By Steven Ellis, former Chicago Cubs pitching pro
Baseball pitchers are a rare breed. They combine athletic prowess with mental sharpness. They make a good hitter succeed only 30% of the time. They can put their arm and entire body to the limit 100 times in a game, and come back and do it again in just five days. Baseball pitchers are definitely a special kind of athlete.
To be a successful baseball pitcher, you need to possess certain skills and traits both physically and mentally. You must have great body control, repetitive mechanics, awesome stamina, and a good head on your shoulders. The mental game of pitching is probably more important than the physical aspect. Knowing the situation and how to react to it is something that can't really be taught.
A good pitcher knows how to handle himself on the mound. This is called mound presence. Being confident in one's abilities, yet being able to adapt to adversity is what makes baseball pitchers some of the most mentally tough athletes in all of sports.
Next time you watch a baseball game, take note of the pitchers. Notice how they are in the center of the play, EVERY play. The other players on the field might only see the ball a few times a game, whereas it is common for pitchers to throw over 100 pitches in a single game.
Baseball pitchers are also very aware of their bodies. They need to be in order to do what they do. Pitching takes a toll on the body and a pitcher must always be sure they are taking care of themselves by working out properly, following a good throwing program, and having a good diet.
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