Every pitch is a new day

One of the challenges with fastpitch softball is how difficult the game can be from a mental standpoint. A little failure here, a little failure there and things can start to get overwhelming.

Last night something occurred to me to help change that thinking. I held a ball up high and asked the students to imagine it without any seams. I then asked them what else is yellow and Fastpitch sunsits in the sky? A few seemed to think it was a trick question, but they eventually got that I meant the sun.

I then started moving the ball at arm’s length from hip high to overhead, and asked “What does the sun do each morning?” They replied various versions of “rise.” Then I kept moving the ball down and asked, “what does it do each evening?” Most said “fall” instead of set, but they got the idea.

Then came the point. I asked if they’d ever had a tough day, where they couldn’t wait to go to bed. They’re teenage girls, so of course they have. I asked, “But then after a good night’s sleep you felt better the next day, right? The world looked a little brighter.” They agreed.

I told them each pitch is like a brand new day, full of possibilities. Whatever happened the day/pitch before doesn’t limit the possibilities of today. They understood.

Tonight I told a girl named Hannah that story. Later we played the “High Fives” hitting game, and she got in the hole with -4. One more bad hit and she’d owe me five pushups. But she kept battling back, and eventually got back to -1 when we had to stop.

I complimented her on her mental toughness, because I really was trying to sink her. She told me she remembered what I said about the sun, and didn’t focus on what would happen if she missed. Instead, she focused on that pitch and that pitch alone, independent of everything else, and said it it worked for her.

If you’re looking for a way to explain playing one pitch at a time, give this one a try. And if you have your own way of explaining it, please share!

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About Ken Krause

Ken Krause has been coaching girls fastpitch softball for nearly 20 years. Some may know him as a contributing columnist to Softball Magazine, where he writes Krause's Korner -- a regular column sponsored by Louisville Slugger. Ken is also the Administrator of the Discuss Fastpitch Forum, the most popular fastpitch discussion forum on the Internet. He is currently a Three Star Master Coach with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and is certified by both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and American Sports Education Program (ASEP). Ken is a private instructor specializing in pitchers, hitters, and catchers. He teaches at North Shore Baseball Academy in Libertyville, IL and Pro-Player Consultants in McHenry, IL.

Posted on February 20, 2013, in Instruction, Mental game. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. This really helped me! I have a bad problem with getting down on myself, especially when I am not hitting well. I am my own worst enemy and usually seem to find myself thinking negatively when I am in a slump. One bad at-bat leads to another and then another. . . and so on. I like the thinking that each at-bat is like a new day. That will definitely be my thought when I step into the box tonight!

    Like

  2. Hi Mackenzie,Glad to hear it makes sense to you. It’s easy to get down on yourself if things don’t go the way you want them to, but you have to get past it. So, has it been working for you?

    Like

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