Page 46

     These first two weeks is the toughest period in learning to pitch, and it is necessary that you make up your mind that you are going to try faithfully, for only by this drudgery can you forge yourself into a pitcher.
     After these first two weeks you can go around where there are other players, and you can pick out a few of the poorer ones to play against at the start. As you improve you can play better ones, and soon you will find yourself a full-fledged "slipper slinger."

     As you play, you will find that it is difficult to get all the various parts of your horseshoe pitching system working smoothly and at the same time. Some days your shoe will open beautifully, but you will not be able to line it up with the stake, or perhaps you have your shoe lined up perfectly and you can't seem to get the right distance, or perhaps your shoe doesn't land flat. The thing which you lack is "cohesion," or the knack of correcting one flaw without causing something else to go wrong. The attainment of cohesion is something which every person must work out for himself, but we can give you an idea here as to how to go about it.
     There are three things your shoe must do in order to make a ringer. First, it must be open; second, it must be lined up with the stake; and third, it must have the proper balance. Here are the three parts of your delivery which affect these three items the most directly, your open shoe is obtained through your grip and the twist you give to your wrist and arm just before releasing the shoe. Your line is obtained by stepping in the proper direction and swinging your arm in a straight line close to your body. Your distance is obtained through the swing you give your shoe. With this chart to guide you, you can cor-rect your faults as soon as you recognize them.
     If your shoe is opening properly, you know your grip and wrist flip is working. If your shoe is in line, you know your step, and the direction of your swing is all right, and if you get the proper distance you know the length of your swing is all right. As we have said before, you should get these three things working before trying to obtain a "break" on your shoe. As for the heighth your shoe should reach in its flight, this item will work itself out automatically. However, we would say that your shoe should travel no higher than twelve feet and no lower than eight.
     You have read these instructions on how to learn to pitch. Careful study of these instructions, and faithful practice will make you a good player. The matter is entirely in your hands.