Awkward problem

Since I left for college, I’ve spent many nights in my dorm room working on my mechanics. I have made the transition from throwing with my arm to throwing with my body, and I feel no soreness when I practice in my room now. I recently returned home to New Hampshire, and thankfully I have been able to go outside because of the unseasonably warm weather. But, a problem has now arisen that has completely shaken my confidence: I can’t let go of the ball. Whenever I practice my windup with a ball in my hand, and I know I won’t let it go, I can make a smooth, quick delivery that feels really powerful. But, when I get in the mindset to let it go, my arm locks, the ball goes flying off target (if I can even release it), and I feel a nasty tweak on my left oblique muscle(as a LHP). I return to college in Mass. in a couple days, and with no real way to continue practicing outside, what in God’s name can I do to get over this to be ready for tryouts in March?!?

Sounds like you may be stressing out a bit. Try decompressing … stay away from all things baseball for a week, and get your mind into other things — studies, good books, movies, music, community service — anything other than baseball.

After a week or so, play catch with someone, or throw by yourself in a batting tunnel (throw balls at the back net). Just play catch the first day. The next day, play catch for a while, and then after 10-15 minutes mix in some throws from your stretch position. The next time out, do the same thing, then maybe also mix in throws from the windup if you feel good about it. Ease into it.

Good luck!

I wrestled with this EXACT problem when playing slow-pitch softball this year. Sometimes I couldn’t release the ball smoothly.

It’s like getting the yips in golf.

The thing that has worked for me is to focus on WHAT I want to do rather than HOW I want to do it. In other words, I focus on where I want the ball to do rather than releasing it properly.