Confidence on the Mound: Pitchers Guide to Dominating Hitters

 jon rauch twins

How to Take Charge of Starting Pitching Jitters

  • Pitchers are the Alpha Ballplayer: Confident, Controlling, Strong
The starting pitcher of a team is essential the man in control and responsible for controlling the pace and evolution of how the defensive game of the inning will turn out. Some pitchers are power pitchers and some are contact hitters. The difference between a power pitcher and finesse pitcher is essentially strategy of execution of pitches. A finesse pitcher is more likely to be a more medium velocity pitcher which whose goal is to get more outs from ground balls or fly outs. A power pitcher is more than likely gonna be a pitcher who has more advantages in his game, this pitcher will be taller and have a higher velocity and will try and blow more fastballs past hitters with a goal of more strikeouts than contact outs. The key to pitching though with either strategy is to get 3 outs as quickly as possible so that the game progresses and your offense can score more runs and win the game. The best strategy is to be a finesse pitcher with control and the ability to blow a fastball or change up by a hitter just at the right time to get a swinging strike or ground ball which will be turned into an out. Be mentally strong, physically able and confident when your on the mound and never give in. 
  • Preparation Makes Perfection
The best way to go about a starting pitching situation is with a game plan. This game plan can be something as simple as letting the catcher call pitches and control the game, or by the pitcher calling his own pitches based on how he’s feeling that day. If at all possible a smart pitcher will do his homework on his opponent and find out all he can about who he is facing and their potential weaknesses. If for instance you are set to play a neighboring school, plan ahead to attend one of the other teams games and see what kind of line up they have and if they are likely to wait on more pitches or go for the first pitch in each at bat. Be prepared to adjust to your opponent with a back up plan as well just in case your initial plan at first fails. You never know when your going to have a bad day with your curveball but if your change up happens to be working that day that could become your new out pitch for the day. Whatever happens be confident and give it your best. You have your team behind you as your ultimate supporter. Don’t let yourself down first, and remember that they will pick you up no matter what. 
  • Mental Relaxation for Mound Meditation
Most likely as a pitcher you should have a controlled mind set, game plan for success, and action plan for getting effective outs. The more relaxed and loose you are as a pitcher the higher likelihood that you will be relaxed and have a clear mind for challenges throughout the game such as multiple baserunners and different bunt or hit and run situations. Take deep breaths before pitches and remember your defense is there to back you up if the hitter makes contact and that every pitch can set up the next possible pitch for better success. 
  • The Fighter Within: Conditioned Body=Prepared Mind
A goal for each pitcher should be to stay in the game as long as possible to execute the goal at hand. In the role of a starting pitcher the goal should be at minimum to pitch 15 outs and go out with your team in the lead, hence, qualifying for a quality start and win. The more prepared a starting pitcher is physically through conditioning the higher the percentage of success he has for lasting longer into a game than just 5 innings. Pitching is a very aggressive fluid movement that takes a toll on many muscle groups over and over each pitch. The best way to condition the body to pitch is through a consistent throwing program along with a combination of a good cardiovascular regimen, stretching routine and strength workouts. When a pitcher is physically conditioned and best prepared for the mound he is likely to be a more confident, prepared and relaxed pitcher. The fun of the game is success and being in control of as many situations as possible. Prepare your body and mind to work with you in completing your mound domination as a starting pitcher. 

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