Overcoming Self-Doubt

Evening gentlemen,

Today I have been granted my first start for the team I joined a few months back.

After not throwing for roughly a year, but staying in shape, I went out to throw for a team in early June and it was very easy for them to take me in as I was a hard throwing lefty.

Since then, I have done a velocity program to get my arm in shape, which paid dividends. Now my arm is never sore and can throw harder than before due to a more baseball specific training routine.

But that is just background info. The main reason I am writing this is because all of a sudden a surge of self-doubt has started to rise in my mind.

I am 18, did not play my last year of high school, but have been doing so well with this team for the months since, that I was recruited to a top level Junior College in my area today.

After throwing with one of the pitching coach’s previous pitchers, he decided I would be a great fit for the team and he could develop me into something even better.

That is awesome. But here is where it gets rough. He told me he would come out and see me pitch my next game, and at the time that sounded exciting. I have always been a late reliever who shut the door the last three innings. I took care of what had to be done.

My first start is the day he comes out, and my mind is deceiving itself with the old “you are going to mess up” tactic.

I know it is very common for this to happen. I have read it over and over in Dorfman’s books, so I know this is no exception.

I come here in hopes someone could guide me in the right direction? Such as something I can do. Should I journal it? Meditate on it? Try to overcome it in my bullpen? Etc.

Anything appreciated, and thank you for your time.

Well this sounds fun as hell, as your first start! I’m about the same age as you so i know what it feels like to get your first start, i always worked as a reliever/closer.The only closure i can offer is to not worry about it. If you stress yourself out before the game, you’ll only tire yourself out going into the game. I know this isn’t easy to do. The only thing i can offer in this situation are the words that help keep me calm coming from someone i consider a mentor.

“Ego is the killer of men. Once you get rid of your ego you will realize there is no winning or losing, only do.”


I have my clients read the Stoic philosophies, watch what happens?

I suggest Alan Jaeger’s Getting Focused, Staying Focused. Book is all about being mentally prepared.

Excerpt - Getting Focused, Staying Focused will show you how to use your mind to your advantage, not to your disadvantage; how to access your natural resources, at will. By getting focused and staying focused, you will ensure that your “potential” is not just a label—that your mind is an avenue, and not an obstacle to realizing your potential.

I have used this book in the past with soccer goalies with great success. Matter of fact a pitcher for the Oregon State Beavers just used the these methods. Good article to read Kevin Abel Carries Oregon State Into College World Series Final

Hope this helps

In addition to what explosive pitching said, the mental game of baseball is also a good book to read for preparing for games.