Game Face


#1

fantastic blog post here, talking about putting on your “game face” when you get onto the mound.

http://danblewett.com/2010/12/put-on-your-game-face-and-start-the-show/#more-1639

what do you think about this?


#2

Good stuff, Lefty…game face, emotion control, mound presence—these are important but underrated qualities, especially at the lower levels of baseball.

It just seems very difficult for some pitchers to keep their disappointment under wraps when something goes wrong–but emotional control and a commanding presence are definitely among the points that separate effective pitchers from ineffective ones.

It’s important to realize that every pitcher is going to have moments when he feels really bad about what’s going on, maybe even about himself, but the best pitchers seem to be able to separate that internal turmoil from the exterior they show to their teammates and opponents.

Even if you have to fake a calm-and-in-command exterior when the stuff is hitting the fan, go ahead and fake it…doing that is much, much better than the alternative.


#3

[quote=“laflippin”]Good stuff, Lefty…game face, emotion control, mound presence—these are important but underrated qualities, especially at the lower levels of baseball.

It just seems very difficult for some pitchers to keep their disappointment under wraps when something goes wrong–but emotional control and a commanding presence are definitely among the points that separate effective pitchers from ineffective ones.

It’s important to realize that every pitcher is going to have moments when he feels really bad about what’s going on, maybe even about himself, but the best pitchers seem to be able to separate that internal turmoil from the exterior they show to their teammates and opponents.

Even if you have to fake a calm-and-in-command exterior when the stuff is hitting the fan, go ahead and fake it…doing that is much, much better than the alternative.[/quote]

which brings up two facets of the mental game that we worked on this fall at UMD.

The first is routine. We actually practiced our pre-pitch routines so that there is a sense of consistency no matter what the situation. The routines always have a deep breath to calm you down, whether you’re a hitter or a pitcher. And routines allow for a “release.” You don’t step on the rubber or in the batters box until you’ve flushed away the pitch before and are ready to live in the present moment.

So for me:

-receive the ball from catcher
-take set path back to the rubber, put back foot just behind rubber
-look back to second base (pick up signs from middle infielders if there are runners on, otherwise this just serves to keep consistency)
-shake out throwing arm, find changeup preset grip
-toe the rubber once I’ve released the previous pitch, lean in, ball behind back hip
-get the sign, inhale deep as I bring my hands up and together, exhale out as I come set
-repeat a keyword in my head (ex. “untouchable”)
-pitch.

The second is something Brian Cain talked to us about, which is “faking it until you make it.” This is basically what the article talked about. You act like you belong on the mound, like you own it. Even if you’re uncomfortable, you don’t show it and you don’t back down. You will start to believe it after a while and that external confidence will become internal. Recognize that this strategy gives you the best chance for success.