The Interconnectedness of Carlos Zambrano’s Challenges

by Buddy Biancalana

I recently returned from baseball’s Winter Meetings. Reflecting back over the three days, one conversation I had is staying with me.  The conversation of which I intentionally did more listening than speaking, included Carlos Zambrano’s agent Barry Praver, Cub’s VP, Player Personnel, Oneri Fleita and writer Carrie Muskat. They were discussing Zambrano’s challenges.

Certainly if Carlos could harness his emotions, overcome his reoccurring shoulder issues and pitch consistently like he can, there would be more joy in Wrigleyville.

When any athlete does not understand motion from the most fundamental level, it can kick off a chain of issues such as inconsistency, injuries and in Zambrano’s case, anger.

English: Carlos Zambrano of the Chicago Cubs p...

Image via Wikipedia

Let’s take a look at the interconnectedness of Zambrano’s three challenges.

Not understanding how to access the origin of motion can be compared to driving in an unfamiliar city without a GPS. It becomes a bit of guesswork, and now and then you will most likely get lost. Getting lost can certainly cause frustration and in some cases anger.

When mechanics start to break down for an athlete, confidence can start to diminish and create some concern or fear.  Fear is at the root of all anger.  At this point an athlete can start acting out by throwing or hitting things, yelling at team mates or through other various means. 

When things go wrong around Zambrano, if he understood how to pitch as well as he ever has by having a clear understanding of how to access the origin of motion, do you think his emotions would run rampant?  It is doubtful. His confidence would remain and anger and fear would stay dormant.

So how does this tie in to Zambrano’s shoulder issues? When a pitcher is not accessing the origin of motion, the bigger, bulkier muscles in the body will play a more dominant roll. This is multiplied in the case of a maximum effort pitcher like Zambrano.  A tug of war is created between the bigger muscles and the more subtle fast twitch muscles. This tug of war leads to injuries as doctors and trainers have told me.

If Carlos understood motion from the most fundamental level, he would get to enjoy the game and his team mates as much as his financial wealth.

Buddy Biancalana
Co-author, The 7 Secrets of World Class Athletes

“These guys have discovered something in all sports that is going to have a huge impact wherever it is taught.”  George Brett, Baseball Hall of Fame
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