Pitching with Aggression - Coach Tierney

          “Pitching is the art of instilling fear”
                         Sandy Koufax

There are three kinds of pitchers out there:

1.       The pitcher that is passive and avoids contact.

2.       The pitcher that is neutral and just tries to get outs with good pitches.

3.       The pitcher that is assertive and attacks the strike zone regardless of the situation, batter, circumstance, or intangible. 

Let’s discuss each one in detail.  Let’s go with the first example, the pitcher that is passive and avoids contact, #1.  Here are some traits of this pitcher:

 ·         Doesn’t believe in himself.

·         Doesn’t trust his fielders to make a play.

·         Feels like he has to strike everyone out.

·         Throws junk all game.

·         Doesn’t work hard between games because he doesn’t see the point in it.

·         Quits at the first sign of trouble.

·         Thinks to himself “here we go again” any time he is in trouble on the mound.

This type of pitcher is desperately trying to avoid contact.  He “nibbles” at the corners and gets behind hitters because he gives them too much credit.  He is afraid to throw his best stuff early in the count.  He does not trust his fastball so he throws junk all game.  He does not last.  He has no confidence and at the first sign of adversity, he throws in the towel.  His career is over at a very young age.

#2, the pitcher that is neutral and just tries to get outs with good pitches.

·         Thinks the idea of “some days you have it, some days you don’t” actually is logical and explains why he fails and succeeds (You directly control when you have it and when you don’t due to your level of aggression, preparation, and mental mindset).

·         May work on weaknesses between starts, but usually fails to have an actual game plan for each outing.

·         Often compares himself to the players that are around him (Great players do not emulate those who are similar; they emulate those who are better, and try to become more like them).

·         Often “hopes” for success (“Boy, I hope I have it today”, “I hope I have my good stuff”, rather than “these guys have no chance, I own this game”).

#3, The pitcher that is assertive and attacks the strike zone regardless of the situation, batter, circumstance, or intangible. 

·         Doesn’t care about what anyone thinks of him when he is pitching, trusts his ability.

·         Loves to work hard because he sees results.

·         Pounds the zone early in the count and forces weak contact, trusting his fielders to make the play.

·         Would rather induce a weak groundball by throwing a powerful pitch rather than strike someone out because it keeps his pitch count low.

·         Is a big game pitcher because he loves pressure and thrives in intense situations where the game is on the line.

·         Is VERY confrontational on the mound.

·         Pitches inside with hard intensity, and if he happens to hit someone, it does not bother him.

·         Never apologizes for making a mistake on the mound, he realizes they occur, and he doesn’t let it happen again.

·         Understands he is not perfect, so he doesn’t try to be.  Instead he focuses on being the best he can possibly be.

·         Could care less who is batting.  His focus is on the glove, not the actual batter.

Statistically through time, those who are more aggressive usually come out on top.  From world leaders, to business, to the greatest kings to rule countries, aggression is a key piece of success.  So why should pitching be any different?  The hitter does not like you.  If he hits a home run off of you, forces you to come out of the game and you get cut and never play again, he could care less.  Solution?  Attack him with your best stuff. 

Aggressors intimidate their opponent through strong confrontation.  They mentally dominate their opponent by showing that they have no fear, and they will constantly attack you.  Here it is, let’s see what you got.  If you are too close to my plate, I am not afraid to knock you on your back with an inside fastball.  If the bases are loaded, you will see my best stuff and I wish you the best of luck.  You’re going to need it.  If by some odd chance you do happen to beat me, I will get right back up and attack you again.  This time I will win. 

Look over the traits above and see what ones fit you.  If they are either of the first 2, which may be true, then you might need to make an adjustment in the way you pitch.  You may need to be more aggressive and attack the zone rather than waiting for something to just happen. 

One last piece of advice.  This world will not give you anything for free.  If you really truly want something, you have to go and get it yourself.  If you just keep making pitches “hoping” to have success, then you need to find a different game to play.  The strike zone is yours and when you step onto that mound, you are the boss.  You control the game.  You own the strike zone.  So go out there, pound the zone with your best stuff, and come out a winner.

Chris Tierney

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# Kevin 2014-11-05 22:23
Great inspiration Chris!
Jake loves being taught by you.
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