To be a premier pitcher you must have the “it” factor when it comes to your presence on the mound. Everyone on the field is looking directly at you before and during every pitch you throw. This means you can hide nothing. You can use this aspect of the game to your advantage, or you can allow it to crush you. No matter what level you play at, youth to professional, you can always control your mound presence.
Any pitcher that works with me knows their priorities when they are on the mound…
#1- “This mound is MY home.” I am the one that is lucky enough to be on it and while I am on it, EVEryone will know that it is MINE! This means that I will make it my home immediately. I will do so by fixing t exactly the way I want it. I will take my time, because everyone can just wait until I have done what I need to do with it before I throw a pitch.
#2- “GUAC…give us a chance.” What does that mean? It means compete as hard as you can with as much as you can for as long as you possibly can in order to always give your team a chance to win. Generally GUAC or “giving us a chance” would be relative to a quality start or at least a near quality start. A quality start is pitching at least 6 innings and giving up 3 runs or less. Obviously, anything better than that would also be considered a quality start. But, GUAC doesn’t have to be thought of as only in terms of a “quality start” because in reality anytime you leave the game with pitching at least 5 innings, and giving up less runs than the other pitcher…that means that you have given the team a chance to win. Sometimes pitching is a straight up grind and things just do not go right, even on days where our bodies feel recovered, strong, flexible, and in-tune for our job for the day. GUAC means staying present throughout the game and knowing that I am going to use everything I have, mentally and physically, to compete and do my part in working towards a win. The key is to stay even keil and realizing that you are always GUACing as long as you are competing like the champion you should know that you are.
#3- “Here it comes, lets see how far you can hit it.” This is attack mode, beast mode, clutch mode, compete mode, bulldog mode, champion, winner, competitor, confident, cocky, I KNOW I AM BETTER THAN YOU…MODE. I do not care who you are, where you stand in the box, how many homeruns you have hit in your life, how many people think you are cool, how big you are….none of that concerns me in the slightest. Instead I’m actually pissed off that you think you can step foot near my home plate, because the audicity that you have for doing that is just enough to make me come at you with a conviction that you can’t top or even hope to possibly match.
*Note: Your work ethic will always be relative to your ability to harness this attitude. If you don’t work hard on all aspects of your game then you have absolutely no business and no right to think this way.
But for those that are committed to Getting Better EVEryday, this attitude is not only justifiable, but 100% necessary and will ultimately be the main factor in how you can separate yourself from the pack.
Teaching you how to have Mound Presence is the main point of this article. Mound Presence is the #1 first and most important factor to being a GREAT pitcher…this blog is not geared towards those who just want to be good.
These concepts have helped me to succeed on the field, but I apply these same thought processes to almost every aspect of my life when it concerns accomplishing something or working towards what I know I can achieve. I encourage those that read this blog to try to apply some of these thoughts as you shake and move through your day and throw them at the obstacles that throw themselves at you.
Thanks for reading.