Pitching tips intro: 4 parts to understanding yourself as a pitcher

Jim Clem, a well-recognized name among baseball and the current pitching coach for the Bellingham Bells of the West Coast League, sat down with me a few weeks ago to discuss, in depth, his coaching philosophy and to give us some pitching tips for players who are both seasoned and new to the game.

Coaching = physical + psychological

It’s important to note that Jim Clem is a seasoned athlete in his own right: he was a standout player on his high school basketball and baseball teams, and, among his many other qualifications, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Athletic Administration.

It’s his understanding of psychology that allows the coach to really bridge the connection between sports and the mind. Not only has he seen mental training show its muscle through his athletes’ improved performance, but he recognizes that, on a basic psychological level, people are wired in a way that makes mental strength so critical to sports performance.

To Jim, his coaching philosophy involves being a “lifelong learner” – reading, talking, and constantly self-educating.

Read the transcript of this interview HERE.

Understand yourself first

Jim then told me briefly about what he considers are the four essential components of understanding yourself as a pitcher.

Without a strong hold on these basic concepts – what they are and what they mean to the pitcher’s individual development – it will be a long and unnecessarily difficult road to achieving top performance.

Pitching Tips: 4 Parts

  1. The Physical – Jim considers this the “almost over-coached” aspect of sports training.
  2. The Mental – The “so under-trained” portion, this part actually encapsulates the next two parts, meaning, of Jim’s four parts, THREE involve mental training.
  3. Emotional Training
  4. Spiritual Recognition

Read the transcript of this interview HERE.

We’ll share more of Jim’s interview with you in January, where we’ll discuss

  • Common pitcher hang ups;
  • What Jim would teach a new pitcher;
  • The importance of trust to your game;
  • And more...

...so stay tuned!


Have your own pitching tips? Comment below to share your experience with us and other readers.

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