Power & Predictability, Part 2
As we turn the attention towards the field, there are a couple of focuses that can be applied to pitching.
Lack of control– While easier said than done, pitchers need to realize their lack of control on the situation once they deliver the pitch. The pitch could be called a ball or a strike. It could be fouled off or put into play, be a hit or an out. Whatever the case, after the ball leaves their hand, pitchers really have no control over the result.
Unpredictability– The pitch may look like a strike, but the umpire calls it a ball. Or the pitch may look like a ball, but is called a strike. If the pitch is put into play, it could take a bad hop and be a hit. The ball could be hit high in the air and impacted by the direction of the wind, causing an error. The pitcher may throw a ball right down the middle of the plate and the hitter will swing and miss. Or not swing at all. Other times, that same pitch may be hit high over the outfield wall. There is a great deal of unpredictability and lack of control in the battle between the pitcher and batter, but there are ways to combat this.
Focus on what you can control.
By focusing on the task at hand and the aspects you can control, you can alleviate some of the anxiety that accompanies lack of control and unpredictably. If it’s out of your control, by nature, there’s not much you can do. Let it be!
Another controllable is your response to what happens. If things go wrong, how you focus your response to what happened will determine what happens next– your next pitch, next batter, your next inning. If the umpire misses a call, rather than focusing on the negative, you can reset and focus your response “I’ll make this next pitch even better.”
Plan for the unpredictable.
Umpires are going to miss calls, fielders are going to make errors. It may be too cold to feel your hand or too rainy to grip the ball. These are all things out of your control and everything will not always go according to plan. How you respond to these adverse moments that arise can set you up for success in the next moment.
Be prepared for the unpredictable and focus on what you can control to take back power and predictability in moments of stressful triggers. By narrowing this focus and energy, you can put yourself in a better mindset for success.
“On our way back to IL from ATL we listened to 90%. I saw Will pull out his phone and start taking notes. He then began to hit the pause button to finish his note as not to miss anything that was to come. I asked him what were some things that he got from his first run with this book. He said the “Little Man”, the “Stop Sign”, “Breathe”, and “Anchor Statements; specifically the Boat & Anchor analogy”. Mr. Tewks is doing incredible work and I saw it with my son Will. It has been the single best development piece of Will’s 14U season.”
“Tewks talked about different things as far as the mental side of the game, and building that relationship with him I had a trust where I could go and bounce things off of him. He’s a no BS guy. I knew he wouldn’t pussyfoot around with me. I knew if I asked him a question, he would give me an honest answer, both on the pitching side and on the mental side. I knew I would get that from him.”
“He tells you what he sees, and he calls you out on things. He makes you better as a player as you go along. The biggest thing I’ve found is that if a player continues to seek advice, seek help, there are people who can help that player get the most out of his potential on the baseball field.”
“He’s got more instant credibility and more to offer if a player or staff is so inclined to engage with him because of his long career in baseball. As we know, pitching is the loneliest thing you can do.”
“What Bob brings to the table, Bob did it. He was there. He had his career,” Ravizza says. “When Bob talks about the mental game, I listen, because he’s walked the walk. I really have so much respect for him.”
“I’ve worked with other people, but the stuff we put in place in Boston is what I’m still using today,” Miller says. “It’s a very important part of my success, or turnaround. It’s something I take very seriously and I think it’s had a big impact on my pitching.”
“Having worked with Tewks as a player as well as a coach, I’ve been lucky enough to see firsthand how much he can impact individuals and teams. He has been invaluable to me personally throughout my career, as well as our baseball team at Boston College.”