confidence

this year escpessialy(?) in my last 3 games the defense has been making errors and not making routine plays and its really starting to effect me. also the cathcer has not thrown out a runner all eyar so any time some one gets on it turns into a double or triple bc they just steal.Except for one game (no command of fastball, cudnt throw off speed but still only let up 4 runs and had 8 ks in 5 innings)ive done good pitching, all my stuff is on. but its freshman and some of the kids are not very good and my first time playing with all these kids in 3 years bc i played aau and its no were near the same caliber of play. Im starting to really lose confidence even tho im trying very hard to stay positive,even tho i no its not my all my fault, but its just getting so hard bc we always end up losing and they are making so many errors. I think im getting more fraustrate with the losing and i think that is what is getting me so mad, it really gets to me bc i put so much pressur eon me and hate to lose. Its not that ive done bad 32ks in 20 innings and let up 12 runs only 5-6 being earned. any tips on how to regain some confidence and deal with the errrors?

There are a couple of ways to handle this:

  1. Whenever a teammate boots a routine grounder, scream their name at the top of your lungs, and tell them how bad they are. Stomp around the mound with steam coming from your ears, and huff and puff your way to the rubber. Come set, then turn and throw the ball to first with all the speed and accuracy that your rage can muster. Stomp back to the rubber and yell at the 1st baseman for missing that ball you just threw in the dirt 10 feet wide of the bag. Lose all semblance of control, and have a total meltdown on the mound.

This will ensure that you never again have to deal with these teammates when you’re pitching. Because chances are real good you’ll never get the chance to pitch again.

Or:
2. Whenever a teammate boots a routine grounder, just turn to accept the ball from your infielder. Keep your chin high and your face and body relaxed. Have a quick conference with your SS and 2b to discuss how you’re going to work on the next hitter, and whether you can either pick off the runner at first or get the hitter to hit into a DP. Remember that once you deliver the ball, you can’t control its direction. Get the sign, nod, and go back to work.

This will ensure that your infielders don’t quit or give up; that they know you still have faith in them; that you are someone they can have faith in; and that you are all in this together, win or lose.

It will ensure that everyone watching, from your present coaches, to umpires, parents, opposing players, and perhaps some day scouts and potential future coaches, see that you are mature and relaxed, capable of performing your best even when others fail to.

It’s your choice how you react, and how you present yourself to the world. Remember, people can always identify a winner, even if he is on the losing side that particular day. And when you return to the dugout, your teammates can tell that you are a winner when you approach the kid who booted it and tell him that he’ll get the next one…and you believe it, no matter how many he mishandles.

Hang in there, kid!

It can be worse, Hose is right.
My son had very much the same issue and it started messing with his mound presence, even had some crap sr’s saying it was “his fault” they were losing games (5-8 errors per game and 2-3 past balls)…All the way until he snatched them from a loss to a team that couldn’t beat the local little league (We had our most successful sr on the mound and he was getting rocked)…You just have to persevere, get past the season and prepare for the next. Sometimes in baseball the chemistry just isn’t right and you’ve just got to grind it out and wait for change, stay ready and throw strikes…it’ll work out.

Hoseman…

I just wanted to say thanks for responding to this issue. I am going to print this and show it to my 13 year old son. This happens quite often to him, and although he doesnt react to the extreme that you described here…it almost always takes him out of his game…he still has some maturing to do. I hope this will help him down the road. Sometimes it works better when it doesnt come from Dad.

Thanks again.

Good replies so far. I’ll add two points.

First, freshman teams are often made up of some not-so-good players. Coaches often take on a lot of players because they look not only at who is good at the time but also at who has the potential to develop and help the varsity team down the road. In fact, the JV and varsity coaches might even get involved in the selection of the freshman team for this very reason. So, what I’m saying is that your son’s situation isn’t that rare at all.

Second, as your son moves up the ranks, he will be looked at more and more for how he handles himself on the mound. Coaches and scouts twill not want to see him easily flustered. They’ll want to see composure. Talking to his teammates as hoseman described demonstrates leadership and that is a good thing. Remember that there are a lot of things that the pitcher cannot control (e.g. bad umpire calls, obnoxious fans, foul weather, poor field conditions, errors by the defense, even whether or not the batters get hits). All the pitcher can really control is hitting his spots and his reactions to his emotions.