Ever watched a player melt down in front of your eyes, walking eight batters in a row, or making three consecutive errors in the field? Of course you have! More and more in today’s high-pressure, win-at-all-costs climate of amateur baseball, kids are being put in a position to fail, are not being taught how to handle high-pressure situations, or simply don’t play on their own enough to know how to adapt when the game changes around them. In this article, you’ll learn the mechanics of a mental meltdown and what to look for as a coach or parent. And, we’ll discuss how these can be prevented.
About Dan Blewett
Dan Blewett is co-owner of Warbird Training Academy and the Warbird Senators Baseball Club in Central Illinois. A professional pitcher of six seasons, Dan specializes in pitching and strength and conditioning for baseball and softball players. He speaks to teams, schools and aspiring athletes, and writes for numerous fitness and baseball websites. His first book, Pitching Isn’t Complicated, was published in 2013. Visit Danblewett.com and follow him on Instagram @coachdanblewett for his unique take on training, baseball and sports. Get Dan’s Free eBook, What It Takes, filled with advice for players and parents on how to fulfill their dreams in baseball.
Entries by Dan Blewett
Amateur pitchers typically throw very poor-quality curveballs. In this article, learn why the curveball should be thrown as hard as possible, and why focal points are critical is learning how to locate a curveball.
Is heavy lifting good for pitchers, in the same way that it’s good for other athletes? Getting strong is important, but to what extent? There are three phases that determine if you need to keep pushing, or start backing off to maintain strength and reduce injury risk.
Relief pitchers have a difficult job, and it can be tough to get them warmed up properly to enter a game. Clear communication is key so that players can enter a game ready to not only pitch their best, but also reduce the risk of injury. In this article, learn the best terminology and clear communication strategies that pitching coaches should use with their players.
Pitch counts need to be kept in check for a pitcher to earn consistent innings and be relied upon by his team. One of the biggest reasons many pitchers rack up high pitch counts and get pulled early from games is poor pitch-calling and strategy. By implementing a pitch-calling strategy that uses more margin for error and better risk-vs-reward, a pitcher can lower his pitch count and pitch deeper into games.
Mental training for baseball players is a very overlooked performance-enhancer. Though many players, coaches and parents witness in-game meltdowns and struggles under pressure, few players train their minds to prepare for tough situations. In this article, you’ll learn four tips to help improve baseball performance by training the mind and preparing for high-pressure situations.
There are many mental factors that can hinder an athlete’s performance. A major one is the fear of negative outcomes on the field—giving up hits and runs, striking out in big situations, and suffering ridicule, embarrassment, and playing time consequences. Mentally removing oneself from attachment and fear of these consequences can improve performance, and this can be done, in part, by visualizing negative outcomes.
In Tommy John Surgery recovery, one of the most difficult aspects of the recovery is handling the pain, discomfort, and seemingly random changes in how one’s arm feels. As a pitcher gets to the final phase of his recovery – month eight and beyond – it becomes a constant battle of throttling up and down on how often to throw, how hard to throw, and how much pain and discomfort should be tolerated during throwing. Learn how to manage this in this article.
Sports provide tremendous opportunities for young men and women to grow socially, learning to face challenges, and develop discipline in pursuit of commons goals. To specialize early means to miss out on opportunities for personal growth that are not available through the narrow lens of just one sport.
One of the most frustrating aspects of pitching is failing to locate. Pitchers often struggle commanding their curveball, and the pressure they put on themselves often makes the problem worse. This article shares some quick fixes that baseball pitchers can use right away on the mound when their curveball hangs up in the strike zone.