Potty Training, Guided Discovery, and Individual Freedom
In the spring of 1993, I was in my last semester of Physical Therapy school
in San Antonio, Texas.
I spent nearly every waking hour studying, so my wife,
Kathy had to manage our household and provide most of the care for our son,
Ty, who was 2 years old.
Even though it was a stressful time, Kathy and I
made sure we carved out time to be together as a family.
Every day after dinner we would walk to the tennis courts in our apartment complex,
and Ty and I would toss a tennis ball back and forth.
On one particular missed toss, the ball rolled through some dirt
and leaves and settled under a bush.
Ty crawled under the bush and retrieved the ball.
Before he threw it back to me he noticed some dirt on the ball.
He paused and wiped it off, then blew on it, and wiped it again.
“What are you doing, Ty?”, I calmly asked.
He answered, “Mommy said you gotta cwean it off.”
I chuckled a little and explained that dirt was part of the game,
and you didn’t need to wipe the ball down before you threw it back.
I glanced over at Kathy.
She just shrugged and giggled, “I didn’t know”.
She hadn’t been around the game much up to that point,
so I chalked it up to a rookie mistake.
A few weeks later I arrived home to discover Kathy and Ty
working on potty training. As I walked in the door, Ty greeted me
with a smile and said,
“Daddy yook. I go pee pee in da potty.”
It was clear he was very proud of his new ability,
and I relished the thought of not changing his diapers any more, so I said,
“Let’s see you do it, buddy!”
He waddled into the bathroom, and pushed a tiny stool
up to the edge of the toilet. He climbed up on the stool,
pulled down his pants and took aim.
He hit the target dead center!
I was whooping it up in celebration during the entire display!
Kathy was standing just outside the bathroom door beaming
like a stage mom watching her child’s Broadway premiere.
Then just as he finished his triumphant performance, tragedy struck.
Right after the last little trickle was complete,
Ty leaned over and tore off one tiny square of toilet paper from the roll.
He folded it in half and then daintily dabbed the end of his…..you know.
I almost choked as my cheers were interrupted in mid whoop!
I couldn’t believe what I had just seen!
My eyes were popping out of my head, and I turned to Kathy and shouted
“Whoa! Whoa! What’s going on here?!”
She looked confused. “What?, she asked.
“What did I just see? Did you teach him that?”
Again “What?!”was her anxious reply.
“You don’t dab it!”
“Why not?!”, she responded.
“Cause if you do you’ll get beat up in the 8th grade!”
Then she said, “But it leaks!”
“That’s part of it!
It gets on your leg!
There’s nothing you can do about it!
You can shake it, flick it, jiggle it,
you can do a lot with it,
BUT YOU CANNOT DAB IT!”
By now we were all laughing hysterically.
She could barely get the next few words out,
“I didn’t know.”
That story reminds me of another one of the fundamental guideposts of our
program at The ARMory.
We don’t believe there is one universally perfect set of pitching mechanics.
There is no standardized recipe for success.
Each pitcher has a different set of constraints, which might be inhibiting his performance.
Every athlete’s training plan must be individualized to meet his specific needs,
and it must then be modified every few weeks as his body changes.
For this reason you will never see us give you a cloned list of exercises and drills
with the specific frequencies, durations, or intensities attached.
We allow every pitcher to experiment through guided discovery and
find his own plan based on the constraints identified through observation,
objective measurement, and video.
As my friend Ron Wolforth likes to say,
“Not only does one size not fit all, one size doesn’t fit one for very long.”
Sure, there are boundaries–especially where health and durability are concerned.
We keep our guys operating within those boundaries, but as long
as what they feel the most comfortable with is safe and healthy, we let them run with it.
The human body is a very smart organism.
When we provide OBJECTIVE feedback the body organizes itself
in the most efficient manner possible.
If you want to train in a place where self discovery and individual freedom
are embraced and encouraged, then slide your stool on over to The ARMory
and lets get it flowing!!!