In basketball there is a lot of focus on the point guard. In football there is a lot of focus on the quarterback.
These are important positions, but there is no position that is more important than a pitcher in baseball.
There is so much responsibility that involves a pitcher. From throwing different pitches, knowing the various hitters, fielding their position, pickoff moves, to controlling the running game, to dealing with adversity, mental focus, and dealing with fatigue, a pitcher has a lot to deal with.
If one of these important parts of pitching is missing, you do not have a complete pitcher. Missing one of these components negatively affects all of the other components.
Most pitchers are not advanced to be good in all of these areas, however, when you realize what areas a pitcher is weak in you can begin to attack it and improve.
The mental game in pitching is so important, oftentimes more important than the physical part.
Andy Pettitte, great guy who I hung out with in the Dominican
You must teach your pitchers to think one pitch at a time. It is very easy to think about the past or future, and this inhibits your ability to be best the possible in the present
Cues such as get to the top of the baseball, or take a deep breath and focus on executing the pitch, create movement at release are great for creating the right type of focus.
Attempting to throw harder in times of struggle or getting mad at infielders or the umpire are typical things that make a pitchers struggle even worse.
Teach your pitchers how to coach themselves and watch them develop right under your eyes.
P.S. One pitch at a time, one pitch at a time. Oftentimes a mound visit is very effective in calming a pitcher down. Tell him to step off the mound and focus on dominating the things he can control.
What can he control?
1. His focus
2. Executing each pitch
3. Attacking the strike zone
4. Taking deep breaths
5. His body language
Things he can't control?
1. Where the ball is hit
2. What the umpire calls
3. If his fielders catch the ball
4. The mound conditions
5. Bad luck
Get your pitchers to focus on the controllables and they will deal with failure and adverse conditions much better.
Coach it up,