Never Give Up


#1

If I can give one piece of advice to players of any age, it’s this: Never give up. No matter how tough it seems, how much your coach doesn’t like you, how little playing time you get, just never give up. I was never the best player on my team, and through most of high school I was a reserve coming in to whatever position they needed me at. I realized while doing this that if I wanted to achieve my goal of playing college baseball I was gonna need to do something about it. I decided to switch to pitching. It was the best decision I have ever made. After years of being the bench player, my senior year I broke out. I was the best pitcher on the team. I started being recruited by several colleges, and finally achieved my goal of playing college baseball. I am now at my third college, and have played ball at every one of them. It just goes to show that even if things look bleak and you think you may never reach your goal, NEVER GIVE UP. You never know what opportunities may come your way.


#2

Great advice in baseball and life. Remember that when you give up, you are also giving up on your team mates. Be ready to play or be somewhere else. How would you react if you noticed one of them giving up on a fly ball or a grounder up the middle? Suck it up and give it your best effort all the time.

I had a coach come to pull me out late in a game after I had walked two in a row after getting two outs. I tried to convince him that I could get the last out. I could usually convince coaches to give me one more batter. Sometimes I got out of the jam; sometimes I didn’t.

Well, this coach had a different response and I always thought about it from that day forward. “Hey, you pitched a good game. If you had anything left, you should have used it two batters ago and we wouldn’t be standing here right now.”

I wasn’t too happy as I left the mound, but he was right. From that point on, I made sure I gave my best effort all the time. I’m sensitive to people who claim to give 110%. It’s cliché and to me, signifies someone who doesn’t work hard or try hard.

I never allow anyone to use a number greater than 100% on my teams and I’m strict and almost insane about it. 100% is all you have. Period. End of discussion. It only feels like you are giving 110% because you only consistently give me 90%. I only ask one thing of you. Everything you’ve got.


#3

And here’s another thought: if you give up, you’re giving up on yourself—ever think of that? I was thinking about two such situations, and I’d like to share them with you. First, there was a young (high-school) pitcher who had inexplicably lost the feel of his curveball and couldn’t get it back. He was ready to give up—and then one day he attended a pitching workshop conducted by my wise and wonderful pitching coach at a playing field near Yankee Stadium. I was watching, and that pitching coach—Eddie Lopat—suddenly sized up the situation; he seemed to have a sixth sense about things like that. He walked over to the kid and told him: “Get off the mound, sit down, and pick up a baseball. Feel it. Feel all 108 seams on that ball. Feel the smooth surface of that ball. Get the entire sense of that ball; let it talk to you. Next day, get up on the mound, but don’t throw the ball—repeat the same sequence I just told you. A day later, go into the bullpen, and stand there on the mound and repeat the same sequence—then get a grip that you use when throwing a curve, and think about what you just did, and get the sense of what it’s like to throw a good curve Really think about it, let it get inside your head. A day later, go back into the bullpen with a catcher in tow, have him set up with a mitt and perhaps a mask, and then repeat this same sequence—and then throw ten, fifteen curveballs, always keeping in mind the sense of what it feels like to throw a good curveball. Nothing else matters at that moment—just throw a good curveball.” The kid got his curveball back, got the real feel for the pitch, and never had another problem with it. It became his best pitch.
The other instance was not so lucky. The Cincinnati Reds had a pitcher named Jay Hook who when he was good was very, very good but when he was bad he stank on hot ice. On one occasion he stank, and then some; he was lambasted from here to the moon, every pitch being turned into line-drive base hits, and in the fifth inning he had to be removed from the game. He returned to the dugout and sat down in a corner and bemoaned the loss of his fastball. “Without my fastball I can’t pitch.” Reliever Jim Brosnan, who might have made a very good pitching coach had he been so inclined, tried in vain to explain to him that “No one has all his good stuff every time out. That’s when you learn this game. You have other pitches to throw; use them when your fastball isn’t there.” Hook didn’t hear him; he just sat there and moaned and wailed “Without my fastball I can’t pitch” over and over again. The poor fish didn’t last very long in the majors after that. He had given up on himself because of one pitch—whereas the kid at the workshop listened to what Lopat had told him, followed instructions, and got the feel for his pitch back.
Now—what does that tell you? 8)


#4

And here’s another thought: if you give up, you’re giving up on yourself—ever think of that? I was thinking about two such situations, and I’d like to share them with you. First, there was a young (high-school) pitcher who had inexplicably lost the feel of his curveball and couldn’t get it back. He was ready to give up—and then one day he attended a pitching workshop conducted by my wise and wonderful pitching coach at a playing field near Yankee Stadium. I was watching, and that pitching coach—Eddie Lopat—suddenly sized up the situation; he seemed to have a sixth sense about things like that. He walked over to the kid and told him: “Get off the mound, sit down, and pick up a baseball. Feel it. Feel all 108 seams on that ball. Feel the smooth surface of that ball. Get the entire sense of that ball; let it talk to you. Next day, get up on the mound, but don’t throw the ball—repeat the same sequence I just told you. A day later, go into the bullpen, and stand there on the mound and repeat the same sequence—then get a grip that you use when throwing a curve, and think about what you just did, and get the sense of what it’s like to throw a good curve Really think about it, let it get inside your head. A day later, go back into the bullpen with a catcher in tow, have him set up with a mitt and perhaps a mask, and then repeat this same sequence—and then throw ten, fifteen curveballs, always keeping in mind the sense of what it feels like to throw a good curveball. Nothing else matters at that moment—just throw a good curveball.” The kid got his curveball back, got the real feel for the pitch, and never had another problem with it. It became his best pitch.
The other instance was not so lucky. The Cincinnati Reds had a pitcher named Jay Hook who when he was good was very, very good but when he was bad he stank on hot ice. On one occasion he stank, and then some; he was lambasted from here to the moon, every pitch being turned into line-drive base hits, and in the fifth inning he had to be removed from the game. He returned to the dugout and sat down in a corner and bemoaned the loss of his fastball. “Without my fastball I can’t pitch.” Reliever Jim Brosnan, who might have made a very good pitching coach had he been so inclined, tried in vain to explain to him that “No one has all his good stuff every time out. That’s when you learn this game. You have other pitches to throw; use them when your fastball isn’t there.” Hook didn’t hear him; he just sat there and moaned and wailed “Without my fastball I can’t pitch” over and over again. The poor fish didn’t last very long in the majors after that. He had given up on himself because of one pitch—whereas the kid at the workshop listened to what Lopat had told him, followed instructions, and got the feel for his pitch back.
Now—what does that tell you? 8)


#5

Well, maybe this post did repeat itself—but some things are definitely worth repeating. Now if only people would listen… :slight_smile:


#6

Visualizing success can be almost as effective as having had success in the past. A pitcher can relive a successful pitch over and over in their mind and it will be just as effective in building self-confidence.

Being confident before making a pitch has a lot of positive influence on the actual pitch.

He had visualized that curve ball in his head hundreds of times before actually having to throw one. His mind was in a good place to make success happen.