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Ask the Coach

Coach Arnald Swift

Terry asks:

What is the main reason kids are afraid to be a pitcher? Is it being the main focus in front of the crowd? Or is it being afraid of throwing balls and strikes with an umpire and worrying about hitting batters?

Coach Swift answers:

The simple answer is to say you're 100% right with all three causes.

Every individual has their own fear of failure and when you put a kid on the pitching mound you increase that fear of failure every time he throws a pitch because there are more bad things that can happen then there are good things that can happen.

When you pitch you can hit the batter, throw a wild pitch, give up a hit, etc. But of course you can throw strikes and get outs, so there is lot of reward for the risk.

Kids who can accept failure and responsibility and love the recognition are the ones who have the mental make-up to be a good pitcher.

From my experience, I believe that kids do not want to pitch because they don't want to be responsible for every single batter and, quite honestly, pitching is the hardest position to excel at.

I would never force a kid to pitch if he did not want to because that just adds to all the negative things that are possible and if it's not a positive experience he will quit pretty quickly.

In summary, I believe kids do not like to pitch because of a fear of failure. They might not have confidence in their athletic ability or can't handle the negative results that come with pitching.

Unfortunately there are negative results in every game, even those that you win, if you're the pitcher. That translates into even more pressure and a heightened fear of failure for many kids.

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