Why are we teaching pitching backwards?

Start With Confidence

Most parents and coaches jump right to assessing their pitchers athletic ability and pitching skills, but they should be evaluating their mindset /confidence first.

If we don’t understand how each pitcher learns how can we help them develop the confidence they need to reach their max potential.

Every pitcher has their own mindset that determines how they feel, think and react to different situations.

Their mindset is what sets them apart from every other human being on earth and pitchers too.

How a pitcher feels, thinks and reacts is the foundation of developing their confidence.

And in baseball, especially pitching, confidence is everything.

The 5 things that builds a pitcher’s confidence.

1.  Communication.

Everything a coach is doing should be based on how each pitcher learns.

How well a coach can teach each pitcher what they need to do to get better the more confidence the young pitcher will have.

Every word a trusted coach says should be to explain, encourage and empower the pitcher to believe in themselves.

How we talk to each other, how we listen to each other and how we look at each other plays an important role in confidence.

Sometimes a parent’s or coach’s look or expression can kill their pitcher’s confidence without saying a word.

Think twice about what you’re about to say, because it might do more damage than good.

2.  Character

They way we act, treat and encourage each other as coaches, teammates and parents plays a huge role in confidence.

Every team should have a…

  • No Comparison Rule
  • No Gossip Rule
  • Ego Filter Rule

The team comes first, period.  Every player has a role and it is important.

It might not currently be the role the parent or player wants, but it’s the role they have to be their best in.

I promise you if you dominate in the role you are in right now you will get more opportunities as you learn and grow as a pitcher.

Be a Great Coach, Teammate and Parent and the TEAM will reach their Max Potential.

3.  Commitment

Most pitchers will only commit to what they believe and trust.

If the pitcher believes and trust that the coach has their best interest at heart then they will run through a wall for that coach.  

But getting that trust initially isn’t always easy with all the outside influences pulling young pitchers in different directions.

That’s why I have the No Comparison Rule.

If a young pitcher doesn’t think what they are practicing is going to make them better it don’t matter what the coach thinks.

If you are training every pitcher the exact same way I guarantee you are killing some of the pitchers confidence.

The problem is the pitcher will rarely say anything because of the fear of the consequences, so the coach ends up with a pitching staff that counts on one or two pitchers to do everything.

The rest of the pitchers hope you don’t use them.

Now they want to quit because they are not as good as ________?

That’s how we as coaches and parents ruin young pitcher confidence.  Sad, but true.

4.  Consistency

Practice, Practice and more Practice.  Practice is boring!!!

It doesn’t have to be.

Confidence doesn’t come naturally, we have to practice to build and develop it.

Most pitchers act just like their parents and coaches.  Why?  Because that’s who they learn from.

If you want your pitchers to develop great habits they must practice consistently with focus and purpose.

Drills is NOT pitching and you can not learn to pitch by doing drills.

Mechanics drills were only meant to explain aspects of the pitching motion.

You won’t learn to pitch by doing drills only.

Develop consistent practice habits practicing pitching the right way and you will naturally get better the more you practice.

5.  Competitiveness

Competitive pitchers are better.  They like to win and that’s a good thing.

But it can also be a source of frustration if the pitcher doesn’t understand what they can control and what they can’t control.

Ultimately competitiveness comes from the desire to be the best.  If you want to be the best then you have to know what you need to personally do to get better everyday.

Some pitchers rely solely on their natural ability.  So when their naturally ability isn’t good enough to be the best or win they quit.

That’s not competitiveness, that’s being a quitter.

The most competitive pitchers I know focus only on what they can control.

You can’t worry about what others are doing.  You must concentrate on what you need to do to be the best you can be everyday.

Competitive pitchers are constantly learning and growing so they can stay on top of their game.

It’s not about being cocky or arrogant to them, it’s about reaching their Max Potential and helping their team win.

Ok, Time to Recap.

5 Things that builds confidence in pitchers

  1. Communication
  2. Character
  3. Commitment
  4. Consistency
  5. Competitiveness

Now can you see why I believe we are teaching pitching backwards?

Most pitchers start pitching before they now how to.

Most Coaches teach every pitcher the same way.

Most parents think drills and lessons are the answer and then when they don’t work they are mad at the coach.

The truth is if you don’t understand how each pitcher learns and teach them how to build confidence then they will never believe in themselves.

When you teach a pitcher how to practice it takes away the pressure.

Now it becomes a matter of whether the young pitcher wants to reach their Max Potential or not.

There is nothing a parent or coach can do from that point on but explain, encourage and empower them to be the best they can be everyday.

That’s why I love the challenge of coaching, what about you?

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