Tips from Coach Throneburg
"Thoughts on Pitching"
1. Commit to the Pitch
2. Focus on the Target
3. Execute the Pitch
4. Selection - Location - Target
5. Think Small - Execute the next Pitch.
6. Approach to the Pitch can be controlled, Results cannot.
7. Successful Pitchers are Self-Instructive rather than Self-Critical.
8. Will Power is Real Power
9. One Belief is worth 100 Opinions
10. The most important Coach you will have is You.
1) An Aggressive mentality
2) An effective intensity level
3) Consistent focus and concentration
5) A positive and realistic attitude toward myself and the game
6) A positive attitude toward the umpires
1) Be consistent in getting ahead in the count
2) Get outs early in the count by forcing contact
3) Finish hitters when ahead in the count
4) Have a good strike-ball ratio (approx. 70% strikes)
5) Develop ability to effectively locate pitches
6) Field my position well
1. Be True to Yourself
2. Youth is a Time of Impatience
3. Failing to Prepare is Preparing to Fail
4. You Can Fool Everyone Else But You
5. Never Assume
6. Too Often the Big Talkers are the Little Doers
7. No One is an Overachiever
8. Be Willing to Pay the Price
9. Learn from the Past, Don't Live in the Past
10. Respect Everyone
1. Competitors Love a Challenge
2. Be at your Best when your Best is needed.
3. Do not Be Afraid To Fail
4. All Great Athletes Execute Quickly and Properly
5. Discipline is not Punishment
6. Do not confuse Instruction with Criticism
7. Worthwhile Things Come Only From Work
8. Work on what you can Control
9. Fiction Often Overrules Fact
10. Keep Your Priorities Straight
1. Positive Work Ethic: The ability to work, supervised or not, to improve performance on a daily basis. Work to close the gap between potential and performance.
2. Leadership: Recognize that you are a leader and the focal point of the defense. Communicate and carry yourself like a leader.
3. Mentally Positive At All Times on the Mound: Replace negative thoughts with positive directions. Be concerned with only what is within your control.
4. Show No Negative Emotion On The Mound…..NEVER! This can only fuel your opposition as well as destroy your own team’s confidence.
5. Keep Mental Focus On The Next Immediate Goal: Thought cannot be directed on the past or in the future. Pitch as if the only thing that matters is the next pitch you are going to throw.
6. Always Have A Plan “B”: Mentally have a plan ready to handle yourself when things go bad. Plan “B” is your way to control negative thoughts, eliminate them and replace them with specific, positive directions.
7. Control Your Breathing To Control Your Focus: Must use long, deep abdominal breaths to relax your chest and shoulders. Use this to stop rapid, short and shallow breathing which is an indicator of high stress situations.
8. Mentally Ready To Make Correct Adjustments: Know yourself well enough to feel flaws and immediately make the proper corrections.
9. Be Aggressive: Control the situation; don’t let the situation control you. Take charge of the game by taking charge of yourself.
10. Quick Tempo: The pitcher is always on the rubber waiting for the hitter. Give the appearance that you can’t wait to get the hitter out. Our goal is to spend the least amount of time possible on defense, and the most amount of time possible on offense.
The article below is written by a very good friend of mine, Bobby Simpson, and his company is called Higher Ground. He is a tremendous clinician and I have had the honor of speaking with him at numerous clinics. I would encourage you to get on his mailing list, especially for his thoughts that he sends out every Tuesday. I will kid him about his grammar!LOL.
"This past weekend, I saw a TV ad that said, "Learn the game (basketball) from those who play it best." Sounds good, but ain't good. We want to LEARN the game from those who TEACH it best. Playing well and teaching well do not always go together. I have known quite a few good players who are also very good instructors, but I can name some very good softball or baseball players who do not teach the game very well. It is not a criticism, because their job was to play the game well and they excelled at that job. To assume that they will teach well is not a very good idea. Likewise, I cringe when I read that we should "benchmark"....see what the best in a field do and then copy it. Again, sounds good, but ain't good because we ain't them. A young lady does not necessarily need to copy Jessica Mendoza(terrific player, solid instructor, and fine lady) because she ain't Jessica Mendoza. Same goes for baseball, education, business, and most other areas."
I hope you enjoyed Bobby's thoughts and I'm sure his use of the word "ain't" was for emphasis! He has been a teacher for many years and I'm sure he knows proper grammar!! My point of emphasis would be that as you watch all the pitchers in the Super-Regionals and the World Series you don't need to copy one of them, because that may not be for you. It is what works for them, but not necessarily for you. I want you to be mechanically sound and use a motion that will help your control and allow you to pitch with a lesser chance of injury.
Remember to always think positive and as Coach John Wooden once said, "if we magnified blessings as much as we magnify disappointments, we would all be much happier."
Look forward to seeing you at camp and if you haven't signed up please give the dates a look, we are very close to being full, especially in the four one-hour sessions, and would like for everyone who wants to come to camp to have that opportunity.
Enjoy the Game!!
Thought you might all enjoy reading the article below by Mike Candrea, Head Softball Coach at Arizona and past Olympic Coach. I found it quite interesting and would encourage all of you players to have your parents read it also. As I've often said at camp I believe we have it just backwards in travel ball. Most travel ball teams play a lot of games and don't practice very often. I would rather see us practice more and play fewer games. Of course, that is only beneficial if the practice is run correctly with heavy emphasis on fundamentals and learning the game, not just playing it. That's an article for another day! Please pay close attention to the 3rd paragraph, I found that perspective to be quite interesting. You've also heard me say a lot at camp that the two easiest things in life to do are quit and lose, anybody can do those two things! I love to read about competing and earning the right to play! Enough said, read the article and see what you think!
Playing vs. Competing
Have we developed a system that has created an unintended consequence in player development? I can honestly say that kids are playing many more games over a 12 month period than ever before yet we find fewer competitors in today’s culture. What do I mean by this statement? Pound for pound, you will find more kids that are more technically sound than ever before but we are confusing ability for talent. As Allen Fox, author of The Winners Mind suggest, “Most people mistake speed and skill for talent. Real talent starts with energy, drive, work ethic and the will to win. Without these attributes, a player can never be great.”
In this country, we have focused so much on playing, that we have not taught our players to compete-to fight- to work hard or to have the will to win. We emphasize playing, technical ability and skills. Our youth players play a lot of softball, but few compete.
It is not always the fault of the players. Our “system” or our “softball culture” is dysfunctional. When a player is not playing, she simply changes teams. There is no thought about competing for a spot on the team, fighting for a spot, getting better to earn a spot – we simply change teams. The message to the players is that striving to get better is not important; it is simply how you play and how you look.
High School age players don’t care much about the outcome of most games they play. They do care about “showing” – about playing to showcase their skills and abilities for college coaches. How many times have you heard a parent tell their daughter that you played well or you showed well despite losing the game?
Add to this the large number of meaningless games and we have a deadly combination. The emphasis slowly changes from the game to the individual. The emphasis has changed to playing and showing and competing is lost. By the time our players move to the next level, they have not learned how to compete.
In fact, research is very clear that constant praising of children’s innate (softball skills or intellectual) ability can prevent young athletes/students from living up to their potential. On the other hand, studies show that teaching young people to focus on effort rather than ability helps make them high achievers and competitors in school, on the field and in life! As coaches, we must do our part to emphasize attitude and effort – two elements that we have control over each and every day and will largely influence our success in life.
Until next month,
Little Eyes are Watching - Author Unknown
There are little eyes upon you
And they're watching night and day.
There are little ears that quickly
Take in every word you say;
There are little hands all eager
To do anything you do;
And a little girl who's dreaming
Of the day she'll be like you.
You're the little girl's idol;
You're the wisest of the wise,
In her little mind about you,
No suspicions ever rise;
She believes in you devoutly,
Holds that all you say and do,
She will say and do, in your way
When she's grown-up like you.
There's a wide eyed little girl
Who believes you're always right,
And her ears are always open,
And she watches day and night;
You are setting an example
Every day in all you do,
For the little girl who's waiting
To grow up to be like you.
DON'T QUIT - Edgar A. Guest
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressuring you down a bit,
Rest, if you must- but don't you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up, though the pace seems slow-
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out-
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you can never tell how close you are;
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit-
It's when things seem worst that you mustn't quit.