Top Qualities Every Pitcher Needs to Have
Baseball can be challenging, and you better be just as tough to endure the curveballs thrown at you during your career both on and off the field. You can throw all the fastballs at a 95+ velocity, but what good is that when you don't have the personality to match it? Here's a list of the top qualities every great pitcher needs to succeed as a professional pitcher and how they are measured.
Students are given personality assessments to offer guidance for future career opportunities. These assessments are becoming more and more popular with hiring managers and interview opportunities to find the personalities that will best match the potential work environment.
And just like any other career, baseball players have very similar assessments to offer guidance on the qualities necessary to be successful on the field.
Athletic Motivation Inventory
The Athletic Motivation Inventory (AMI) is a tool created to measure the players' personality traits related to their athletic ability. The AMI measures 11 characteristics:
- Emotional control
- Mental toughness
This self-reporting survey will ask a series of questions about situations encountered as an athlete and allows the athlete to gauge their reaction to the problem. The AMI was initially published in the 1960s to help determine what characteristics tied to an athlete's success. Though the survey has been questioned throughout the years, it has inspired several variations of this survey.
Though assessments give the general idea of what traits are commonly seen in athletes, they don't always cater to the uniqueness of each player. It is also questionable whether these identifiable traits do guarantee the athlete will have a successful career.
However, they are a great resource and tool for further coaching and reflection, but we believe you must exemplify the following qualities to be a great pitcher.
You must have self-confidence
As a pitcher, you must be confident in your pitches and yourself as you follow through. Your coach can only get you so far with extrinsic motivation, and the rest is up to you to intrinsically motivate yourself to have the confidence to keep growing on the field.
It would be best to keep that self-confidence going after games that don't go in your favor. Just because you have one bad game does not mean you are an awful player. Reminding yourself that you are more than one lousy pitch can boost your confidence over time. The key is to be consistent with yourself to continue the development of your self-confidence.
You must be consistent
Speaking of consistency, you must establish routines and be consistent with them. These routines create a much more manageable training schedule to help you achieve your pitching goals safely and efficiently.
It would help if you also were consistent with your intentions as a pitcher. Once you find your niche pitches, you must not get complacent. There is always work to be done, regardless of how fast you're pitching.
You must remain objective when pitching and training
We recommend you develop the ability to detach yourself from a situation and analyze it objectively. Taking a referee's decision personally can reflect poorly on you if you are reactive.
As you train, you also have to be objective about your growth in mobility and strength. You cannot take small, incremental changes too personally. Reminding yourself to view these changes as a part of the larger pathway to success can be refreshing.
You also can't take a lousy game personally. It would be best if you remained cool, calm, and collected to pick yourself back up and do your best the next time around. There will always be something to learn from, so we recommend you don't take those opportunities for granted.
You must be humble about your skills and performance
Be humble and accept defeat, as well as constructive criticism. We understand that your self-confidence is high, but this is not synonymous with arrogance. You have to acknowledge your flaws and use them as a tool for your betterment as a pitcher.
Tying into that, be humble, and do not boast about your performance. You can be a fantastic player, but this does not mean that you have the right to go around making other players feel like they are beneath you as they develop their skills.
You must be able to manage stress well or learn to do so
Learning to manage your stress is essential because it can be overwhelming to be stared at as you prepare to pitch standing on the mound.
The stress of a busy schedule can derail your personal life and your overall performance during a game. Teams will travel as needed, which means you need to handle the constant stress of leaving your home for some time.
You also can't overstress the changes in your stats and skills. There will always be a change in your game, so it is best to embrace it and learn from it. Making light of your failure can lessen that burden and keep your stress levels lower.
You must have a competitive edge
Being competitive keeps you in the game. You are more attentive and work toward being your best and winning for your team.
Since there's always something to learn from, being competitive with yourself will help you develop your skills. You will always have room for improvement and coaching. Staying on top of yourself and beating your records are the best ways to see the progress toward your pitching goals.
You must be willing to be the pitcher you want to be
You must be willing to embrace the chaos of baseball. Only you have the power to decide what kind of player you want to be. You have to be aware that you will give your time to train, travel, and play to continue to be the best pitcher you want to be.
You also must be willing to represent your team well. There is a confident attitude you must have about being a role model. As a collegiate and professional baseball player, you are also gaining a whole new exposure. Your life will be a part of the game, and you must be willing to share that with your new fans.
You must be analytical about the way you play
Being able to analyze your pitches gives you the ability to progress. If your pitch went a different direction or took a turn for the worst, you can examine exactly why it did and how to fix it.
Also, doing more of a creative visual analysis on the field allows you to see the effects of your pitch before the ball leaves your hand. Knowing your pitches and form well enough to see the impact of your ball before you release it can be beneficial to your pitching during your games.
You must be an adaptable player
You also have to be a coachable player. You might be drafted and then moved from one organization to another based on your skills as they develop. Emotional attachment to your technique can be dangerous because if you are traded to a different team, that coach can request you change to fit the new team's needs better. The easier it is for you to adapt to the changes, the easier it will be to succeed in your new organization.
You must be self-aware
Being self-aware allows you to improve on and off the field. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses in skill and character can help you become the pitcher you want to be. We recommend a moment of reflection after training to identify the areas you should improve on before your next game.
Ryan Weiss is a pitcher willing to put in the work and have measurable goals for real progress. While it's been said Ryan can struggle with being too hard on himself, he is a very coachable player and accepts the constructive criticism as given.
Identifying that you are a pitcher with room for improvement and are willing to learn all you can are qualities we see in Ryan. Because Ryan has been willing to put in the work, he has gone from a Division I collegiate baseball program at Wright State University to the Minor Leagues. Currently, he plays for the Reno Aces, which is under the Arizona Diamondback Organization.
We are excited to see his growth in the Arizona Diamondback Organization and how you can improve with his coaching programs.
We understand that playing ball isn't just playing ball. Being a good baseball player requires a strong personality, willingness to endure difficult situations and adaptability as changes in the season progress. However, to be a great pitcher, you need to have the above qualities and make them work for you.