Perhaps the best place to start is intent. When a baseball pitcher seperates himself / herself from the pack, one the key moments is learning how to stick the bird finger in the catcher’s eye (at least that’s the version sanitized for polite company).
For 99 per cent of all ball throwers, the last point of contact between the body and the ball is the junction of the fingernail and skin on the bird finger of the throwing hand. That pressure point is the equivalent of P3 in golf, the first joint of the index finger.
Anyone can learn to throw a ball well enough. Getting it to your teamate, somewhere around their chest area, does the job 99 per cent of the time.
But if you want to max out precision, you have to change your intent (sound familiar?).
A pitcher has the intent of poking the target with his/her bird finger. Very often, this target is the catcher’s eye. So, quite literally, the pitcher is trying to poke the catcher in the eye. Obviously impossible, given the 60 foot gap between them.
While other dynamics are involved, the “intent” of trying to poke the catcher’s eye more or less forces the pitcher’s hand into the proper motion to efficiently harvest the energy of leg drive, torso and shoulder turn, and put maximum lag pressure on the throwing elbow (again, sound familiar?)
Another parallel between golf and baseball is the optical illusion effect; in golf, few of us ever “see” the golf swing plane properly, 'cause, as Tyrone so correctly commented, “it was a funny angle”. This is a part of golf that continues to flumoxe me, but knowing it’s there has made a world of difference.
In baseball, we have the two seam fastball. Some folks say these balls rise. No, they SWEAR the ball rises. And I have to admit, if you are catching a dude who throws a really good one, it REALLY does appear to rise. But it doesn’t. It just doesn’t fall as fast.
It’s no different than one of my PW shots vs. a PW shot from a good shooter, the backspin rate is way higher. The Ken Venturi affect in all its glory.
Another element is release point. Only the best of the best ever bring it “straight over the top”. Everyone else drops to 3/4. And, lo and behold, the motion that ABS supports and the pitching arm of a person throwing 3/4 are WAY more similar than they are different.
Note that for outfielders, none of that mattered: If you didn’t come 100 per cent over the top, you could never throw the ball well enough to field your position properly.
And for a nod to our international readers, the last paragraph more or less describes the difference between a baseball pitcher and a cricket bowler: A dominant bowler might not be able to throw strikes, but whoo-ee, I bet not even Ricky Henderson would ever try to stretch a double into a single if they were in right field.
Oops, almost forgot the key piece: the position of the non-pitching hand. Anyone who threw a heavy ball invariably had it tucked right up tight to the pectoral muscle on the non throwing arm.
Anyway, I toss this out there not to bore you with baseball (a sport which a former boss once described as “a non addictive substitute for sleeping pills”) but rather to show how the elements I’ve discovered in ABS can be found in other sports, and thus have achieved marked credibility in my books. Not that Lag needs the props, he already knows what he knows.
And also to provide a toothing stone, as it were, for other athletes who, like me, did well at, if not mastered, other sports, but struggled at golf.
BTW, the baseball throw metaphore in 5 Lessons never really gelled for me. I’ve seen litterally millions of throws from 6-3, and not sure one ever looked (or more importanlty, felt) like that. I suspect if Grantland Rice had ghosted the book, they would picked a different way to say it… .
And all that to say, well, that concept of accellerating past the ball held water in baseball, and there is no reason to think any different in golf.
Again, thanks for reading.