One of our pitchers had a mediocre pre-season start recently
He was missing on his location, and his velocity wasn’t what we expected at this stage of the season either
Thankfully though he had plenty of video of his outing. And as the video showed over and over, he was making a sizeable mechanical error.
I showed him in slow motion on the video what he was doing wrong, and then demonstrated the correct mechanics. I said this is what you need to work on, here’s the number of a pro pitcher who will help teach it to you. They set something up for the next day, and began ironing it out.
It isn’t always this simple, but his next outing he was up 2 MPH, was all strikes, and has been since.
The point is that instead of avoiding why he’d had a subpar start, or blamed some random external factor, he wanted to know what was going wrong.
And then got to work fixing it right away
Unfortunately, not every athlete wants honest feedback as to why they had a poor performance. It seems obviously counterproductive, but so many get caught up in the blame game
“The umpire was squeezing me!” “If my shortstop hadn’t booted that double play ball!” “Coach didn’t give me adequate time to warmup!”
What can be as straightforward as fixing a simple mechanical flaw often doesn’t happen, because the athlete simply doesn’t seek help. They’re too bound up blaming others.
This excuse mindset though, often extends beyond just one game
They throw 82-84, but the reason they’re not committed is because they’re “not getting exposure”
They have no pop at the plate, but it’s “so messed up” another kid plays over them.
Instead of looking in the mirror, they blame everything and everyone as to why they’re not having the success they assume they deserve.
I emphasize to parents and athletes that I will NOT sugarcoat anything.
I give athletes the direct truth about where they’re at.
If they accept laying aside their ego, NOW they can get to work to get better
But letting them hold onto their excuses is a quick road to ruin
Confidence is critical. Ego is debilitating