The pitcher’s mound is one of the loneliest spots in all of sports. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed and anxious. One of the biggest things a pitcher can do to combat these unwanted emotions is breathe. Yes, just breathe. Proper breathing helps you relax and concentrate.
Remember that it is harder to hit than it is to pitch.
Never step on the pitching rubber until you are completely ready and focused on the task at hand. Imagine a place behind the mound where you can “take out the trash” before stepping up to get the sign. You are in control. The game cannot start until you throw the ball.
Do not show emotion on the mound. Demonstrate your mental toughness by keeping a level head during success and failure.
Focus on the task at hand – one pitch at a time. You cannot go back and change the last pitch. The only thing you can control is the pitch you are about to throw. Focus on the target and purpose of that particular pitch.
Try to avoid crooked numbers. You won’t get beat by giving up 1s and 0s.
Trust your catcher!
Be sure to follow through with the pitch. Finish with a flat back and your throwing arm over your glove side knee. Be ready to field your position.
The release point of the baseball happens when your throwing arm is out in front of your body and the glove is tucked. Release the ball on a downward trajectory.
When your glove side foot hits the ground, you are in the power position. Your legs provide a wide base. Your arm is up and ready to transition forward. Your throwing side elbow should be about shoulder height. Your glove begins to pull into your chest and upper body shifts momentum over the front leg.
The break is when the ball and glove separate. Your hand should take the ball down, back and up. Keep your head over your throwing side foot. Stride in line with your target (catcher’s mitt).
The leg lift and balance point begins the pitching motion from the stretch position. It allows you to gather energy and power to deliver the baseball. Bring your glove side knee up so your thigh is parallel to the ground. You must maintain balance on your throwing side leg.
I have most kids that I coach go from the stretch position rather than using a wind-up. It helps you stay balanced and is the position you will use when the game is on the line. If you have to go from the stretch with a runner on base, why not just do it all the time?
Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart and your weight distributed about 60/40 % in favor of your back leg. This will help you deliver the ball to the plate quickly and not allow base runners to get such a big jump. The outside of your throwing side foot should be lined up with the front edge of the pitching rubber. Your glove side shoulder should be pointed toward home plate. The ball is in your hand, which is in your glove, and rested comfortably between your chest and waist.