Before you can expect your players to develop command of their pitches, you need to take this first step.
I recently started working with a high school baseball player who reminded me of the importance of this critical first step as a coach.
Letting your players know WHY.
Why is this an important drill?
Why are we only throwing this pitch today?
Why are we doing this, again, for the 150th time today?
You see, this pitcher has great off-speed stuff.
But, his coach wasn’t letting him use it in his last game. And the frustration around that was very real (even a few days later when he started talking to me about it in our 1-1 Mental Performance Coaching session).
Throwing only fastballs was the rule that day.
Except he wasn’t really told why.
So he was stuck out on the mound, pitching through his anger of not being able to use his best stuff.
As you and I know, pitching angry never goes well.
So, I helped him build better focus and awareness though helping him identify his red/yellow/green signal lights and then started to create a routine around what to do to recognize, release, and refocus.
But, first I had to explain to him WHY his coach was only calling fastballs.
To be perfectly honest he pushed back on my coaching a little bit until I said this …
THIS is what helped him realize why throwing only fastballs was the drill of the day.