Recently I was having a discussion with Jimmy Jackson, the PC at JMU. He made a comment to me that I was a bit surprised by. He said he never hands a folder to his pitchers and says, “here’s the JMU pitching program, get to work.” Instead he sits down with each individual player and tries to figure out what has made each of his players successful in the past. Obviously, something had to be done right by the players to be playing at a quality D1 program. I know Eric Peterson, the now HC at Benedictine College, has his “U” Program that he hands each of his pitchers, which is a very loose template designed to allow his players to find their best process to prepare themselves to perform. Now are all coaches as awesome as this? Absolutely not.
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.
Written by Alan Jaeger
Mound Management: In Game Strategies for Pitchers and Hitters
Process Oriented: To be consumed by your current action independent of the consequences of your action
The “Mental Game” may be a rather broad topic, but ultimately, it can be broken down into two fundamental categories: “Game Management” and “Mental Practice”.
In a recent Collegiate Baseball article entitled “Mental Practice Plans” (January, 2012), I specifically addressed the importance of implementing Mental Practice on a DAILY basis as part of any player or coach’s Practice Plan. Though I still feel that Mental Practice (e.g. Relaxation, Visualization, Meditation) is where the rubber hit’s the road for a players Mental Game development, how players strategically “Manage” their mental approach in “Game situations” is also paramount to a players performance between the lines.
By Chad Rhoades
Going into a new season is the best feeling of a clean slate and the ability to write a new chapter in your career. The focus of this article is help you write your script with pure and positive intentions on every pitch you throw. Too often the ‘writing a new chapter’ becomes a background template that never comes to the surface until the season is over and we glance back over it trying to fix mistakes. Mistakes that we try to fix and get better at in preparation for the next game or next season, never being able to catch up and stay ahead of the curve.
By: Casey Fisk
I don’t imagine that I’m the only coach who talks with both hitters and pitchers. I don’t know all of you, but I’m the only coach I know who intentionally disrespects each group to the other in order to instill honest confidence in each group. When I’m dealing with two-way guys, I give up the goods right away, telling them that I’m spinning the truth to benefit the group I’m talking to at the moment. I’m not really disrespecting anyone; I’m telling the truth about the deficiencies of each group, so you can get better and/or take advantage.