Throwing a football is great for developing arm strength and endurance. Throwing a spiral is also good for reinforcing sound mechanics. I remember watching Mike Moustakas toss a football around Royals Spring Training in 2012 and have seen several MLB players with footballs in warm-ups over the years. I contacted Mack to see if he could give me a few football throwing pointers as well as tips for conditioning over the next 10 months.
Mack is the quarterback coach at Missouri State University and has his master’s degree in health, physical education, and recreation. We agreed to meet at Plaster Stadium. The last time I was on the field at Plaster Stadium I was a student of then-Southwest Missouri State University and one of my best friends tore his ACL in a pick-up game of two-hand touch after Bible study.
I had trouble finding good parking on campus and eventually pulled into a metered spot, depositing all the silver changed I had in my pocket. I jogged to the stadium to keep Mack from having to wait on me.
I took diligent notes on Mack’s advice for warming up and for throwing a football. As much as I wanted to be a good student, however, I did not give him much to work with. My hands simply aren’t big enough to throw a football. (Go ahead. Make all the small hands jokes you want.)
When I finally got tired of throwing dead duck after dead duck, we switched to gloves and baseballs and spread out. As we played catch my way, I learned Mack is from KC and a Royals fan and also an Alex Gordon fan.
“This will be his MVP season,” I said.
“Fierce competitor and great attitude. He’s gotta bounce back.”
I really love meeting new friends who are Royals fans in Springfield.
We continued talking and I kept asking questions. Mack’s best advice to me can be summarized in one word, “Stretch.”
Every morning. Every night. Before catch. After catch. All the muscles of the arm. Stretch, stretch, stretch. He demonstrated multiple stretches to help me take care of my arm. Even as I was leaving, Mack was still showing me more stretches.
I lost track of time tossing the ball and learning from Mack. When I was packing away the gloves, I checked my phone and knew that I only had a few minutes remaining on the parking meter. I really, really didn’t want a parking ticket.
I jogged back across campus and climbed into my van just as “Expired” started blinking in front of me. I even did some of Mack’s stretches on the drive home.
Only 305 days left!