Every pitcher I have worked with has had some hidden fear of failure.
I know I sure did when I was that age.
Fear of failure comes in a lot of different forms.
It usually starts when the pitcher perceives they have a Lack of Something.
Lack of Talent, Lack of Strength, Lack of Velocity, etc just fill in the blank Lack of ______?
3 Things every pitcher must do to get over their fears.
1. Self-Awareness. Every pitcher needs to learn and understand what they can and can’t control.
The cause of every fear of failure starts with a thought about failing. Once you learn to assess those thoughts and test them against whether they are true or false, you will find most of the time you are worrying about things that you can’t control.
Confidence begins with an understanding of what you can and can’t control.
For every fear ask yourself can I control the outcome and can I change the future?
If you can then focus on the part you can control. If you can’t you have to let it go and focus on what you can control.
2. Your Trust Network. Who are you listening to?
It’s been said that you are the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with the most. I can see what they are talking about.
We are products of our environment more often than not. So who pitchers surround themselves with can play critical part in how much confidence they pitch with.
Sometimes it can be the people we love the most that can have the most negative impact on us.
When it comes to pitching you need to listen to people who are encouraging you, teaching you the right way, who care about you as a person first and people who will hold you accountable.
Surrounding yourself with people who tell you what you want to hear instead of what you need to hear is one of the biggest mistakes young pitchers make. Accountability is good, Lying to yourself is bad.
3. Practice, Practice and more Practice. You must have a test, track and tweak mindset.
Now that you are focusing on what you can control, surrounding yourself with people you can trust and have your best interest at heart…its time to focus on how you practice pitching.
A lot coaches and most pitchers waste the most valuable asset they have, their time. There are only so many pitches that you can throw a week. 80 to 100 in a real game and maybe another 75 to 80 in practice bullpen sessions.
That’s not really that much practice actually pitching if you think about it. But yet when I show up a practices I see pitchers just going through the motions during bullpens with no plan or intention what so ever.
How will you ever get better if you don’t have specific plan for every bullpen you throw?
How will you get better command of your glove-side 4 seam fastball if you don’t focus on mastering the location of it in your bullpen sessions. (Hint: That is the most important pitch you will every learn)
You need to start tracking every pitch you throw in practice. That way you can fix the pitches that you were struggling with in the last game. Plus you can continue to refine the pitches you threw well.
Every bullpen you throw needs to be an experiment for you to test, track and tweak what is working and not working.
When you start charting every pitch you throw by location, movement and change of speed and tracking if you hit the intended location with movement and the right speed you will get better faster.
You will make quicker and more confident adjustments in the game and that is the secret to becoming a great pitcher.
- Focus only on what you can control.
- Surround yourself with people who you can trust and believe in you.
- Test, Track and Tweak as needed.
The truth is there is no failure if you have the right mindset.
There are only things that worked and didn’t work.
When you start practicing the things that worked and throwing those pitches in a real game you will see you fear of failure start to fade away.
Pitching is blast when you get to that point. Unfortunately most pitchers quit before they ever get there.
If you’re struggling with your confidence reach out to someone you trust or call or email me.
You don’t have to go through it alone and there is a solution.
Take the first step today, YOU are in control of your future.