Want to learn some pitching secrets from a perfect pitcher? On Aug. 15, the Seattle Mariners' Felix Hernandez tossed the 23rd perfect game in Major League Baseball history and the first in the history of the franchise. Here are four sports psychology techniques "King Felix" uses to dominate hitters.
Hernandez's pitching is often described as effortless. So how do you achieve a more natural approach with your pitches?You mentally train the throwing muscles to move towards the target while relaxing the non-throwing muscles. This reduces the amount of resistance in the motion and increases speed and efficiency.
Hernandez was releasing the ball high and putting the ball in the lower third part of the strike zone. How do you focus like a laser? You mentally train your eyes to guide the ball.
Hernandez and his catcher worked his breaking pitches. You can do this by trusting your catcher on what pitch will be most likely to confuse the batter. Hernandez's fastball has been clocked at 100 mph. Any pitch slower than 95 would confuse most batters, especially if it's curving in or away.
The nickname "King Felix" means Hernandez owns the diamond. It's his realm, his domain. Hernandez has an uncanny ability to make a batter doubt his ability to hit. He intimidates batters by showing that his skill is better than theirs.