For pitchers, game day requires plenty of focus and attention. To perform at your best, you need to prepare beforehand to get ready for that first batter. But prep work isn’t just warming up prior to the first pitch. Rather, preparing for game day is a full day’s work.
Professional baseball player Tim Melville shares some tips from his game day routine that can help your schedule. Discover how he mentally prepares for his upcoming games with these Pro Tips.
When determining how to prepare for your baseball game, there is no strict timeframe. Once you know you’re the starting pitcher for that day, you can begin to develop your attack plan for the mound. For Melville, his game day plan begins the night before each start.
“I’ll go over the team that I’m actually going to face – the lineup – and kind of watch some video and break it down to where when I go to bed at night, I’m dreaming about what I want to have happen for the next day,” Melville says.
Giving yourself time to formulate a pitching approach can help you stay calm leading up to taking the field. Being calm can, in turn, help boost your confidence when facing each batter. Coming to the field prepared and knowing how you’re going to approach your opponent can help lower stress with each pitch.
In addition to dedicating time to your mental preparation, another key component to a successful game day routine is consistency. Having a rhythm to your day can help maintain a positive, focused mindset. Knowing when and what you’re doing with each passing hour can help you stay balanced as you approach game time.
Consistency can help you stay on track with not just your stretching and bullpen work, but off-the-field activities, too. Melville notes he enjoys eating a hamburger before each game, adding another layer to his game day routine. “I like to keep it as consistent as possible. That allows me to just be on time because it is kind of like a big moving machine,” he says.
With your game day routine, you don’t want to feel rushed to the mound. Having this anxious pace can leave you flustered and unable to perform at your best. Melville says the best way for you to become accustomed to your rhythm is to move at a pace that’s comfortable to you.
“You’re still getting adjusted to having a prepared approach to the game,” he says. “Go at your own pace, you know. Stretch it as long as you need and throw as long as you need before the game and, you know, have some fun.”
An effective game day routine can help you stay focused on pitching and playing your best. Having that schedule can help you stay calm, cool and confident leading up to – and throughout – your game. Start your day off right and dominate from first pitch to last with these baseball tips.