Besides the obvious, there are signs that you give the opposing bench that you’re not prepared – you’re in trouble. It’s those little things that indicate your nerves are up, you’re unsure of what’s what, and basically, you’re going to get lit up and bad.
Here’s what is obvious :
- You’re putzing around on the mound, smoothing out the surface, repeatedly when there’s no need to.
- You’re constantly going to first checking a runner, and overly so.
- You get the ball back from your last pitch, walk around the mound rubbing the ball, again and again and again.
- You keep fiddling with your cap, adjusting the fit, wiping your forehead, rotating your neck.
- You constantly look around making eye contact with your infielders.
- You shake off sign after sign, after sign, after sign.
- You repeatedly look towards your bullpen (or what serves as a warmup area) to see if another pitcher is about to replace you.
- You repeatedly dry spit.
- You take deep breaths and exhale twice during your set motion.
There are other subtle indicaitons with body language and stuff, but you get the idea.
Just remember that you’re out there because someone put their trust in you to do a job. A job that you asked for. A job that you accepted with all the knowledge, before hand, of what was expected of you.
So, nothing really starts until you decide to pitch. You have a lot of responsibility out there. In fact, this kind of responsibility is not for everyone – but there it is.