A big part of playing consistently and confidently is training not only the body, but also the mind. This is especially true for young pitchers.
Staying calm, breathing, forgetting what just happened and only focusing on what’s in front of you at that second—this is all much easier said than done.
Trust, clarity, detachment, simultaneously being calm while channeling peak intensity—these are all qualities confident, mentally tough pitchers have perfected.
I’d like to reference an article from Steven Ellis at YouthPitching.com where he elaborates on 9 key mental training “secrets” for young players. It’s a great read and you can find it here…
Some key highlights from Ellis’ article:
One coach postulates that the pitchers who simply visualized their mechanics to the plate and visualized themselves hitting the spot they’re throwing to, had an increase of 25% accuracy versus pitchers who just get their spot and throw.
Once a pitcher accepts that fact that risk is present, he might as well start focusing on the reward and opportunities that exist:
- The opportunity to be the hero
- The opportunity to get the big W
- The opportunity to take over and control a game
- The opportunity to help the team win
Only once a pitcher realizes this, can he throw with 100% authority……and without reservation.
Maintain a positive attitude
There will be times in your pitching career where you will have ups and downs.
Your success over the long haul, however, will come down to attitude.
Taking at least one deep breath when nervous or in trouble helps to calm the mind and body. The extra oxygen into the bloodstream chemically relaxes or slows down the built up tension.
There’s much more in Ellis’ article, so please do visit his site and read the entire piece!