Friday, January 9, 2009


From Steven Ellis

How To Set Goals To Increase Pitching Performance
"This year, I want to ____________________."
What baseball pitching goals would you write in the blank space? Take some time to think about it: What would you like to accomplish on the pitcher's mound this year?
Did you come up with a set of goals? Write them down on a piece of paper, and then tape it next to your bed, on your dresser, or on the bathroom mirror. Put your goals in a spot that you'll see them on a daily basis.
Visualizing your goals is a great way to accomplish them. Many successful pitchers do it. They set short-, mid-, and long-term goals every season. When they accomplish one, it gets crossed off the list. Then more are added.

Here are 7 simple tips to have a more productive baseball season.
1. Set a clear precise goal
Start with one thing that you want to achieve. Whatever the goal, make it specific and put it in writing. For example, "throw first pitch strikes to hitters," or "put hitters away when you have two strikes on them."
2. Set a realistic time frame
There are no unrealistic goals, just unrealistic time frames. For example, if you want to throw harder, it simply won't happen overnight. Instead, if you dedicate yourself to following a quality training routine, you can expect to see the results you desire.
3. Break down long-term goals into short-term goals
Arrange long term goals into short term goals: daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. What can you do today, right now, to start getting better at pitching?
4. Measure progress
Make corrections as needed. Note progress, and write it all down so you can reference it in the future. This way you can see what made you successful or unsuccessful and can make adjustments accordingly.
5. Create motivation
"Desire" what it will mean for you to accomplish the goal.
6. Mental picturing
See yourself attaining the goal using all senses: touch, sight, hear, taste, and smell. Bring the visualized experience to life!
For example, picture yourself making the perfect pitch in the last inning of a close game with runners on base, threatening to score. Hear the crowd roar, smell the hot dog stand, see nothing but your catcher's glove, etc.
7. Believe in yourself
Maintain a positive attitude and never, ever give up!

OK, now let's go back to that question I asked at the beginning of this chapter. Fill in the blank: "This year, I want to ____________________ ... and because I've set goals, written them down, established realistic time frames to accomplish them, and prepared to the best of my ability, I will accomplish them." That's how winners are made, and that's how to become a great baseball pitcher.

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