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Chasing Mental Perfection - Pointer 17

How Are You Feeling About Your Game?

I could give a pitcher a month's worth of drills (at least) to keep them busy and working to be a better pitcher.

But there is nothing better than seeing how you match up with your peers (competitors).

The baseball season is a pitcher's Olympic Games. Months and years are spent training to increase velocity and spin rate. These days, dead Lift PR's and other feats of strength are posted on social media by hundreds of young athletes who document their development for all to see.

But...

Baseball is not about personal records.

Pitching is about telling the shortstop who just made and error behind you, "I got your back, don't worry." And delivering the best pitches you can to retire the next batter.

Pitching is about coming up with a plan - on the fly - when your regularly sharp slider is not working and have the mental strength to say,  "Ditch the slider, go to the changeup, and get through the lineup a few times" - keeping your team in the game. Then use the slider (it will be there again) the third time around the order. It works.

Pitching is about giving up two runs but not giving up seven.  Keep your team in the game.

Pitching is dominating a team on Saturday for four innings of relief, striking out seven, no runs - then coming back on Wednesday and battling through one inning, allowing a game tying bloop single in the 9th with a man on - then brushing it off, knowing that you gave it the same exact effort level as the previous Saturday, but the hitter happened to put a decent battle and manage to make contact for a hit...give him credit but give yourself more credit for your battle and your mental strength to put it behind you and get ready for the next outing.

Pitching is walking three guys on Saturday, giving up a big lead for your team, and having to think about it each day until your next outing - continuing to work, learning and adjusting, then coming back to deal with a clean inning 1-2-3 on Wednesday.

Pitching is about possibilities. Do not forget that the next pitch could be the biggest on you ever make. Think of the number of chances you get to make the best pitch of your life. Perfection is rarely attainable, but the pursuit of perfection is a pitcher's jet fuel.

Pitching is missing with a high changeup, but the hitter pops it up for a big out.

Pitching is throwing the best changeup you have ever felt, and the hitter hitting a squibber between the mound and third for a base hit.

Pitching is throwing a high changeup in your bullpen and not beating yourself up about it, because - see the previous paragraph.

Baseball is a great game because we all try to find perfection knowing we are human.

Mental perfection might be the key to physical rewards. Keep your head as you grind through the summer!!!

 

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