Every pitcher at some point or another “loses it” on the mound. It might be after an umpire calls a ball on a great pitch or after one of your teammates botches a routine ground ball or pop up. Sometimes on the mound we just don’t have our best stuff and get lit up like a Christmas tree. Let the head hanging, dirt kicking, and screaming into your glove (everyone can still hear you) begin. Pitching is one of the hardest things to do in all of sports. There is so much to think about prior, during and after each pitch. When something unfortunate happens, the emotions build up and can sometimes boil over. So how do we learn to control our emotions and not look like a toddler who just got his favorite toy taken away? The answer is, you already have the capability you just opt not to use it.
Just as every pitcher experiences his worst day on the mound, they will also experience their best. You know those days where everything is going your way, arm feels amazing, mound is perfect, catchers glove looks like the size of a hula hoop. It all seems so easy on those days. Lets think about your behavior when those beautiful stars are aligned.
When you’re striking batters out left and right (pun intended), do you jump and scream with excitement after strike three? Do you do a strike out dance and point to yourself on the mound, then pound your chest for more victims? The answer, I hope is NO. You are way too cool for that. As a matter of fact, when you strike someone out you instantly think of how cool you HAVE to act. You want to give off the vibe of, yeah I meant to do that, I know my stuff is filthy. The internal coolness filter that you use when handling your success, you must also use to handle your disappointments. Check out the diagram below.
Disappointment—–>No filter, No Poise——>Baseball disrespect, snowball effect.
Success —->With Filter -Gotta act cool, gotta act cool——> Staying in the zone with confidence.
Disappointment—–>With Filter -Gotta act cool, gotta act cool—–>Regroup and keep rolling
This article has nothing to do with talent or skill level. Having good mound presence and poise is something we are able capable of doing and can help us in our success on the mound. Having a bad attitude when the wheels are falling off is a guaranteed way to get noticed by coaches and scouts – not in a good way. Treat your outing like any other dramatic performance. Your on a stage and you have the staring role. You know the routine and your part, if you miss a step or screw up a line. The show must go on…