Dealing with nervousness on the mound

Im a starting pitcher for my schools varsity team. I am the only sophomore on the team and all the other starting pitchers are seniors. The first inning of every game i start i get really nervous and my leg shakes a little bit and i throw the ball up in the zone. As the game goes on i get more relaxed and hit my spots.

How can i deal with my nervousness before the game and while on the mound to get rid of the jitters before they effect my game?

Should i try chewing gum on the mound? seeds?

I personaly don’t like seeds on the mound,but one thing ido just to keep my self occupied invetween pitches is I step off the moud and go to my mouth then wipe it off. So maybe try something like go behind the mound and adjust your hat every time or really whatever you want. And just remember your there cause ur good so you don’t need to be nervous

I know it as the “Fight or Flight Syndrome”. You are on a temporary adreneline overdose which cause the shakes and other performance debilitating conditions like “tunnel vision.” The more experience you get the less reaction you will have. In the meantime, there are a few simple things you can do to help. The first is to stay away from the energy drinks like “monsters” immediately before the game.

The other things might sound really crazy but if you keep in mind that the brain is overdosing itself because it feels threatened then you’ll understand. Deep breathing exercises help especially if you can picture in your mind the oxigen actually going into your calf muscles. Don’t breath rapidly, take it slow and deep. Try to imagine all your body joints expanding with the oxigen until you feel as though you are floating off the ground. Envision that you are stretching like a piece of putty. If you can reduce your tension just a little this will actually trigger a recovery and your mind will convince itself that everything is under control.

You can probably do this while sitting on the bench. I’ve done it while sitting in a car under some pretty intense situations where flight seemed like the most appropriate action but fight was required.

This happens a good deal of the time—a pitcher starts a game and he’s nervous as a cat. The problem is most likely that he has too much juice on his pitches, and it takes him a couple of innings before he settles down and gets into a nice rhythm. This happened to John Smoltz in the first game of the 1996 World Series, and it did take him two innings before he settled down, and from then on he was untouchable. So what you could do is, when you’re warming up, pitch an inning or two in your head and use up some of that adrenaline—that way you’ll have enough, but not too much, when you go out to take the mound. Your control will be a lot better too. :slight_smile:

lol, don’t worry about it ZBoyle. I can identify with this totally, this used to happen to me before all big starts I had. It’s all adrenalin and it’s natural. If you weren’t pumped up, you wouldn’t be human.

I liked to take my time that first inning and do some breathing between hitters and especially after the first inning.

Stu

just shut of everything on your mind, and its just you, the catcher, and the batter. Forget the parents or the girls in the crowd, forget the other team in their dugout yelling to cheer on their batter. Just have your mind set on just doing your job. If your job means to strike the guy out, or to let him ground the ball, just do your job.

I generally just go out there and just focus on each pitch individually and don’t even think about anything else. After every pitch if I’m starting to get into a jam I have this thing where I don’t even realize I do it until someone tells me but kind of like what Lsufan said I wipe my sleeve across my nose and I guess it helps me relax.

Just remember you’re starting as a sophomore for a reason, they want you out there and you are a good pitcher.

You remember the movie Hardball? There was that kid that pitched with his headphones on and listened to his favorite song? Without taking it to an extreme if you have to put some sort of song or rhythm in your head then do it.

Don’t worry about all the other things going on or people watching you just get your sign, focus on the target and pop it in there.

[quote=“Pustulio”] Hardballquote]

good movie

The only way i found to succesfully eliminate nervousness is confidence my sophmore and junior year of high school admitably i was nervous each start and thats normal its only human. But you have to try to get by that because quite frankly your not gonna perform your best when your nervous. Your out there for a reason and know that believe in your abilities and have a little swag out there persay. Deep breaths help i always take a big deep breath before each oitch no matter if im nervous or not.

Some of those as well as other tips stated above helped me lose my nervous jitters, but more importantly success helped the most. Because i knew i could perform and i knew i could get the job done out there my teamates supported me and i felt great.

To sum it up for what you can do RIGHT NOW to help when your out there just get in your own little world just focus on you and the catcher take deep breaths and just think no one is going to touch my stuff. Forget what anyone else says while your on the mound take advice and critisim in the dugout and for any negative comments shrug them of because you do deserve to be out there.

best of luck mate