I Guarantee You that Most Major League Pitchers have a Mental Pitching Plan.
If they don’t I promise you they will not be there very long.
The mental side of pitching is the most undervalued part of pitching by most young pitchers. They want Velocity and they want it now. I get it so did I.
The more pitching you do at a very high level, Varsity High School Baseball through any level of Professional Baseball, you will realize that the competition is bigger, faster and smarter. Pure, raw talent will only carry you so far.
When I talk former Professional Players and ask them what they think the biggest difference is between High A Ball and the Major Leagues they almost always say the mental toughness it takes and the ability to cope with the emotional stress of performing at the Major League level daily.
There are many super talented high school and college baseball players drafted every year.
The hype and pressure overwhelms many of them. There are several instances where first round picks never make it out of A-Ball.
I can tell you from personal experience that when I got drafted out of High School by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 15th round in 1986
I didn’t have a clue what it was going to take to play 150 + games a year. After playing 25 high school games I wasn’t physically, mentally or emotionally ready for pressure of playing for your job everyday.
If I could only turn back the hands of time.
I get asked all the time what it takes to play professional baseball? The quick answer You have to be a very talented baseball player.
Then the follow-up question is always how far do you get? I got as far as my preparation, talent and signing bonus money would take me, High A-Ball.
Then if I was to be totally honest I would have to tell them after four years of playing in the Minor Leagues I was totally frustrated and mentally exhausted. I wasn’t truly Mentally Prepared.
If I could tell a young pitcher one thing what would it be?
That if you have the physical talent and you want one of the 330+ pitching jobs in the Major Leagues you need a Pitching Mental Game Plan. It must contain what I call the 4 P’s of Pitching.
- Pitching Personality. What is your pitching personality? What motivates you? Does your personality allow you to build powerful confidence building personality traits? Can you handle the Spotlight?
- Practice Habits. You need to have a defined confidence building practice schedule. I believe that true Mental Toughness comes from when you have done everything to physically and mentally prepare for the game that day. Good practice habits develop Mental Triggers that convinces the mind that you are mentally tough enough to compete at a High Level.
- Pre-game Routine. You need to create a plan the defines your daily routine, your pregame routine, your pitching game plan and your post game routine. This includes everything from breakfast to post game recovery and media responsibilities. The more defined the plan, the more confidence it will breed.
- Pre-Pitch Routine. It is now time to put on what I call your Pitching Game FACE.
- Focus & Controlled Breathing.
- Attention to Detail. (Play in the Moment)
- Commitment and Confidence in the Pitch. (Trust Your Pitching Plan)
- Execute the Pitch. (Pull the Trigger)
I never pitched in the Major Leagues… But You can.
It wasn’t until I was done playing that I realized what it really took to play in the Major Leagues.
It wasn’t until watching some of my former teammates make it to the SHOW and have very successful Major League Careers, that I realized how close but yet still so far away I was to fulfilling my Major League Dream.
Don’t be like me and wait until it’s too late.
Do YOU have a Major League Mindset?[addlink url=”http://pitchinghabits.com” text=”Do You Have the Mental Makeup Pro Scouts Look For?”]