Head Games

Throwing to the Pitcher

We named this board after Walter Herbison's book. Ask questions and discuss issues relating to the mental aspects of sports performance. Walter will post as his busy schedule allows.

by TimKafer » Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:09 pm

Posted by Cmon:
My son is 15 and he is a catcher. He played Varsity as a Freshman this season and was the only Fresh to make the AA Legion team.

This whole season he has struggled with throwing the ball back to the pitcher. His throws to the bases are fine.

I feel like this is mental as he has never experienced this before.

Has anyone dealt with this before and any suggestions
Tim Kafer
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:13 am

by TimKafer » Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:37 pm

I can really feel for your son. I went through this
myself as a 2nd baseman. Anytime that I had plenty
of time to think about the throw, it was a disaster.
I was eventually moved to the outfield as a result.
Golfers call this the Yips. Baseball players Chuck
Knobloch and Steve Blass also suffered from this.

I've read any number of theories about this; as having
both mental and physiological causes. There is also
a specialist who claims to have a very high success
rate with exactly this problem.
I, personally, have pretty much overcome the problem.
I was so frustrated that I started throwing in the
garage in the winter. My throws went everywhere but
at the target! I was really at the point of resignation.

My frustration built to a point where
I flung the ball at the wall in anger and screamed
obscenities. But, lo and behold, I'd hit the target!!
I then spent 10 minutes thinking about why it suddenly
worked. And, slowly, things just got better.
For me, it was a mental problem. I was so afraid of
what "could" happen that I couldn't throw! One theory
states that repetitive activities (typing on a keyboard!) can also be a cause.
We lose the "fine" muscle feedback. I think that I
just had to relearn how to throw.

If it's any consolation, your son is not alone,
this is a fairly common problem. It can be overcome.


"When we played softball, I'd steal second base, feel guilty and go back." Woody Allen

Regards, Steve
Tim Kafer
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:13 am

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