As I hope you know by now, I am doing a blog series based on comments from an Instagram post that was made about 4 weeks ago —So basically, each of the current blogs including this one are based upon your requests. Thank you again, everyone, for all the posts. Without further ado, on to the next request!
This next one is courtesy of @greengrace72. She wants to know, “How you became a successful pitcher?”
Well, to be honest y’all, the first thing that comes to my head is, I don’t know!! Then, after a little bit of thinking, I would say that I set some goals. To be more precise, I set my mind on what I wanted and then came up with a plan on how I would do it. Of course, that included a lot of different things, but the majority of it was practice! Yep, I became a practice machine! I developed a practice routine. Everyday, I would get home from school and have a snack. My mom would put my little sisters down for a nap or have them watch Sesame Street. Then, my mom and I would go out to the front yard. In my particular case, it was in the street. We would do everything including groundballs, fly balls and all the drills my coach had talked about. Sometimes, we would practice for thirty minutes. Sometimes, practices were only 20 minutes, but on the rare occasion, they were 45 minutes or an hour. We didn’t always have a lot of time and it became a treat to go to the field. My mom started carrying a bucket with her everywhere. We didn’t always have a chance to go to a field. In fact, most of the time it was in the middle of our street. Cars would pass all the time, but I think after awhile, my neighbors got used to us being out there.
When I was young, I only practiced was mechanics and form. Once I got to where I knew what I was doing, I practiced hitting my locations. It wasn’t until my freshman year of high school that my pitching coach (at the time), Kenny Gardner, had a talk with me. He told me that it was time that I learn a pitch and that it would be a difference maker. It had to be a go-to pitch, a strikeout pitch. He knew I was going to play in the very competitive MBL (Monterey Bay League) in high school. So like a good coach does, he wanted me to be ready. We eventually settled on the rise ball. I practiced it over and over and decided that it was going to be the pitch that would help me achieve my goals. In order for me to do that, I had to make it ridiculously good. I had to make it so good, that I couldn’t be ignored.
A lot of time has passed since then, but it seems like yesterday. Pitching to me, is such a daily challenge. It invigorates me. It has taught me a ton and it has brought tears, as well as smiles to me. Since high school, probably my biggest advice, as well as my biggest challenge to help me be successful, has been to keep learning. I want to be a student of the game. Whether I’m watching baseball or softball on TV, I focus on pitchers from all different levels and analyze their practice and game pitches. I like to watch and talk about pitching with others so that I am always learning. I am a student of my craft and I constantly change. I must learn to evolve and get better so that every time I'm in the circle, I’ll be ready to BringIt!
Both shots are taken at a similar time during the pitch but over an almost 8 year span. Can you spot some of the differences? Can you see how I have evolved?
I believe in constantly changing and evolving as a pitcher to be better in all aspects of the game. They can be big or small changes and they involve in me being the best I can be at my craft. Pitching.