James A. Lopez Here's the Pitch

ISBN 13: 9780966609301

Here's the Pitch

 
9780966609301: Here's the Pitch
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This question-and-answer format book for baseball pitchers explores the mental side of each pitcher in order to make the pitcher effective in his life on the mound. The book gives pitchers and coaches a starting point for understanding themselves and each other so that they truly will be on the same team.

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Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

NINTH INNING

HERE'S THE PITCH--A METHOD

THE DIME

We are in the ninth, and final, inning. There are few precious moments left. Chances are that a diverse group has read this book: pitchers, parents, relatives, friends of pitchers, and coaches. So, to close out on the same page, I have selected a topic all of us have in common.

Let's talk about money. After all, doesn't money have its hand in all of our pockets so to speak? Doesn't it?

Don't get me wrong, though. I am not here to lecture on financial planning. I am not here to cause you to get the big and small picture on money.

More specifically, let's talk about one thin dime. The question for us to consider is: What does the dime have to do with effective pitching?

There are two parts to the answer. First, what is on the dime? Second, what is in the dime?

WHAT IS ON THE DIME?

Seeing the Dime

The dime is a very small object. All of us can picture the dime, however, in order to see a dime we must narrow our focus or it will be lost in the larger landscape.

As a pitcher, you must be able to put your pitches on the dime or you will not be on the mound. Your focus is narrow. Your goal is narrow. Your dime is located in a different place depending upon the pitch called and its location. You need not rely upon home plate, the catcher's mitt, or any variable part of the batter's or catcher's anatomy. The singularity of the dime is your constant target. The dime is the destination point of each pitch. If you can see the dime, then you can place your pitch on the dime. The dime beckons.

Thus, I ask you to get the small picture of pitching and not the big picture. Simplify this great art by reading the small print in a manner of speaking. If you are going to place your pitch on the dime, you have no time to be distracted by the larger world around you. Your gaze is fixed to the matter at-hand. There are no longer any outside temptations to doing your duty. Your duty is to get batters out. There are no exceptions to this duty. Anything that shifts your focus from doing your duty stands in the way of getting batters out and must be disregarded. This means anything! Any broader outlook will prove disastrous as you must be single-minded.

Ralph Waldo Emerson urged us to "Hitch your wagon to a star." His message is very visual. In it you see a road map to success. The dime is no different. You have your eyes on it every pitch of the way toward success; that being, to becoming an effective pitcher.

Feeling the Dime

Close your eyes and imagine the feel of a dime. Place it between your thumb and index finger. It is very small and smooth. It is comforting to rub it. You may even think it has a charm-like quality to it.

As a pitcher, you must be able to feel the ball and its destination on the dime. It is very comforting indeed!

But, you may ask, "How do I get my pitches on the dime?" If you have been a serious student of this book, you have discovered by now that the dime is an acronym for determination, ingenuity, method, and effectiveness. What is on the dime are your pitches. Now, let us look to see what is in the dime.

WHAT IS IN THE DIME?

Look to the spelling of dime. In it you have an "i" and a "me." That's right you! And nobody else but you! You are the only one who can make yourself a person and a pitcher. Ultimately, you are the only one on the mound. Sound lonely? Absolutely not. Sound challenging? Absolutely!

Your determination is in the dime. Your ingenuity is in the dime. Your method of learning to pitch is in the dime. As a result, your effectiveness as a pitcher is in the dime.

ULTIMATE MENTAL PERSPECTIVE

For as little as a dime, then, are you willing to invest in yourself? Don't let anything stand in the way of your playing this game. And, always ask yourself:

"In whom must I trust?"

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