Well, I pitched the first time ever today. I was really nervous and was wondering how I can bring that down also. But I got a strike out, walked two guys, and got some ground outs. I pitched for three innings and only threw two seams and four seams. I think what I am going to practice from now on is just control. I am going to start throwing sliders and curves a bit too. Can anyone tell me how to throw a curve and slider. I use a way I saw in a video how to throw a slider, but that breaks too early and breaks too much.
Well, some of those videos…I wouldn’t take them too seriously.
Here’s how I threw those two pitches. I used to throw my curveball with a sharp karate-chop wrist snap, and that worked very well for me. As for the slider, it should have a sharp late break, not necessarily a big one; the whole idea is to throw it with an easier wrist action—much like a chef flipping a pancake or a crepe—but you have to throw it with the same arm motion and the same arm speed as you do everything else. that was how I learned to do it, and the fact that I was a sidearmer all the way made things easier for me. 8)
Alright thanks Zita, I’ll work on those. Do you have any advice for when I get nervous?
That depends on what you mean by “nervous”.
What a lot of pitchers refer to as nervousness is really a rush of adrenaline, getting all revved up before a game. They get excited, eager to get out there and pitch—not a bad thing, but sometimes they overthrow, and that’s not such a good thing. The important thing is to recognize that adrenaline rush—recognize that you’re getting all fired up for the game—and make it work for you once you’re on the mound. Real nervousness is what some call the jitters, often accompanied by uncertainty—“Is my stuff working for me?”—and self-doubt. That we can all do without.
There’s a trick Mariano Rivera has used for years that works very nicely for him. Before he even starts to warm up prior to entering the game he takes a couple of minutes to get himself into a mindset that he calls “the eye of the tiger”—a quiet but very intense focus in which nothing exists for him except getting the batters out. He warms up, and when he goes out to take the mound he takes that focus with him. I’ve seen him do it many times—it might be a form of self-hypnosis, for all I know—and if you’ve ever watched him pitch you’ll see how he uses that focus. He often ends a game with a strikeout. 8)
I think what I had was an adrenaline rush. And I forgot to add one thing. Does it mean I am a bad pitcher if everyone was hitting my two and four seams? (all I threw were those two pitches)
Eric, even the best pitchers in MLB have days where it seems like everything they throw up there gets hit. Some insight into why those guys that day were hitting you as hard as you say…You tell us that all you threw was fastball’s. I assure you they recognized that too and sat on one until they got it in a location they liked. Don’t allow this to get you down or deter you from going forward! This was your FIRST time! What it SHOULD do is MOTIVATE you! A lot of people will ask, “What type of pitch should I throw first?” The answer? STRIKE ONE! Since you’re already working on your 2 and 4 seam fastballs, start working on a change up. If you can start to develop command of those 3 pitches you’ll experience more and more success, which in turn will lead to greater confidence in yourself. If you are willing to work hard, and overlook one bad outing then you will be setting yourself up for success!
Keep us all up to date on your continued progress!
Thanks for all the help guys. What kind of change up should I throw? Yesterday I tried one circle change and almost hit a kid, but all I need is to work on control.
No matter who you ask about a change up the answer you’re going to hear more often than not is “it’s a feel pitch”. It ultimately comes down to preference, but I’ve always preferred and throw myself the circle change. One way to help reinforce mechanics and muscle memory is to try throwing it during normal throwing and long toss sessions. Simply grip it as if you’re going to fire towards home, even if it’s a wall, or a throwing partner standing across from you. Throw it in bullpens and in between innings. The more you throw it, the greater comfort you’ll develop in throwing it. The ideal thing is to not slow up any part of your body, or mechanics to tip the change up is coming. The change in grip will do all the work for you. Same arm speed, same arm slot, same mechanics as a fastball. There are plenty of resources on youtube and baseball websights to give you a heads up on types of grips. No one is better than another. Through trial and error you’ll find the one that works BEST for YOU! Keep at it and watch it develop.
Work on it!