Thinking Too Much?

When I throw bullpens I throw just fine. For the most part I’m accurate and my mechanics seem to be fine. But when a batter steps into the box things go down hill. My mechanics change and my control goes away. I’m not afraid to hit the batter because I do hit them every once and awhile but I think I’m thinking to much. Also on comebackers to the mound that I field I often throw a wild throw to the bag. I don’t know why it’s like I don’t want to throw over there hard or something. All of these are mental issues and I need some ideas to help not think about these things and just play. Any suggestions because this really kills my playing time.

This sounds like you don’t trust your mechanics so you feel you need to change them. My suggestion is to prepare yourself the best you can. Commit yourself to working your hardest at practices. Do all the drills you should be doing. Throw all the throws you should be throwing. Your goal is to be able to enter games knowing that you’ve prepared the best you can. This will build confidence and help you trust the mechanics that you’ve practices over and over in practice.

Bad throws on comebackers are often cause by rushing and not properly setting the feet.

Regarding the thinking to much thing, you should have a plan for each batter and that’s what you should be thinking about. If you’re well-prepared like I described above, your mechanics should be automatic and you shouldn’t have to be thinking about them. Think about your plan.

"Think about your plan."

This is so key to everything…write it in the bill of your cap. But HAVE a plan. Have you talked to your coaches? What do they say?
I had a kid who was going through something similar…with him he would stare at the target…and stare…way too much time and if he would stare long enough he’d hit his target…if it was the backstop :lol: I had his catcher make him work to a tempo…get the ball, throw it. None of this walk around figure out world hunger and then get on the mound and stare, just simply work to a rhythm, what this does is force you to trust the same mechs you had in the pen…you don’t have time to re-arrange your mechanics each pitch. You should go to the mental aspects forum and find Dr. Solivan, he has a program to help focus, and relax.
The comebackers are something that likely if you just took a second, got your feet under you and follow the throw…you’ll never mess up again…many times it’s just in your mind, you think the runner can beat you…no way on earth is this going to happen so, think sequence…field it, pick up your target, get your feet straight and toss the ball, do you see worry about the runner in there? My guess is that you are somewhat of a perfectionist…as such you would worry way too much about messing up…come at it from another thought…I’m here because my coach has faith in my skills and if ever again I mess up…it ain’t nothin because the next pitch will get em.

Ive had that problem too. What I did to change it was just slow everything down. I slowed my wind up and I took a lot of deep breaths between pitches. It really works. Try it

Taking deep breaths and slowing yourself down between pitches is fine. But don’t slow down your wind-up. That is no different that what the original poster was doing - it says you don’t trust your mechanics. Even when struggling, you need to stick to what you’ve practiced - not switch to some different way of pitching that you haven’t practiced. Unless, of course, you haven’t prepared well. In that case, it probably doesn’t matter what you do.

i can give you 2 pieces of advice. first on throwing in the game. sounds like you’re being too fine. on your first pitch of the at bat, throw your best pitch you can throw for a strike anywhere in the bottom half of the zone. aim for dead center low. this will maximize your odds of getting it in the bottom half. if you do this, throw your 2nd pitch to the outside half preferably down. if the first pitch is a ball, do the same thing you did with the first pitch on the second pitch.

if you get the first 2 in there and go 0-2, you need to go inside. you must establish that you will throw inside. if you do not throw hard, throw inside off the plate. then come back with something soft away.

as far as the throw to first, here’s the rule, you only make a throw when you have to. if you can catch the come-backer and outrun him to the bag, do it. also, you should catch the ball and immediately begin to run toward first base, then underhand toss it to the first baseman. if you watch the big boys on tv this is the way they do it.

any ball to the right side of the infield they get to first, and the come-backer they run and underhand toss to the bag whenever possible.

get out there and work on your pfp’s too. there’s no excuse not to. you can do this tiger.

Dusty makes an excellent point on the 0-2 pitch. While any true “pitcher” understands there are no absolutes in pitch sequencing, pitching…no, better said as “owning” the inside 3rd (both on and off the plate) is critical at all levels of baseball. Even softer throwers need to have the guts to do this , although it may be more important for them to understand that misses need to be off the plate. It’s an apparent weakness of pitchers at all levels, including the big leagues . Personally I think the alluminum bat is much to blame ( and now with hitters body armor ), but I truly believe that piching inside is a piece of the art of pitching that is no longer executed or taught very well.

hey man, i had much the same problem as you last year. they way i overcame it was trying to throw the ball through the catcher’s mitt with your fastball. that’s all you think about. you zone in on his mitt and try to throw the ball through it. it forces you to focus on a spot and takes a lot of the “thinking” out of it. when you start pounding the zone with your fastball you will have much more confidence in your secondary pitches.

also with the throwing to first thing, i’ve been there before too, you just gotta be confident and make the throws. easier said than done, i know! mentally you have to think about what you ARE going to do. In the book The Mental Game of Baseball, he talks about how telling yourself “make a solid throw to his chest” is much more helpful than “don’t throw the ball away” because the latter is a negative image. your mind doesn’t process “don’t.” If I told you “don’t think about elephants for the next minute,” you’re gonna have elephants on your mind! Also, you just gotta practice a lot of ground balls/bunts and making hard throws to first in a non consequence environment. see if someone will stay with you after practice. thats how i beat it!