EXERCISEºRECREATIONºSPORT


SCIENCE AT THE STAKE

by Roy W. Smith published in 1946
Page 22
much the same grip, stance and step, but the thing that distinguishes them apart is the swing.

   The shoulder and arm contain many sets of muscles which have been developed through work and other daily exercise. To develop a swing for pitching horseshoes it is necessary to bring into play many muscles which have never been used to much extent. Gradually developing these muscles calls for a great deal of time and patience. Many players develop their arms up to a certain point and then fall into a rut from which they never recover - either because they lack the necessary ambition to practice and master the swing, or because they enter competition too early, and growing tense in the heat of battle, they allow their swings to become stiff and jerky. The writer developed this bad habit and it was extremely difficult to overcome. When one is tired and stiff from work and does not take sufficient time to warm up properly it is easy to acquire such a habit. One should take his time in preparing to deliver for it is fatal to form bad playing habits. An experienced pitcher is usually able to analyze and correct his bad habits and he must watch himself closely to see that they do not recur. When beginning to tense up, take time out and RELAX!

   In getting ready to execute the swing, grip and extend the shoe to full-arm length. Hold it up on a level with the eyes and sight through or over it. Aim it at a spot about half way up on the stake. Let the shoe swing backward in an easy manner, extending it as far back as possible without causing discomfort or loss of balance. This back swing may be as high or higher than the head; it depends on the muscular development of the shoulder and method of delivery. A long swing, to secure proper elevation and distance is to be desired. Don't let the arm bend at the elbow. When the termination point - that is the end of the back swing - has been reached, throw the shoulders forward and step to the foul line. At the same time, allow the weight of the shoe to swing it forward until it comes into a direct line with the stake and once again on a level with the eyes. Then the fingers automatically relax and release the shoe as if it were hot. The delivery does not stop here but the hand continues to swing on up above the head. There should be no jerk or snap of the arm and wrist. All movements are rather slow, rhythmic and perfectly coordinated with the step. The back and front swings should be nearly alike. The weight of the shoe should be allowed to start them both and no propelling power is placed behind the shoe with the arm. The body takes care of this. The arm should swing straight from the shoulder like the pendulum of a clock, therefore, this is known as the "pendulum

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