I did constantly. I’d even audibly mother F the batters I faced. It pumped me up. Do you have any tips for building confidence through self-talk on the mound? Sayings?
You’d be surprised at how many pitchers talk to themselves on the mound. A prime example was Mark Fidrych, who talked nonstop—to the ball, to the rosin bag, to just about any inanimate object at hand. And of course, to himself. There was a pitcher named Bill Faul who used to hypnotize his pitching arm, so he said, and there were others who would just talk to the arm: “Hi there, arm,” “How’s it going, arm,” “Okay, do your stuff, arm”—things like that. I remember what I used to do when I took the mound: I would imagine myself as an absolutely evil sorceress with an arsenal of offspeed and breaking pitches with which I would bewitch and bedevil the opposing batters and cackle to myself when I retired the side in order, which was most of the time.
I posted this on an earlier topic, but it’s worth mentioning again.
An umpire was shaking his head and leaning into our catcher during one inning … that drew my attention. It seemed like nothing, until the ump called time … walked half way to the mound with his mask in hand and told my guy “one more time with the face and muttering about the balls and strikes and he was gone!” I sprang out of the dugout and jogged over to the two now engaged in a conversation … with my pitcher motioning… what did I do? The ump turned to me and said this man is gone if he gets one more look that even suggests he’s being squeezed! When I asked my pitcher if that’s what he was doing … he said “ heck no”. He was just singing to himself … it took the pressure off. “Ok fella, what ya singing?” asked the ump. My guy says he’s singing that song about the lions that were raised by these people … then set free. It goes something like this … " Born free… my father’s a doctor…" The Home Plate Umpire walked back to the plate, shaking his head, and I heard him mutter to himself … " their nuts … their all nuts
No, not really. I did talk to myself internally. I used to let the sarcasm rip while talking to myself about each batter. I’d find a weakness or a hole in their swing and be merciless.
Right there with you Steven. I’m a mean man on the pitchers man. Real sarcastic. “Aw you can’t hit a sinker under your hands. That’s a real shame that you suck so bad…” That was usually the tone of my mutterings.
Then occasionally I’d be real self deprecating. “Really, you can’t strike this b**** out?” or “Come on throw a good slider, it’s not that hard.”
We pitchers are a weird bunch.