Pitching your best when out of your comfort zone

i don’t know why/how to explain it but whenever I pitch out of my comfort zone—whether it be I’m staying at a hotel, its the beginning of the season and i havent pitched in a while, the opposition has an reputation for being excellent hitter ect…i always perform my best on the mound. i feel its a nervousness (jitters)/focus wrapped into one that allows me to compete at a much higher level------- fastball has more pop on it, curve has better break, change more sink, and i strike out more than 1 an inning.

when i’m in my complete comfort zone i never do as well

does/has anyone had these same emotional/mental feelings?
is there any way to achieve this feeling regularly? through diet?

I know what you’re saying. Last season I pitched one of my best games after i had been puking in the hotel until 3 in the morning with a hour rain delay after i had already warmed up for the 1st inning.

Chew, I think I know what you’re getting at, and I believe that a large part of the situation is physical rather than mental. For example, you have a pitcher who’s tired, whose arm is tired, whatever—and often that pitcher will find that his stuff will do just what he wants it to do, no more and no less. And that pitcher will go out there and pitch a very good game, a winning game, because he doesn’t feel like forcing the issue. He doesn’t want to push it. He’ll just get out there and get the outs. And if he feels that he can’t go more than, oh say seven innings, he’ll tell the manager, and the bullpen will pick up the slack.
Or he’ll feel the frustration building up during a rain delay. He wants to get out there and pitch, is what he wants to do, and the rain doesn’t want to stop. What he can do—and a lot of pitchers will do this—is go down into the tunnel with another player and play catch, just to stay loose, and if he’s not feeling all that comfortable with the behavior of one of his pitches he’ll take the time to work on it a bit. And suddenly everything will fall into place.
Some pitchers will sit and do crossword puzzles or figure out their income tax or take a snooze. The important thing to remember is that you don’t want to tighten up and work yourself into such a state that you can’t pitch. Your comfort zone, as you call it, is always within reach, and you can always haul it in. And one more thing—the pitcher who has been spending his time barfing in the bathroom might have an upset stomach, perhaps a virus or from disagreeing with something that ate him, and he might be better off sitting this game out; he should go back to the hotel and have a cup of hot tea and a slice of well-done toast and get back into bed and just rest while another pitcher steps into the breach. No sense knocking yourself out. :slight_smile: 8)

Interesting thought.

Personally if I’m not calm I can’t pitch, it’s tough for me. The factor in your phenomena is that when you say nervousness/focus the focus part is key. You are focused and therefore more ready to pitch.

It probably differs from person to person. I’m more focused when I’m calm and relaxed so I always take my time to relax and calm myself before a game no matter if I’m playing first or pitching.

[quote=“Pustulio”]You are focused and therefore more ready to pitch.

I agree. It heightens your sense of awareness, and leads to better pitching. I was the same way as the original poster.

^ Yay someone agrees with something I said, I feel special now.

steven is there anything you did/took to aid your sense of awareness? I’ve been prescribed adderall and think this may help.

Adderall can definitely help, that’s why it’s banned in MLB now unless a player has a Therapeutic Use Exemption (Doctor’s note).

Sometimes coffee. Sometimes caffeinated gels, bars, etc. Ripped fuel and supplements like that made me feel like my heart was going to jump out of my chest, so I tended to stay away from that kind of stuff. I also didn’t use caffeine all the time. Just sometimes when relieving in pro ball, cause the season was long and the nights were long before I got the opportunity to close out the game in the 9th.

Interesting, I’ve never even though to use caffeine to enhance my alertness and focus, I’ve always thought caffeine hindered performance.

A lot of runners/sprinters use caffeine (equivalent to 1 cup of coffee) as a boost. But moderation is really key. Too much is actually against NCAA rules, etc.

I am wild when I’m nervous. Also, if I try to throw softer, and not just bring it, I lose control over my fastball.

A lot of runners/sprinters use caffeine (equivalent to 1 cup of coffee) as a boost. But moderation is really key. Too much is actually against NCAA rules, etc.[/quote]

Hmm… Interesting I’ll have to try out that 5 hour energy stuff one of these days.