Tag - fastpitch coach

10 Pitching Commitments to Make in 2020

I feel the “g” word (goal) gets thrown around too frivolously these days.

In 2020, think of the two “c” words- CONSISTENT COMMITMENTS.

A goal is nothing without consistent commitments.

These are the two words I’m choosing to use this year to get through to pitchers’ families and pitchers.

A goal is like lungs getting filled up and commitments are the oxygen that give our lungs life. 

A goal disappears out of thin air without actively working on the commitments we hope will get us to that goal.

Pitching isn’t just a position on the field, it’s a commitment

What pitchers CONSISTENTLY COMMIT to pitching has the POTENTIAL to lead them to their biggest dreams & goals.

Consistent commitments are in a pitcher’s control RIGHT NOW.

So what is your pitcher(s) consistently committing to in 2020? 

This COMMITMENT should be realistic to be able to maintain and keep up with for this upcoming year. (Not just this upcoming week or this upcoming month).

It’s something the pitcher is fully committed to weaving into her LIFESTYLE.

That’s really what pitching is – a lifestyle.

It does no good for her to make a commitment that SOUNDS great, but at the end of the day is unrealistic for her to keep up with or something she knows she will burn out on. (example. “I’m committing to pitching at least 6 days a week every week of the year.”)

The commitment should be something that she knows is- 

  • A) Something she can be better at/do more of.
  • B) Something she knows she can CONSISTENTLY work into her schedule/every day lifestyle.
  • C) Something that she KNOWS if she does this, it will without a doubt make her game better (not perfect, but BETTER).

Here are 10 commitment examples:

  1. Throw a pitch you just learned more in a game. (you define what “more” means)
  2. Pitch 1 more time a week than what you have been doing.
  3. Having a better presence at practice and in games. (you define what “better” LOOKS like and what you are holding yourself accountable for).
  4. Focus 5% harder/more at lessons by asking more questions and writing down key phrases that work for you.
  5. Keep better track of your pitching journey by journaling after practices and games.
  6. Watch and break down video of yourself pitching 4 times a year.
  7. Keep track of your strike % in games and committing to working to raise that % by 5 percent by the end of the year.
  8. Find ways to practice on your OWN at least 2 days a week, even if it’s just for 5-10 min of spins.
  9. Start pitching lessons – go once a week or twice a month.
  10. Watch one college softball game a week (even out of season July-January) and taking notes of 5 things you learned that game.

^it’s important for the commitment to be DEFINE-ABLE or measurable. It should not just be “I’m committing to be more confident on the field.” Rather, there must be an achievable commitment, “I’m committing to be more confident and I’m going to find an inspirational quote each week to have in mind when I pitch.”

I can give you all IDEAS, but at the end of the day it’s up to YOUR PITCHER on what SHE feels like she can consistently commit to in the year 2020. 

Without that confidence of a consistent commitment to be put into ACTION, a goal is a complete wash. The goal itself really doesn’t matter.

Consistent commitments are in your pitchers’ control as SHE learns to take responsibility for HER own game…and life.

“Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship.”

I recently heard this quote for the first time: 

“Ease is a greater threat to progress than hardship.”

It stopped me in my tracks.

And of course I thought of pitchers.

Ease is a greater threat to PROGRESS than hardship.

Progress = growth.

You won’t grow without feeling uncomfortable.

This is the part that many pitchers can’t get past.

It’s the boundary between average and good; good and great.

When you get TOO comfortable with how you’re pitching, how it’s feeling, or become unwilling to tweak or change anything – and this is where the progress will stop.

Yes, you want to feel CONFIDENT and that can be confused with ease. Pitching is never EASY. It’s a beautiful grind.

When it feels too easy, that’s when you know you need to push yourself for something MORE. That’s when you know there IS more inside of you to pull out.

I’ve said this 1000 times. Pitching is hard. 

And while we can strive for adjustments and times that things “click,” we can’t hang on those moments for too long because there is more to be done. 

There always is. 

No matter how far you’ve already come and no matter what level you’re at, there’s always more that you can pull from inside of you. It’s one of the biggest life-lessons you learn through pitching.

So the next time your pitcher doesn’t want to try something new or tries or twice and “doesn’t like it”, remember the quote “ease is a great threat to progress than hardship.”

Examples I think of:
A) Not wanting to change the start of the pitch with the new rule change where the stride foot can be a little further back behind.

B) Resistance to change pivot foot mechanics even though there is a leap or crow hop.

C) Not pushing to get on a better, more competitive team because the team you’re on right now you’re the #1 and you get all the pitching time.

D) Not looking to better your mechanics because how you’re doing right NOW, you’re the best in your area/league/state, etc.

When things become easy or too comfortable, it’s time to check in with yourself and think ok, what’s next? Where can I grow? How can I push for more?

(Quote by Denzel Washington)

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