When I was a 21 year old kid, I had just graduated from Davis and Elkins College and was looking forward to (more hopeful of) an opportunity in professional baseball.
San Francisco Giants' pitcher Madison Bumgarner won game four of the 2010 World Series to put the Giants one game away from their first World Series title as a San Francisco based team. Madison Bumgarner is 21 years old.
I don't know much about Madison Bumgarner's background. But from watching him pitch last night, I think it is pretty safe to assume he is confident. And he is blessed. You don't make it to Major League Baseball as a 21 year old if you aren't blessed. You have to be gifted to have the physical tools he does at that age.
But you don't have success in the Major Leagues at 21 if you aren't confident.
He pitched a great game last night, allowing three hits in eight innings and not allowing a run. He was in complete control of the entire game. The only time the Rangers really threatened to score was in the eighth inning, when they had runners on first and second base, but there were two outs.
He only walked two guys and he threw a first pitch strike to 21 of the 27 batters he faced - another sign of the confidence he has in himself and the pitches he throws.
I've said it before and I'm sure I will repeat it. The best way to be a successful pitcher is to pitch with confidence, throw strikes and attack the strike zone. Madison Bumgarner laid out the blueprint last night. Even as a 21 year-old pitching in the World Series.