What Can You Control?
In the baseball world, there is a common phrase: control what you can control. But what does that really mean? You may think there are multiple things you can control but it all comes back to one simple yet complex thing, your mind.
I Have 10 Different Pitches
The first thing I’d say to a young pitcher telling me he has 10 different pitches is this; No you don’t. Now 10 pitches is an exaggeration, but the same response would apply to a pitcher who said he has more than 3 pitches.
Thrive In The Classroom
Yes I know, it’s school. And in this day and age with so much technology and video games, it’s difficult at times to get student athletes to understand exactly how important having good grades are. For some student athletes, it’s too little too late unfortunately. For others, they are on top of their grades and handle their business from day one. The latter are more difficult to find. But I think if student athletes were involved in a conversation about the importance of school and what that means to potential college coaches, they may try a little bit harder.
Sitting The Bench
“Oh man, why is my son not starting.” “Why am I being benched right now?” Those questions are far too common for parents and players alike.
Develop An “Out” Pitch
A successful pitcher has to have a pitch that they can go to in order to get a hitter out. What this means is you need to develop either a change-up or some type of breaking ball that you can not only throw for a strike consistently, but can be used when you need to get a hitter out.
Focus On The Process, Not The Results
One of the most difficult things to do is to keep your focus on the process, not the results. We are a result-orientated society. That is to say if we don’t get the results we want right away, we believe we have failed. After all, no one wants to put work into something only to not achieve the desired results
Work On, Build On
Here’s the idea behind the Work On/Build On mindset. First, be honest with yourself. Critique your performance. What did you do really well? Was anything just awful? What could you have done better?
Know Your Identity
One of the hardest questions I ask pitchers is; who are you on the mound? I follow that up with; how do you see yourself as a pitcher? These questions need honest answers. Knowing your identity on the mound determines what direction you need to go in terms of what you need to work on.
One thing I’d like to talk about is the simple phrase, “Aim to your target.” I can’t stand the word aim. Yes, in theory it sounds great. Aim small, miss small. I get it. But when pitchers are developing, sometimes it has the opposite effect. When we aim, there are times when we subconsciously slow our body down. We may even push the ball at times. We care so much about aiming at the target that we forget the most basic principle in baseball; THROW THE BALL.
Get A Grip
One thing we don’t often think about is making sure we have a good grip on the ball. Some pitchers don’t truly realize just how important this little part is. We have a tendency to rush at times in a number of ways.