Mental control

Im a 17 year old high school pitcher. i am on varsity. i have a really good fastball and good off speed. i hit my spots. but my emotions get to me. if my team makes a couple error’s which seems to happen alot i go into a mode where i try and do it all my self which hurts me. i have been told by many coach i have really good stuff. what could i do to calm my self both during the game and out side of a game to change that. coaches feel it will hold me back in the long run?

the mental abc’s of pitching by dorfman. everything you need to know and more. can get complex. it’s a book

A couple of things here that might help. First, Satchel Paige once said, and I quote: “You have to believe in yourself. When you believe, you do.” Second, some words of advice I received from Ed Lopat, who was my pitching coach for several years (and the most incredible one anyone could ever hope to work with): he told me once, “You have some good fielders behind you. Let them do some of the work. Let them get a few outs for you now and then.” And—I don’t know exactly how he did this—he had a way of getting inside my head so we could explore my thought processes out there on the mound, and he taught me how to achieve the kind of focus that many years later I would see Mariano Rivera do: a quiet but very intense concentration that Rivera calls the “eye of the tiger”. Lopat also told me things about strategic pitching, about getting the batters out; one thing that always stuck with me in the more than two decades I pitched was "Figure out what the batter is looking for—and don’t give it to him."
And here is something the great Indians pitcher Early Wynn once said: "The mound is my office, and I don’t want anyone messing with it."
These are just a few things to keep in mind, and reading Dorfman’s book should help some more. 8)

I just posted a link to a 30 minute audio on the mental side of baseball and pitching. It’s one of the best I’ve heard on this topic:

If I were you I would go read a book called “Mind Gym”. It’s the best baseball book I’ve ever read, and it relates to all sports. Certainly the mental side of the game is the least talked about but the most valuable. You can only focus on things that are in your control. A teammate making an error, or an umpire missing a call is completely out of your hands. Focus on the next pitch. Read that book, it will make everyone in here a better pitcher, and a better man.

ood stuff for references. thanks guys

ehsbaseball said,

If you are a groundball pitcher and you have a third baseman with limited range, a shortstop that can’t go in the hole and make a play or a second baseman that drops the ball on a doubleplay bid or a firstbaseman that can’t catch a shorthop…well you get my drift. Not every pitcher can play for a state champion caliber team.

My advice is to understand that you may have to get four or five outs per inning. Knowing that, it becomes extremely important to you to get ahead in the count early with first pitch strikes, fear the walk like the plague and don’t get deep in counts. This will just be a means to survival.

I see defenses breaking down when the pitcher walks the first batter, then maybe hit the next one. All the sudden everyone is on the back of their heels, not expecting the next pitch to be hit and errors multiply. As the pitcher you create the tempo. Help your fielders stay focused by attacking the strike zone.

If you walk the leadoff batter and then your shortstop boots a made to order double play…who should you be mad at? The problem with adopting the doing it all yourself mode is that striking out the opposition requires more pitches on average than if you let your team help you. High pitch counts will never allow you to complete a game. If you believe being on the mound gives your team the best chance at winning then you want to maximize your innings and that means getting quick outs.

If you want to work on not getting upset at your teammates errors, you can do many things. Count every walk you give up the same as booting a routine play. A wild pitch…the same. A stolen base against you…same.
Often a pticher will focus on his teammates shortcomings because looking in the mirror is just too painful. The next game you pitch, try to go back and write down every mistake you made. In over a century there have been only 18 perfect games thrown.

Just some thoughts…

Some of the advice that was floating around the last club I was with was:
…Drink Better Stuff…

Coach B.

Right on, Dino!
You made three points which cannot be overemphasized—first, that the most important pitch is always strike one. Get ahead in the count, and you’ll get the batters out. Second, as Ed Lopat told me, let your fielders do some of the work and get a few outs for you—don’t feel that you have to do it alone. Third, if one of them makes an error, don’t let it get to you. Take a deep breath and refocus on the job at hand, which is getting the batters out. Just my fifty cents—inflation, you know. :slight_smile:

Listen, I have SAD and I have hallucinations, when I have to deal with those things, it puts my life in perspective. I’ve been a genius and a flake, a starter and reliever, but just remember to follow your faith and always know it could be a ton worse. So if you are gonna get pi$$ed at yourself because you might not be able to get a guy out, I’d advise you to really take some time and think about your emotions.