Earlier this year, Cy Younger Award winner Roy Halladay pitch a perfect game and a no-hitter in the same season. He attributes part of his success to having a pre-pitch routine. “I tell myself to pitch the same and stay in a rhythm. I’m not concerned with the score, or striking out everyone. I tell myself to just trying and make pitches. That’s your only job,” said Halladay. Pre-pitch routines are designed to help pitchers:
Focus on the process of executing a pitch
Prepare consistently for each pitch
Feel confident before executing
Trust their motion or technique
Some ball players have a routine, but don’t use it consistently. Others don’t have a routine at all. Without a consistent routine on the mound, you’re more likely to lose focus or become distracted. For example, you might be thinking about how many runs you given up or the score of the inning.
A routine occupies your mind with what’s important, such as what you need to do to execute successfully. By having a routine, you are less likely to think results and more likely to focus on your execution and the process of throwing one pitch at a time.
If you notice you’re starting to think about the score, take a moment to regroup. Step off the rubber, clear your mind, and refocus on execution. Find a thought to help you regroup, and remind yourself that the score is not important. Then, focus on what you need to do to execute the next pitch. You can focus on your routine on finishing each pitch and hitting your target, for example.
Your baseball tip for today is to use a routine and stick to it. If you find yourself wavering from your routine or are distracted, take a moment to regroup and restart your routine. Remember to keep things simple. You should only focus on one thought at a time.