By Steven Ellis, former Chicago Cubs pitching pro
The mental side of pitching a baseball is just as important as the physical side of pitching.
Your ability to master the mental aspects of pitching - your pitching mental toughness - plays an important role in your development as a pitcher.
Below are some objectives to help with your mental preparation for baseball pitching.
1. "This game is mine", attitude. Every time I walk on the mound I control the game or batting practice or throwing on the side. Nothing can happen till I release the ball. I am in charge.
2. Know the purpose of every pitch and picture yourself succeeding. (The purpose is to get the hitter to hit the ball.) Visualization can be very beneficial. This will be covered at another time.
3. From the first pitch to every hitter, every pitch is designed to get the hitter out. There are no waste pitches. (Get ahead in the count.)
4. Every hitter must prove that he can hit my power pitch. My other pitches will compliment and set up my power pitch.
5. 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, 1-0.
6. I will know my strike zone and 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.
7. Develop a plan for each hitter. How? Develop an attitude that says every time I see a hitter swing or take a pitch I will learn about him. To do that you must be in the game on every pitch: On the mound or in the dugout or bullpen.
If you'd like to receive more of my best tips and techniques to throw harder with better control while reducing the risk of injury, I invite you to subscribe to my free baseball pitching tips here: www.pitchingtips.com/free
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