4thGen is starting his freshman season this week. He has the resume, athleticism and skills to play with the upperclassmen however he has some mental reservations about facing varsity hitter and pitchers. We've both read Head Games and will listen to the audio CD in car on the way to club tournaments.
Is there anything in particular we can do to prepare him mentally for the challenge of competing with older players?
Remind him that he is playing against the game and not the players. His success will depend on how often he hits the catcher's glove, the number of first pitch strikes, how well he fields his position, his mound demeanor and how well he pitches with runners on base.
He must learn to block out the things that he cannot control, especially the hits he gives up. All pitchers do that. I think he has a great opportunity. Have him look at it that way.
When I missed one of Stephen's games I asked him; did you hit the glove, did you throw strike 1 after a hit, did you give up any walks? I never asked him how many K's he got, how many hits or if he won the game. I didn't want him to focus on those things.
Focusing on the things he can control is a formula for success.