Relaxing on the mound


#1

First off, a little background! So I am a sophomore this year, and playing JV ball, pitching in relief. I was cut as a freshman, and made it this year based purely on using my left hand to throw! Now, I am a pretty decent pitcher during bullpen sessions(which i was able to show off during tryouts this year), and I have pitched successfully in games before. Just not at the high school level.

My coach, thankfully, is committed to getting me into my prime as a pitcher. And has given me plenty of chances that a lot of other coaches might not have. You see, when I go out on the mound, I just need to relax and let loose! I end up trying to steer the ball, and lose velocity(which i don’t have much to spare to begin with). I just can’t throw a decent strike to save my life! When I do finally throw one, its usually just left up and hit hard every time. How can I get myself relaxed out there?

I know I’ll get more opportunities to pitch, because as my coach has said “I’m gonna get your confidence up, if I have to do it one batter at a time.” :lol:


#2

Watch Mariano Rivera.
From the moment he starts stretching in the bullpen, through his warmup. to when he comes out of the bullpen to take the mound, you’ll see it. He gets into a mindset that he calls “the eye of the tiger”—a quiet, intense focus where nothing exists for him except getting the batters out, and within that focus is an incredible relaxation, an unshakeable confidence. He takes the mound—he takes his warmup throws—and from then on, all that exists for him is the strike zone. He throws that cutter, usually in the low to mid-90s (although he can hit 97 when he feels like it), and I for one am continuously surprised that the opposition doesn’t send him a bill for all the bats he breaks! And he gets those delicious outs, sometimes by just striking out the side.
One can learn a lot about relaxation on the mound from him. 8)


#3

One common tactic is to take a deep breath and blow itout before every pitch. Has a relaxing effect on the body.