Jim Clem: Character traits & 6 pieces of advice for winning pitchers

We’ve talked about understanding yourself as a pitcher. We’ve talked about the things that can hold you back from achieving peak performance as a pitcher.

Now, we’re going to talk about character. Specifically, the character traits of winning pitchers, and six rules to follow to excel both on and off the mound.

Character traits of successful pitchers

In truth, if you were listening closely, our past articles featuring pitching coach Jim Clem already mentioned the winning character traits. (Surprise!) Admittedly, they’re not very specifically pointed out during the interview and were woven into the fiber of the entire conversation, so might have been tough to pick out.

Don't worry: we'll give you a hand by pulling a quote from directly from the interview:

…the personality characteristics of successful pitchers I think are determined to be physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually balanced, and have a really great competitive nature...
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Ursula Grobler: Winning for the love of the game

Ursula Grobler has a strong love of the game. In hearing her speak, it's easy to see she has a true passion for her sport and there's no doubt that that passion is a strong driving force behind her success.

Last week, I reintroduced Ursula Grobler, 2010 Erg World Record holder, and gave you a peek into an interview I conducted with her about how mental training impacted her outstanding erging performance. (If you missed that article, click here.)

I wanted to continue that thread by sharing a few more portions of that same interview with you.

Ursula Grobler's 2010 Ergomania World Record

A member of Ursula's crew stood by and video recorded Ursula as she pushed herself through Ergomania in 2010 and surpassed the previous record by a full two seconds, a seeming eternity in the sporting world.

Watch the video (Ursula is the one in the white shirt, fourth from the front, with the colorful socks :) ) and take special notice of how relaxed she is even though...

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Ursula Grobler: Erg rowing & mental training

On October 4, 2014, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ursula Grobler about erg rowing (aka “erging”) and the effect mental training has had on her performance. (If you don’t know what erging is, it’s the use of an erg, or a “ergometer”, an indoor training tool for on-water rowers and better known as an indoor rower, one of the toughest full-body exercises to tackle.)

Ursula is the 2010 Erg World Record holder, a feat accomplished at Ergomania 2010 (otherwise known as the Northwest Indoor Rowing Championships). Most recently, Ursula finished fourth in the lightweight single sculls at the 2011 World Rowing Championships and she continues to train hard with the ultimate goal of achieving first place because, as she says, "fourth isn't first"!

Needless to say, Ursula’s an athlete who is experiencing steady improvement in her performance.

Our conversation was a lengthy one, but from it I was able to glean some really great insight into how...

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Jim Clem: Character traits & 6 pieces of advice for winning pitchers (transcribed)

Originally posted in article Jim Clem: Character Traits & 6 Pieces of Advice for Winning Pitchers, published February 26, 2015.

6 Pieces of Advice for Winning Pitchers: #1-3. Warm Up, Practice, & Write it Down!

6 Pieces of Advice for Winning Pitchers: #4. Positive Thinking

6 Pieces of Advice for Winning Pitchers: #5. Routine = breathing + visualizing

6 Pieces of Advice for Winning Pitchers: #6. Beware Your Choice in Music

Transcription of interview conducted by Lindsey Wilson, Positive Performance Training

 

Lindsey: So talk me through, yeah, and maybe give an example of an athlete that you worked with. If I was coming to you again and I was a pitcher and I was very talented, but really didn't know what I was doing, you know, maybe hadn't been coached, what are the routines that we would put in together, pre-game, during game, post-game. You know, what are the things that you teach most athletes, at least, most pitchers?

Jim: Okay. So we'll do an...

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Courtney Thompson on leadership (transcribed)

Originally posted in article Volleyball Olympian Courtney Thompson on the Mental Game and Leadership, published November 26, 2014.

Volleyball Olympian Courtney Thompson on Leadership

Transcription of interview conducted by Lindsey Wilson, Positive Performance Training 

Lindsey Wilson: One of the things that we find with athletes a lot is that they struggle with leadership, there's, I mean, obviously, we can have a whole conversation about leadership, but one issue in particular is they struggle with leadership when they're not playing their best. You know, they're screwing up or they just blew it. How do you – I mean, that's one that your team probably needs it the most, right?

Courtney Thompson: Exactly.

Lindsey: So how do you maintain that leadership even if you're not doing that great?

Courtney: Yeah. It's a really hard one. But I think that's the biggest misconception in leadership, you know? The idea that one, you have to be the best player or always have to be...

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Volleyball Olympian Courtney Thompson on mentally preparing (transcribed)

Originally posted in article Volleyball Olympian Courtney Thompson on the Mental Game and Leadership, published November 26, 2014.

Volleyball Olympian Courtney Thompson on Mentally Preparing

Transcription of interview conducted by Lindsey Wilson, Positive Performance Training 

Lindsey Wilson: Talk us through the mental preparation. You know one of the things obviously that we talk to our athletes a lot about is being able to see the success before you actually achieve it. And knowing that just because you see it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.

Courtney Thompson: Right.

Lindsey: But you can almost assure that it’s not going to happen if you can’t see it.

Courtney: Right. Right. I think one thing I’ve learned is that if you don’t believe you can win, if you don’t believe your team can win, if you don’t believe in yourself, then there’s no point in showing up. And so for me, a lot of the work is doing enough training,...

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Courtney Thompson on the mental game (transcribed)

Originally posted in article Volleyball Olympian Courtney Thompson on the Mental Game and Leadership, published November 26, 2014.

 

Volleyball Olympian Courtney Thompson on the Mental Game

Transcription of interview conducted by Lindsey Wilson, Positive Performance Training 

Lindsey Wilson: I think we really wanted to talk to you Courtney because I know you were really known for being hardworking athlete, and that's something that I've always respected about you. But I just want to talk to you a little bit. You know, everybody thinks about hard work and the physical side of working hard. You know, pushing through physical pain and staying motivated and I'm always fascinated of course by the mental component to pushing past that physical pain and the mental component to discipline. So can you just talk al little bit about that?

Courtney Thompson: Yeah. I think for me, even at a young age, I think it's always been important to me to know my mission. You know? And to...

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Jim Clem on his coaching philosophy (transcribed)

Originally posted in article Pitching Tips Intro: 4 Parts to Understanding Yourself as a Pitcher, published November 24, 2014.

Pitching Coach Jim Clem on his Coaching Philosophy

Transcription of interview conducted by Lindsey Wilson, Positive Performance Training 

Lindsey Wilson: Now coach, I know you have a psychology background and a sports administration background and you've coached, like you said, all these different levels. Tell us if this has happened, has your coaching philosophy evolved over the years and where is it right now?

Jim Clem: Uh, no doubt, you know, it has evolved. I'm, you know, I think it's, you know, I was a psychology history, education major through college and I started those three majors and then I got a master's degree in sports administration, which involved a lot of my training was a lot of evaluation and training of other coaches and athletes and something that I was passionate about and wanted to learn more about. And so I think...

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Ursula Grobler: Winning for the love of the game (transcribed)

Originally posted in article Ursula Grobler: Winning for the Love of the Game, published January 19, 2015.

Erg World Record Holder Ursula Grobler on the Importance of Loving the Game

Transcription of interview conducted by Lindsey Wilson, Positive Performance Training

Lindsey Wilson: All right, final real big challenge in rowing and what you’ve used and advice you would give. The voices in your head and the focus.

Ursula: You’ve got to be in it for the long run, first of all, in rowing, in particular. You’ve got to be in it for the long run is my, and you’ve got to love it, and finding the joy is going to make all of these other things possible. The focus, all the things we spoke about – the mental work, the training – you’ve just got to find the joy in it. Because, also, I believe happy rowers are fast rowers. So, I really think that’s my take-home message. It’s something that I’m working on a lot. I’m not...

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Ursula Grobler: Erg rowing & mental training (transcribed)

Originally posted in article Ursula Grobler: Erg Rowing & Mental Training, published January 12, 2015.

Erg World Record Holder Ursula Grobler on Erg Rowing & the Mental Game

Transcription of interview conducted by Lindsey Wilson, Positive Performance Training

Lindsey Wilson: All right, hello, this is Lindsey Wilson from Positive Performance and I am on the phone with Ursula Grobler, and she is in South Africa right now, so thanks for joining us, Ursula.

Ursula Grobler: Yeah. Thank you. Thanks for having me.

Lindsey: Absolutely. A little bit of background on Ursula. Most recently, you were fourth place at the World Championships. That was in Amsterdam, I believe.

Ursula: Yeah, that’s right, it was.

Lindsey: Yeah, and in 2010, you were the Erg world record holder, which we’re going to talk a little bit about that experience a little bit later. It’s something that you should be quite proud of and is quite an accomplishment. I know you’re well-known...

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