By Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja)
Pitching Mental Game: “Hey do you have ID?”
One thing I’ve found very helpful in working with High School pitchers and building a pitching staff is determining what their individual and group Pitching Identity is.
To me, “Identity” helps in many ways:
1. It allows the pitcher to take pride in his role on the staff and know the value he brings.
2. The pitcher can work on weaknesses in his mindset, while also accentuating his strengths.
3. As a coach, I know what situations are the prime situations for each pitcher to excel. You know when you can optimally call on each pitcher.
4. Your pitcher will always have something to fall back on in times of stress. He knows he’s being put in a situation that is made for him, and has something he can depend on as far as “self-talk.”
5. It helps establish a pitching staff identity, pushing each pitcher to improve throughout the year and establishing a pack mentality in which your pitchers can thrive and dominate.
Identity takes many forms. Honestly, as a coach, I really don’t care much what the identity of each pitcher is, as long as it’s a real/truthful assessment of the pitcher’s strength and weakness and optimal role.