 1976.
The country had just celebrated its 200th birthday. In the wake of the Watergate scandal, a peanut farmer from Georgia named Jimmy Carter was elected President. The Viking 1 satellite sent a radio signal from Mars that helped prove Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
The country was abuzz with a mixture of nostalgia and hope for the future.
On Thanksgiving day after a huge and gratifying meal we all huddled around the TV and watched OJ Simpson (the football player, not the criminal) rush for 273 yards against the Detroit Lions. When the game ended my Dad, my brothers and my Uncle gathered outside for our own game of tackle football. As the game began to get heated, my dad stopped dead in his tracks and cast his eyes on the lot behind my uncle’s house. Through a small brush divider between two houses, he saw it–the car of his dreams.
It was a 1960 Ford Comet. It was old, but not exactly vintage. It had weeds growing through the engine, all 4 tires were flat, and although the original color was white, if pressed I would have to describe it as rust. To the rest of us it looked like an old piece of junk, but to my father it was a masterpiece.
Uncle Ronnie told my dad it belonged to a 90 year old lady who lived in the little white house barely visible through the trees behind his firewood pile.
Dad promptly grabbed me by the arm and said, “Let’s go check it out!”
We walked through the trees and around to front of the little house and knocked on the door (there was no doorbell). A shriveled but mentally sharp little woman answered, and when my dad inquired about purchasing her car she said, “Sonny, if you can get it running, you can have it.”
Dad’s eyes lit up like a kid on Christmas morning.
He immediately grabbed some tools and got to work. We hardly saw him for the rest of the weekend, and by the time Sunday morning rolled around, to everyone’s surprise, he had it running. He gave the little old lady $100 for allowing us the opportunity, we slapped some mud over the expired tags, and we headed for home.
For the next year, my father spent every spare minute under our carport refurbishing that old clunker. It became his passion. He rebuilt the entire engine, banged out all the dents in the body and sanded and filled all the rusted out fenders with bondo.Then he drove it to the auto hobby shop on the Air Force base and painted the entire thing fire engine red!
The interior was a little rough, it had no air conditioning or radio, and the tires were red because he forgot to cover them before he did the paint job, but he drove it around our town with the pride of a millionaire in a new Bentley.
During the year of auto rehab, nearly every day as soon as I got home from school, Dad would look up and say something like, “Hey come help me with this.” After a several months of cranking wrenches and running belt sanders, I began to resist. I grew to dread being corraled as I got off the bus, and became bitter and angry. My dad soon noticed the resistance and confronted me about it.
I turned and shouted at him, “I hate coming home and working on this old piece of junk! Why do you make me do it every day? I’m just unpaid labor for you! This car is your dream, not mine!”
He didn’t say a word.
He just gently removed the wrench from my hand, turned and buried his head in the motor. I knew I had really disapointed him, but in my youthful ignorance, I didn’t care. I never helped him work on the car again, and within a year he died at the age of a 36 of a heart attack. Eventually, my mom, my brothers and I pushed the old car into our backyard where our own weeds overtook it until another car fanatic took it off our hands and revived it yet again.
Direspecting him and his passion for that car is something I have regretted for my entire adult life.
You see, after I had kids of my own I realized that my dad puling me into the carport everyday had nothing to do with the car. He was trying to find a way to spend some quality time with his son.
It’s the same thing I have done with baseball and my three sons. By sharing my passion for the world’s most beautiful game I have successfully tricked them into spending time with me. Some of the best memories I have with my kids involve me squatting behind a plate to catch a bullpen or standing behind an L-screen, throwing batting practice until my arm feels like it will literally fall off. Fortunately for me, none of them has ever lashed out at me and resisted like I did with my father. It would crush me if they did.
As my kids have gotten a little older, baseball has become interwoven into the fabric of our family. Two of my sons are college pitchers and one is a high school sophomore catcher. But along the way, something unexpected happened.
As I began to coach my sons, it stoked a fire that continues to burn every day. I have developed an insatiable appetite for learning every detail of the game–especially pitching. I can’t get enough. I research incessantly, always looking for a way to improve how I teach and share the knowledge with others.
That fire was the genesis of The ARMory Power Pitching Academy. About a year ago I began to organize my thoughts and write them down. It started with a simple email to a small list of friends, and it has evolved into a prolific cascade of educational products streaming from my subconscious.
We are blowing up at the ARMory
I mean we are absolutely blowing up at The ARMory.
As I recap the year I am astounded at all that has developed.
Here’s a summary of what we have accomplished in the past 10 months.
We helped to raise the total number of 90 mph gunslingers in our program from 16 to 51.
We trained over 50 students 3-5 times per week during our ARMory Summer Training program,
We saw 45 guys receive college baseball scholarships, and 2 guys get drafted to play in the pros.
We executed 6 Rocket Launchers Training Camps, and 3 Rocket Launchers Road Shows
With the help of some incredibly talented interns, I wrote, produced and published 3 new books and DVDs: The Engineering the Superhuman Pitching Machine Series
In Volume 1, we created a revolutionary 5 day pitcher specific power building workout unlike anything ever seen before.
In Volume 2, we created and revealed our World Class ARMory Pitcher Assessment Tool which removed the mystery from evaluating pitchers and gave the world a step by step, easy to follow guide for checking pitchers for physical, mechanical and functional constraints.
In Volume 3, we offered an organized catalog of 3-6 corrective drills and exercises for every inefficiency identified in the assessment of Volume 2
In total, The Superhuman Trilogy is over 500 pages and 3.5 hours of video stocked with cutting edge detail on exactly how our entire process works.
We produced a revolutionary new 4 part video series called Mechanical Contributors to Arm Pain which explained how identifying the location of your arm pain can help us know where to look in your mechanics for the disconnection at the root of the problem.
We also produced a new 4 part video series called Physical Contributors to Arm Pain in which I used my Physical Therapy background to identify all the possible physical constraints that could be contributing to your arm pain. That series is currently available to our Mobile VIP members.
We launched a monthly live seminar series called Rocket Science Live, and recorded lectures by Matt Furey, Chris Holt, Dr. Tom Hanson, and me. The topics varied from a synopsis of Perry Husband’s Effective Velocity principles to, to our weighted ball holds program, to the Mind Body Connection for Baseball (presented by a former world Kung Fu Champion).
So as you can see, I have been pretty busy. Honestly, I don’t know how I actually found time to get it all done. The irony is that it all started because I wanted to find a way to spend more time with my kids. I tried to give them a gift, and I received a great reward.
And you know what? I’m not done yet.
Later today I will announce an exciting new program called The ARMory Insider Platoon.
I really think you’re gonna love it.