Pitching Mental Side

By Geoff Zahn former MLB pitcher

The mental aspect of pitching may be the most important discipline that a pitcher can go through to assure success. Many pitchers have a good enough arm to pitch in high school, college, or even the big leagues, but not all are successful. It's up to you to bridge the gap between physical ability and the mental aspects of pitching success. I'm going to show you how to do it.

Below are some objectives to help you with your mental preparation overall, as well as your mental preparation for games and practices. These ideas are what you should think and say. These will make you one tough pitcher to face. Go ahead: Say them out loud!

The mental aspects of peak pitching performance

I know "this game is mine." Every time I walk on the mound, I control the game or batting practice or throwing on the side. Nothing can happen until I release the ball. I am in charge.

I know the purpose of every pitch, and I can see myself succeeding. (The purpose is to get the hitter to hit the ball.) Visualization can be very beneficial.

Every pitch I throw is one that's designed to get the hitter out. I WILL NOT WASTE PITCHES. I will get ahead in the count and stay ahead in the count.

Every hitter must prove that he can hit my power pitch. My other pitches will compliment and set up my power pitch. (Note: Your power pitch is the one that you can throw for strikes in any count. Many pitchers have two or three! What's yours?)

I will develop an off speed pitch that I can throw for a strike when I am faced with a fastball count: 2-0, 3-0, 3-1, 2-1, and 1-0.

I will know my strike zone and will throw "pitchers strikes." I will never throw "hitters strikes." This means developing my power pitch on and off the plate, and pitching to both sides of the plate.

I will pitch inside. I will pitch inside. I will pitch inside.

I will develop a plan for each hitter. How? I will develop the attitude that every time I see a hitter swing or take a pitch I will learn about him. To do this I will be in the game on every pitch – on the mound or in the dugout or bullpen.


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