Hey all, I’ve noticed that many of the most discussed topics are based around building arm strength, mechanics, and new pitches. What i think my most glaring weakness is, and i’m sure others are with me, admit it or not, is the mental side of the game. Then again. Even those with a great baseball mind get outsmarted by that little 5 ounce ball every once in awhile, that’s baseball. but my question here is what are some thoughts on the mental aspect of pitching? Pitch sequences, reading a batter’s tendencies. Remember certain swings and learning from them. What are some things you’ve learned over your baseball life that have helped you be successful. Because i think any ballplayer can agree that the mental side of baseball is just as important as the physical strength and talent of the game. Just wanted to pick some people’s minds on what they’re thinking out there on the bump
I am thinking, situation, how the defense is set up, what pitch I want to throw, watching the batter and his approach to the box…I want to know if I am in that batters head before I throw a pitch.
Yogi Berra once stated that pitching is 90% mental and the other half is physical. If you stop to think about it you come to realize that this is actually the case even if the numbers aren’t altogether correct. Pitching is, indeed, actually as much mental and psychological a part of the game as all the strictly physical stuff.
My pitching coach was heavily into the mental and psychological aspects of the game, and in our frequent discussions of strategic pitching we would get into that. He was particularly interested in my mental processes out there on the mound—what I was thinking about how to deal with different types of hitters, for example—and from time to time he would get inside my head, I don’t know just how he would do that, but he did, and together we would explore this aspect of pitching. He pointed out that there is a lot more to pitching than just throwing the ball over the plate and daring the batter to hit it. He also told me a lot about -one of the most essential parts of the game—confidence, not only knowing what pitch to throw when and where but also being absolutely sure about my abilitiy to get the batter out with that pitch. At times I had the distinct feeling that we were just two pitchers comparing notes, and I liked that.
There are several good informative books on the mental game of baseball, such as the one by Dorfman, if you want to investigate this further. 8)
Concentrating one pitch at a time helps me, especially when I’m in a jam.
It helps to be able to focus on each single pitch because I’m not worrying about what happened or what could happen.
Brian Cain has a good website- he’s a peak performance coach (speaker, author, and educational leader). Look him up-
Vince Lombardi once said:
“The difference between a successful person and others is not lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.”
Harry Sheehy (athletic director, William’s College)-
“It is your response to winning and losing that makes you a winner or a loser.”
“If there is no control of the mind, there can be no control of how the body reacts.” - Dalai Lama
CardsWin, let me add one more thing—something the great Satchel Paige once said: “You have to believe in yourself. When you believe, you do.” I don’t think anyone could have put it more succinctly.
What a great quote. Seems to put it all in perspective in one simple line.
Amen. Check out the Mental Game of Baseball book. One of my favs! Confidence and a sense of belonging is key to success, especially in hs, college and pro ball for younger kids.