I first encountered Paul Reddick through his online 90 mph Club. My son was about twelve years old at the time, as I recall. Reddick was so devoted, not just to growing his business, but to helping young people that one could actually book a free online counseling session with him after sending a video. My son did so. I think he learned a few things. As the years passed, he probably soaked up a lot more from SidearmNation.com and other sources because of his unique motion. Mr. Reddick never had much use for sidewinders or submariners. I recall his writing very publicly to one dad that the submarine pitch was a “gimmick”.
This, I’m afraid, is one of the weaknesses “that flesh is heir to” (in Hamlet’s phrase). We start out small and fight bravely. Perhaps we prevail and begin to grow large… but we still carry the scars of those earlier skirmishes. We perceive challenges to our triumphant method (hey, it’s selling, isn’t it?) as renewed attempts to pull us down, so we ignore them. We develop a thick hide. Criticism is all lumped together into a black plastic bag and hauled to the landfill. I’ve lately heard and read a lot of talk from Mr. Reddick that follows the pattern, “I can hear the screams from coaches right now over what I’m about to say… believe me, they’ve called me every name in the book….” A bit of persecution complex there, don’t you think?
I must have landed permanently in the Reddick doghouse when I lately broke the rules—which I didn’t know at the time—with an attempted post on one of his discussion groups. There’s that voice within me which wants to respond, “Heck with you, Jack! I’ve been in classier doghouses than this one!” I’m very much a small guy, of course, and one who sees no convincing signs that he’s on the way up. You can easily get defensive, and even combative, in this game of trying to teach a game.
I’ve retained enough sense, though, to say this: if you ever see a recommendation about pitching on my site and a counter-recommendation on Reddick’s, follow Paul’s advice. Despite his offhand dismissal of submarining (which isn’t really sound empirically: the altered arm angle, besides being tough for hitters to pick up, puts different spin on the ball), he’s the expert. The things I volunteer on any mound topic are mere suggestions, and all come with the urgent caveat to cease and desist what you’re doing the first time it feels uncomfortable. Always listen to what Mother Nature’s telling you through your body.
The video (or videos) that I’m planning to cut soon under the title, “I Love Paul Reddick, BUT…” are all going to address hitting topics. Mr. Reddick has categorically condemned a whole list of ideas and practices: swinging down on the ball, using hitting tees, relying on pitching machines in the cage, etc. I actually agree with him on most of these issues… up to a point. But what disappoints me is the sweeping condemnation. “Never do this!” Um… don’t you mean don’t do this in a certain way or in certain circumstances? I’m sure that the “categorical imperative” approach markets better over the Internet. I’m also sure that it doesn’t serve the cause of truth.
But then, I don’t really believe that Reddick uses this formula because it markets well. As I said before, I think he just can’t sheath his sword and trade a few prisoners. The en gaile of the Old Irish heroic epics is fluttering about his chariot and filling his ears with her shrieks. “Never… always… never! Attack, attack, attack!”