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.
I want to bring the script and book you are writing to the forefront of your mind. From this moment, until your very last pitch you throw live in a game, whether it’s 1,000 or 10,000 there is a responsibility to know what you are writing. Each pitch in a game is a word, every inning you pitch is a sentence, and every outing you have is a chapter.
Understand this, the ball is neutral. Each pitch we throw/word we write in our script is actually a detailed thought. The thoughts that you put into the ball, or lack therefore, allow the swing of momentum and flow of a game to be dictated in certain directions. If my head is full of worries, hopes, or don’ts, then I am allowing the batter more room to put in his dominating thoughts into the ball…which remember, is neutral. I call this throwing blanks. So as a pitcher, in control of the script he wants to write, you need to clear your head and put the cues of confidence and positivity in every single pitch you throw. There is where the adage of “One pitch at a time” really comes into play.
Throwing blanks, or scribbling on paper, is obviously something we want to avoid, but how? Throwing blanks is correlated to the game speeding up on a pitcher. When an umpire misses a pitch, infielder boots a ball, or a duck fart lands over the infield…all things out of your control. But it is so easy to let the negative thoughts build up and flood over into the next batter. We look up after throwing a blank, give up a double and now we gave up a run and still have runners on 2nd and 3rd. Wheels start spinning and more blanks follow. Slowing the game down takes a conscious effort on the pitcher and it can salvage a huge chapter in your book, or minimize a big inning. To slow the game down a pitcher has to put himself back in the moment and focus on the task at hand, which is the next pitch! Step off the mound, take a deep breath in your nose and slowly release it out of your mouth. If you can feel and hear yourself breathe then you are in the now. Be in the now, put your thoughts and energy in this pitch and write a beautiful script.