Pitching Mental Aspects
By Steven Ellis former Chicago Cubs pitching pro
Our mind and body are highly connected, one affects the other. We want to think clear thoughts so our body will follow with smooth coordination of movement, making it easier to create our best performances. If you want power and speed, you must first "think" powerful thoughts.
Excellence in sport is the mind and body working in unison with smooth, coordinated execution between thought and action. What you think is what you feel and it directly affects how you react. For example; feelings of fear and uncertainty will lead to stress, which limits power and strength.
On the other hand, feeling strong, energetic, and confident, and having consistent positive thought allows for more powerful actions. Choose a "powerful" word that allows you to more easily create your desired behavior. The word you choose should represent the action that you want to follow. The word represents the stimulus to the behavior you wish to evoke. For example, if you want "speed", choose the word "fast".
Note: If you choose the words such as "I'm tired" you will notice a decrement in your ability to be powerful. Negative thinking leads to negative thoughts. Negative thoughts turn leads to negative behavior. Remember, what you "think" is what you "get". (1)
Pitching is mental. The difference between those who make it and those do not often has nothing to do with talent at all. In fact, in professional baseball the difference in "talent" between a pitcher in Rookie League and a pitcher in the Major Leagues is minimal. The separating difference is the pitcher's mental toughness!
If you want to be great pitcher, win the mental game by thinking positively. It could be the difference that sets you apart from the rest of the talented pitchers on your team!
Source: (1) Donna Perry. "Sport Psych" Sport and Conditioning Newsletter-Volume 1. July 2002.
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