Smart Pitchers Set Goals
You may have read my previous article, “Reaching a Higher Level of Success .” If so, you saw that pitching tip #2 was setting goals. Many athletes don’t know how to set and achieve goals. The following are a few simple steps to ensure your goals are met. Remember, no professional athlete gets where they are without having both a clearly defined goal, and a clear plan of action to accomplish it.
Setting goals should be a big part of every pitcher’s priorities. Without goals, you lack focus and direction. As a result, you can sometimes forget what you want to achieve or lose sight of the big picture of what your objectives are. Before you set a goal, you have to understand what it is you want. You must then ask yourself the right questions to reach them. The answers to those questions will help you reach your goals.
Question #1: What am I attempting to achieve?
Sounds simple right? When answering these questions, write them down on paper. It is important to have clearly defined goals. Don’t be vague in describing what your focus is, be clear and specific.
Let’s say your goal is to be able to throw an effective curveball by September of this year. Did you notice the time frame? Setting a realistic time frame to accomplish the goal sets some standards for you. Now that you have identified a specific goal and time frame, ask additional questions so you can take action steps to achieve it.
Question #2: What am I going to do on a daily basis to ensure I achieve this goal?
Do I need personal instruction so I’m throwing the pitch correctly? What pitchers can I study who throw that pitch effectively? What information can I gather, or what resources do I have, that will give me accurate information about the curveball? Are there pitching-specific exercises or pitching drills I can work on to develop proper control of the curveball? If so, what are they?
Now it’s time to take action on your goal! Set a schedule for yourself, ensuring that if you follow your pattern for success, there should be no reason why you won’t achieve the goal by the date you’ve set.
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 .