Help with an 11 yr-old fearful of letting go on the mound

One of my pitchers is very talented. He has a nice simple set of mechanics and in his side-sessions and bullpens he’s lights-out, but when he is on the mound during the game he shuts down. He short arms the ball and and basically aims it towards the plate. He has never been wild to the point of hitting or injuring another player, but he seems to not be able to trust himself on the mound. Do you have any recommendations?

I have had several guys with the problem.

The only thing that works is to continually tell them to focus on the glove and let it rip. It can take a long time before they begin to trust you.

The root cause of the problem is likely either fear of come-backers or fear of hitting the batter. If the fear is of come-backers, then you have to remind him to keep the ball down. If the fear is of hitting batters, then you have to convince him that the ball will go where the eyes go. That’s why he has to focus on the glove.

Another thing to do is to have him warm up with a batter in the box. This will teach him to shut out the batter and just focus on the glove.

You just have to be extremely patient.

The worst thing you can do is crush his self esteem. you hav to make him feel comfortable on the mound whether it means telling him the game doesn’t matter or just telling him he did good no matter what

your bumping a topic from like aug 2006