The son currently leads the team on his FROSH team with K’s and ERA. He is doing this as an eighth grader on a FROSH team with 9th graders. He was primarily a starter for the past 2 to 3 years but he is really enjoying coming in and shutting down the opposing team. I wanted to ask if there are any closers or former closers on this board who prepared themselves mentally. What kind of ritual you would go through. I also have seen his velocity stay higher since he knows he is only used for an inning or two.
I was a starter throughout my college years and for three years after that, but I spent my last summer closing games. It helps to really pay attention during the game, watch hitters and find out their tendancies. Try to envision how you would get that hitter out and what pitches you would throw him. How you would set him up to get himself out. Try to look into the future when the game is going on to see if you think you will be pitching that day. If it’s a close game, you might get “focused” a little sooner than in a blowout.
From a physical standpoint, have a routine. Stick to that routine and be physically ready to pitch when the coach calls on you. Never be caught off-guard. This will help mentally as well.