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Pitching Under Pressure

Decent Essays
Perfect Pitching Under Pressure There are two outs in the bottom of the ninth of the World Series; the team in the field is up by one and the best hitter is coming up the plate. The pitcher takes a deep breath and realizes what had to be done. Three strikes and the game was over, but that seemed an eternity away with the overwhelming pressure mounting. How could the pitcher move past the pressure and get the last out? The answer would more than likely surprise most people. It is common knowledge that the pitcher must physically be in the right positions to throw a strike, but it is quite the opposite for the mental side of pitching. The mental aspect plays a much larger factor than most people would presume and in reality, it is just as important…show more content…
It is surprisingly common for a pitcher who is having problems outside the sport that would affect their mental health to see a decrease in their in-sport performance. In her article on PsychologyToday.com, Laura Miele says in general “Negative external or internal psychological factors can lead to mental blocks, causing breaks in focus and preparation, poor performance and, at times, injuries to the athlete.” The most basic example of this would be some non-sport related activity or interaction that would distract the pitcher during play. As stated earlier in the essay, focus on throwing strikes is of paramount importance in order to be successful and any activity or interaction that would take that focus away would be a distraction that would affect performance. In addition, an overall feeling of depression would greatly affect a pitchers well-being in and outside of the sport. As was also stated earlier, pitchers must have confidence in themselves and their ability and depression is in one faced a lowered self-confidence. Depression and anxiety commonly go hand in hand and together or alone they can greatly influence sport performance. One example of a baseball player who faced depression and saw a drastic change in performance is Joey Votto, first basemen for the Cincinnati Reds. He said in an interview with Bleacher Report during the 2009 season "The stuff I was dealing with off the field finally seeped its way into the game.” After taking time off from the game and getting his personal life in order, he came back to win the NL MVP, the most valuable player award, the next year. It is very uncommon to think of the impact that psychological problems can have on finding success in pressure situations, but the evidence shows that the connection is clear and players and coaches should be more aware of
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