Pitching Success: Reaching a Higher Level
Pitching Tip #1: Be an Avid Student of Pitching
It is amazing how many questions you can answer yourself by picking up great books, tapes and DVD’s about pitching. You will be light years ahead of your competition if you spend just thirty minutes a day studying Baseball or other topics such as leadership, commitment, attitude, courage, biographies of successful pitchers, setting goals, organization etc. Learning about all of these great topics will help you reach your full potential on the mound. You can’t just throw 95 miles an hour and expect to make it far. There’s much more to pitching than that; there’s much more to you, go find it with proper research and due diligence.
Pitching Tip#2: Set Goals
Yes! Every successful athlete sets goals and writes them down. They understand how important it is to have a road map to success in their hands. Successful athletes break their long term goals down into daily actions to ensure they can turn their goals and dreams into a reality. For example, goals are measurable, if you want to pitch at the collegiate level and you have five years to prepare yourself for that, you should know where you need to be one year from today to be on pace to reach that goal. Then you should know what action steps you will take each and everyday to ensure that you will. Remember, no professional athlete gets where they are without having a clearly defined goal and having a clear plan of action to accomplish it!
Pitching Tip #3: Pitching Mechanics
Find a qualified pitching instructor in your area to teach you sound mechanics. There are many pitching instructors to choose from. You can go to your local Baseball Academy and find several, but don’t just rely on the Academy to choose an instructor for you. Find out who is taking lessons from the instructors. Find out how they’ve improved. Do they enjoy the lessons? Does the instructor clearly explain what is expected of them? Make sure the pitching coach can teach! This may sound funny, they’re an instructor right? A lot of those so called instructors know about pitching, but most don’t know how to deliver a message to athletes of all age levels. Be selective in who you choose!
Pitching Tip #4: Nutrition
Understanding how your body performs by what you put into it is vital to your success as a pitcher. Choose a well balanced diet. What types of foods will you eat before game day? Learn what types of food will give you the energy you need throughout your workouts and practices. Balance the carbohydrates, proteins, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals etc. Choose not to participate or become involved in Tobacco, Alcohol or performance enhancing drugs like steroids and growth hormones. They will ruin you!
Pitching Tip #5: Be a Leader
Pitchers are leaders! Think about it. A pitcher has control of the entire game. The game doesn’t start until you throw the ball. Did you know you can control the attitude of each player on your team just by your demeanor on the mound? If you show frustration on the mound that is exactly what your teammates will feel and it will show in their performance. They will tend to make more errors; I see it hundreds of times each year. On the other hand, if you are optimistic, expect to win; confident, excited etc. your team will follow your lead. Success breeds Success! That means you should study successful people right? Study the leaders before you. Learn what makes them so successful. What do they do everyday that makes them a leader? You will find that most leaders share some of the same habits. After you find what makes a leader a leader, it’s your job to work on it!
Dan Gazaway has instructed over 1,000 pitchers in the last five years. He received his Coaches Certificate from The National Pitching Association in November 2004 and received personal instruction from Tom House, “Father of Mechanics”, for many years. Dan also received his Bachelor’s Degree as a Health Education Specialist in 2002 from Utah State. Be sure to check out Dan's Pitching Mechanics DVD .