Pitching in games

my son is 11 when he works with a pitching instructor he is awesome,people will watch him and talk about how much speed and control he has,we gets into the game he is all over the place,how do you take practice pitching into the game?

It sounds like he has the symptoms of either over-thinking it or pushing himself beyond what he needs to (Wants to “show” everyone). The more relaxed reps the better…have him throw in more practice games, without the crowd just to give him the ability to relax and apply his training without worrying about k’ing everyone or being top dog. Consider where you are in the mix…does your presence “pressure” him to meet the old mans expectations? This is a common factor…whether conciously or not he may feel pressure to be perfect which translates into the attempt to be pefect…an impossibility at his age…remember he won’t be in the World Series for at least another decade and a half…fun is what this should be…being unsuccessful is no fun. My opinion is that you control the pressure cooker…let the steam off/out.

Live fire … game time… is not the controlled environment that your boy has while with his private lessons. In fact, it’s not unusual at all for a talented pitcher, or any athlete for that matter, to have a sense of “tunnel vision” when in an open competitive environment. This is usually accompanied by a huge feeling of uncertainty, with no end in sight.

Basically, what’s missing in your son’s appearance during game time are REFERENCES. References are things that your son can relate to, and offer up a sense of familiarity. Some pitchers have a routine on the mound that they follow religiously. A step by step procedure that preempts every pitch. Hence, all of sudden … the kid is not alone anymore on the mound and he can settle in to a more relaxed state of mind.

Here’s what I suggest:
 Approach the mound from the same side all the time.
 Start with the frontal area where his stride foot lands and smooth it out filling in holes.
 Then go the spot right in front of the rubber and fill in any hole and smooth it out.
 Take the first three warm up pitches from the spot where his stride foot lands, and pick a target on his catcher. Pick the mask, the top right shoulder, top left shoulder…. And stay focused on that spot… location…
 Take the remaining warm up pitches from in front of the rubber and concentrate on the same target. Stay focused… focused….focused.
 At his age he should focus on not being too fancy with his pitch selection.
 His pitch selection should be THROWING STRIKES, even if it sails right down the middle of the plate. He should concentrate on targeting his pitches on a location of the catcher. Like the mask, top right shoulder, top left shoulder. Again, stay focused.
 He should practice breathing in controlled increments. Concentrate on smooth and easy breathing on the mound. By controlling his breathing, he controls the rate at which his tempo
of performance depends upon.

Coach B.