This is my senior year of baseball. It should be the funnest. But so far it has been the exact opposite. Going into this year I thought I was set. I had a breakthrough junior year and FINALLY gained my coaches confidence. After I ended pitching my last game of my junior year (It was a shut out) One of the coaches told me that I would be pitching A LOT of games next year. This year rolls around and one night I had a nightmare that i would be a bench warmer this year and it freaked the hell out of me. When try outs came along I pitched like straight up shit, but the coaches knew who I was so I made the team. After tryouts I was doubting my ability, but I got over it. I was pumped for the season to start my coach told me I was going to come in relief the first 2 games. I did not really have a problem with that. The first team we played was REALLY crappy. I went in for the last inning and my control was not very good. I walked 2 to open the inning, but then I struck out the side. The next game I came into the game when we were losing 9-0 nothing and I got tagged for 6 runs in 2 innings. My confidence was pretty shaken and so was my coaches. The next time I came in I was really pumped I thought this is where I am going to prove my worth! I went in on a 5-0 ball game and I ended up allowing 8 runs in 3 innings. The fielding behind me was TERRIBLE as they made 8 errors behind me, but my coach thought it was ALL my fault and I have not been in a game since. That was 3 games ago. I am freaking out my senior season is going down in flames right now. I thought I was college bound now I cannot even pitch at my highschool level anymore. I still think I am the best pitcher on the staff but the coach will not give me an oppurtunity anymore and you can tell that he has lost ALL his faith in me. I have no idea on where to go from here. Can anybody offer up some advice? Thank you.
IMO a must read. They cover so much in it, its impossible not to improve.
the thing you really need to do is just catch your coach and tell him “hey, you know i can pitch, the last time i was out i had no help behind me. Thats not fair.” Ask him to give you one more shot out of relief. Then go out there and have the mind set you got nothing to lose. Don’t worry about the circumstances of screwing it up, beleive that you can do it and you will, i had the same kinda deal going for me one year to. Just think while your on the mound.
Wow! You’re really up against it, aren’t you? Well, I’d like to share a story with you about something I might have been up against, and a nightmare is a part of it.
You hear stories from all sorts of pitchers, from peewee to the majors, all centering around one theme—“My stuff isn’t working!” This could take many forms—the fast ball has lost its hippity-hop, the curve ball hangs, the slider is flat, the knuckleball refuses to knuckle, can’t find the strike zone—but they all seem to have one thing in common, and that is fear. Apprehension. Uncertainty. Well, during the winter of 1952-53 I started thinking about this and wondering how I would handle such a situation if I encountered it. Then suddenly the “how would I handle it” became “Could I handle it?”, and one night I had a terrific nightmare.
In this nightmare I was warming up to come into a game in relief to protect a one-run lead in the ninth inning, when I discovered that my two best pitches, the slider and the knuckle-curve, had gone into hiding and refused to come out. And when I came into the game I saw that the opposing batters had grown to twelve feet high and their bats were now six feet long! At that point I awoke with a start, and I couldn’t get back to sleep for a couple of hours; I just sat there and stared into the darkness.
Fast-forward to early May, 1953. I was going to a Yankee game, and I arrived at about 3:45 PM when I saw my pitching coach—Yankee ace Ed Lopat—pull up in his car and get out. We got into a conversation, and I suddenly started to tell him about that nightmare—I couldn’t help it. He listened for a minute, and then he quietly interrupted with “We’ll start there.” He introduced me to a psychological strategy I’d had no idea he knew anything about. He got me into a state of deep relaxation, and we explored the situation—and in very short order we hit on the real focal point: my uncertainty and anxiety about my ability to pitch in tight situations with less than my best stuff. In about an hour he knocked the whole thing out of commission, restored my confidence, gave me more reassurance and support than I had ever thought possible, and completely demolished any anxieties I might have had about this. That night I watched him pitch a three-hit shutout, no walks, seven strikeouts, and the Yanks won 8-0 or something like that.
And the next day, when I was scheduled to pitch, I went out and pitched a two-hit shutout of my own. I never had that problem again. You just never know what a pitching coach who really knows which end is up can do to help…
The first thing you need to do is take a step back and relax man. Take a breath man. It sounds like you’re worrying about a ton of stuff right now. You’re wasting time and energy over things you can’t control. You mentioned your coach, and what he could be thinking, and all this other stuff. Focus on one thing, and one thing only, MAKING PITCHES. You even mentioned your teammates and all the errors they committed. You’re focusing your energy on things that are out of your command. You also mentioned college ball! Again, something that is way out of your control at the moment. Live from pitch to pitch, or throw to throw when your playing catch. Don’t waste your time, energy, or your thoughts.
Thanks guys! Your insight was great Zita Carno. An update for you guys. I came in for relief on Friday. We were losing 2-1 and I pitched 4 shut out innings only allowing 1 hit and recieved the win. I hope this can regain my coaches confidence in me. He did not seem too impressed about it like my teammates were. I think he is upset at me over something, he is acting weird. Maybe he needs to see more before he believes that I am back.
Great job man. This may be a little late but I see examples of it on my team all the time. We have 2 pitchers that have great stuff in fact one of them is a lefty throwing 90+ with a devastating change and movement on all his pitches, when there’s an error made, he feels like he has to K everyone, when this happens he walks people when he walks people the fielders fall asleep, when the fielders fall asleep more errors happen and it keeps on going.
The other one start out thinking he has to K everyone, he throws mid 80s and has one of the dirtiest curves I’ve seen. When he tries to K everyone he overthrows, then he walks people, then the ball goes to the backstop then fielders start falling asleep then errors happen. One time he walked 10 in the 1st inning, I kid you not.
The moral of the story? Relax, throw strikes, get outs not Ks.