Thursday, November 6, 2008

Why Goofy Pitchers Win

By Nate Barnett
Every team has a couple goofy pitchers, and if you watch closely it doesn't take a long time to figure out which ones. I haven't solved the mystery as to why there are more goofy pitchers compared to hitters, must have to do with all of the emotional stress pitching can cause or something. I've seen some jump over the third and first base lines every time they enter or exit the field as well as brush their teeth between every inning. But it's not just the superstitions, a lot of ball players are superstitious. It has to do with a certain amount of carefreeness combined with a dosage of competitiveness that has a way to produce success on the mound.

We always hear that pitching is such a mental sport. So why do many "goofy" pitchers have success? The reason is they simply don't think! It is not meant to be a negative in this context. Pitchers who don't allow negative results to affect how they go about their business tend to last longer, remain more in control of their emotions, and can bounce back from failures quickly.
If you haven't been blessed with the "goofy" gene, it's ok. Here are some things you other hurlers can learn from these guys.

3 Ways to Increase your "Goofiness" Factor

It's alright to take breaks while performing

Baseball is a sport that depends greatly on momentum and rhythm. There are brief periods of high focus and intensity followed by mental vacations that sometimes last quite a while. The key is to learn how to balance the two. Do you know any athletes who play on one speed, FAST? They all suffer from system failure at some point during the season and perform inconsistently. A baseball game is like a good movie, there is plot development early, build up, and then an apex. Keep your attitude right with the flow of the game and you'll find yourself mentally invested when you need to be.

Learn to fail, learn, and forget

Everyone fails in this sport. Get over it, you're not immune. Instead learn from your mistakes, work hard at changing, and then move on. I know this sounds simplistic, and it is. It's emotionally freeing to never be wrapped up in past performances.

Find your outlet

This last point is directed to those of you who have a hard time letting down after a tough performance. If you can't let go of a game an hour after the performance, this is for you. Discover what takes you out of reality for a bit. Watch a movie, play some video games, listen to music, or hang around some friends who have nothing to do with baseball. Once you find what takes your mind off of your situation and frustrations, use it as a tool to help you achieve relaxation and freshness of mind so you can perform free of baggage next time.

Nate Barnett and his business partner, Dan Gazaway are owners of the The Pitching Academy, a pitching information website designed to improve your on the mound performance as a pitcher. The Pitching Academy contains information, products, training, free articles, and more on pitching, pitching drills, pitching mechanics, cut fastball grips, and much more.

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