Pitching 101: Adversity



Dan Cevette
Director, New York

Our column, Pitching 101, was one of the most viewed articles across the Empire State in our first eight months of operation. In 2015, we are bringing a more in-depth column focused solely on everything pitching.

I get asked a lot of questions about baseball; mainly about Pitching. I was a Professional Baseball Pitcher for 11 years in three different MLB Organizations where I was able to fill my knowledge bank on pitching from some very impressive instructors. John Farrell, Scott Radinsky, Charles Nagy, and Steve Belcher just to name a few, and I have also picked the brain of Giants Gold Glove Catcher Kurt Manwaring (1992) a time or two. It's the heart and soul of this beautiful game, let's get to it.

Pitching 101, Adversity
At some point in every pitchers life he will be faced with a challenging, threatening situation on the mound. Adversity is defined as an adverse or unfavorable fortune or fate; a condition marked by misfortune, calamity, or distress. We have all been on the sideline at one point or another and have seen these circumstances unfold. They are never pretty. Malcolm X wrote “There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.” Let’s look at how all this relates to pitching, and the challenges that are unquestionably ahead.

When I was a senior in high school my grandfather told me something I’ll always remember.  My grandfather is responsible for many of my life’s lessons learned from baseball.  That day he said, “no one is looking at you when you’re having success but all eyes will find you when things aren’t going you’re way”.  At 17-years old I never really understood what he meant but I listened. Being a 6-foot-4, left-handed pitcher that could hit 90 mph in a weak Northern PA high school league; let’s just say adversity to me in high school was walking a batter or two, or contact being made. My first real experience with adversity came my second start in professional baseball; I remember it like it was last week.

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