How much does your coach talk about the mental side?

A lot? Not much? Not at all?

Why?

Bob O’Brein at Indian River State here in Florida is big on keeping guys head in the game, talks the mental aspect as much as he conditions his pitchers, he uses film and movies to help consider stategy and the philosophy of attack he’d like his staff to consider…The why to me is easy and obvious…He’s one of the very best pitching oriented head coaches in the sport at that level…I will also say that I know several top tier D-1 coaches and their opinion of him is one of great respect and honor.

Reminds me very much of my pitching coach, many moons ago—Ed Lopat, a key member of the Yankees’ Big Three rotation in the late 40s to the mid-50s and one of the finest pitching coaches one could ever hope to work with. He was heavily into the mental and psychological aspects of pitching as well as the strategic, and a lot of the time when he would talk to me about strategic pitching he would talk about getting inside the batters’ heads, discombooberating them, messing up their timing and their thinking. Often he would get inside my head—I was never sure just how he would do that—and we would explore what I was thinking about as I faced one or another hitter. I recall how he made me feel comfortable and kept me relaxed and receptive to the information, advice and instruction I received from him—yes, there was a lot more to pitching than just learning how to throw a changeup!
Lopat would often tell me stories from his own experience to illustrate points, and when he talked I listened. He had an eerie way of being able to zero in instantly on something that wasn’t right with a pitcher; for example, when one time I told him I was working on the crossfire he stopped me and said “Let’s see what you’re doing with it. Just go through the move.” I did so, and immediately he called my attention to the fact that I wasn’t getting quite the momentum going into it from the stretch the way I was from the full windup—and he showed me how to correct that problem. Another time I found myself telling him about a nightmare I had had one night in which I just “lost it” on the mound, and he broke in and said quietly “We’ll start there”—and he introduced me to a psychological strategy I’d had no idea he knew anything about; we explored in depth and hit on the focal point of the problem immediately. In an hour he knocked that problem out of commission, restored my confidence and demolished any anxieties I might have had about the situation. There’s a lot more—but you get the idea. And the fact that he was an active major league pitcher certainly didn’t hurt. 8) :slight_smile:

Not much, he’s all about mechanics and looking at that knuckler of mine.

He likes your knuckler, I guess—why not teach him how to throw it? :slight_smile:

Not one word mentioned! Haha I have to take care of myself out there.