Mental Discipline

Being able to throw strikes requires two important elements:

1. The physical ability to control the softball.

2. The mental capacity of the pitcher to control herself.

All the physical ability in the world will not make a pitcher a winner without mental discipline. A pitcher can be helped with their mental discipline, but ultimately controls her own destiny.

What is the major requirement for being a pitcher? Very simple - wanting to be one. But this wanting has to be enough to do something about it. They have to practice in the off-season and practice even more during the season. A pitcher must have the mental control to practice, especially when they could be doing something else with their friends that may seem like a lot more fun.

Team Player

Your performance will ultimately control the tempo of the game. Your attitude will affect the mood of your teammates. If you have a good game, so will your teammates. And if you hare having a bad game, your teammates will judge your attitude during the bad times and perform accordingly. Sometimes one bad inning can be turned around in your favor by "staying up" and having the "up" feeling rub off onto your teammates. If you come to the game complaining of aches and pains, or a problem you're having, it will have a damaging effect on the attitude of your teammates.

Some pitchers, when asked how they feel before the game, make excuses or complain of aches in case they lose. They have a sore arm, a sick stomach, or talk about staying up late the night before. When this information gets to their teammates they start worrying about the pitcher not being one hundred percent and the possibility of losing. It is a good idea, even if the pitcher does not feel at their best, to give their teammates the impression that they are ready to go.

The pitcher can make their team sky high with encouragement, or in the pits with criticism. If the pitcher is working hard and is supportive of their teammates, they will play hard behind them. In other words, if a teammate makes an error, be a leader and be supportive.

After making a bad pitch, a pitcher should not be embarrassed. Lingering on the mistake causes negative thinking. Positive thinking or self-talk causes the pitcher to think ahead to how well or good the next pitch is going to be. This is also a good time for visualization.

A pitcher should not compare themselves to other pitchers. What is important is to compare their own performance to their last performance and try to be as good as they can be.. The pitcher who improves on previous performance is a success.

What can a pitcher do to help the team? They can be a team player. Sometimes a pitcher must be the substitute. Will they cheer the team on and be supportive, or sulk? Some pitchers think they should play all the time. What if all the players felt that way?

If the pitcher does not come to practice or comes late to practice or a game, why should the coach want to play them? If a pitcher's attitude in practice is, "I don't care", why would the coach want to play them? If a pitcher has been asked to work on a weakness and doesn't show any interest in developing that skill, why should the coach play that pitcher or player when the weakness will hurt the team?

When the coach makes a decision in the game or at practice, it is usually for the benefit of the team. A pitcher will muddle their brain with negative thoughts trying to second-guess the coach. Don't wonder why, or listen to the complaints of others. Everyone on the team has their own problems, If the pitcher listens to someone else's problem, that person has relieved themselves of their problem - but the pitcher now has two problems to deal with. There is a proper person on the team to take your problems to - your coach.

A major problem on a team is team members not getting along. The pitcher should not make this worse by talking about it or picking on the player(s) or forming a clique. Pitchers should concentrate on developing their skills and let the coaches develop the team. If every player does their part, the whole team will be successful!