Just Throw Strikes

One game in my junior year of high school, I was struggling on the mound. I couldn’t find the strike zone, and when I did, the batters jumped all over it. After my third walk of the inning, my pitching coach came out to the mound. Expecting him to give me that magical advice to fix what I’m doing wrong, so I can finally get out of this inning, he looked me dead in the eye and said, “You’re not throwing strikes.”

“I know that, Coach,” I replied, ”but what am I doing wrong?”

“You’re not throwing strikes!” he said as he started to get angry.

“Ok, I get that. But what can I do to fix it?”

“You’ve got to throw the ball over the plate!” he said as he turned his back and headed back to the dugout. I just stood there wondering what just happened. Needless to say, I lasted three more batters before he came to the mound for good.

My coach thought he was trying to simplify the game for me. He was trying to get me to just focus on the end result. But in only a few cases does that actually work. You need to have a plan. You need to know what to fix if things start to go wrong.

Most high school players think in terms of my coach, just the end result. They think, “I want to play college baseball, so I’ll one day play college baseball.” They have no plan. They have no idea the mechanics to get recruited. They think it will just happen. You need a plan, you need a frame work. You need to know what to fix if you’re not getting any offers. That’s where we come in. At Rounding Third, we create a proven plan for you, but more importantly, know how to adjust it to make sure you are getting the maximum exposure.

Control the Fear

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
— Dale Carnegie

Fear is a powerful thing in our world, and if we let it, fear can control our lives. Fear can be a powerful motivator, or can be devastatingly debilitating. It is how you view fear that determines how fear works in your life. Some players thrive on fear. They are so afraid of failing that they use fear to perform at their top level. The Hall of Fame pitcher, John Smoltz, said he was terrified every time he took the mound that he would get shelled and he had to learn to use that to focus on every pitch. Fear can have the exact opposite as well. If you let fear control your focus, you will be consumed by it, only thinking of the worst outcome, and in turn preform at your worst.

The same goes for the recruiting process. If you are afraid that you will get constantly rejected by college coaches some players will get paralyzed and can't do anything. If you do find yourself afraid (and don't worry if you do, because we have all been afraid) use your fear to send out double the letters to coaches that you normally would. Use that fear to over perform. Break the process into small steps, don't think of all you have to do, that can be overwhelming. When John Smoltz struggled in the beginning of his career, he would think of how to get 3 outs every inning for the whole game. But what turned his career around is when he started thinking of just throwing the next pitch as best he could. He broke the whole game down into just one pitch after one pitch.

Think of 1 - 3 things you can do today to help you get recruited. Make them super easy! Don't think about going to the batting cage and hitting for 4 hours, you can't keep that consistency up every day. Set goals like: write down your athletic accolades (don't worry about formatting, set that as your goal tomorrow.), or write an introduction to your cover letter (you can write the body tomorrow and the conclusion the next day). Make your daily to-do list easy, so every day you can win that day, and over time you will win the recruiting process.

Don't let fear control you, you control the fear.