A few months ago I blogged about one of my students, Stephanie, who had been promised a kitten by her father if she hit 57 mph. (I tried to find the original post but couldn't and so gave up. But it's out there somewhere.)
Last Friday night, Steph earned her kitten. In fact, she blew past the goal and actually nailed a 58 as well as a couple of 57s*on the Jugs gun. I always require a second reading at a speed before I'll trust it, as there are all kinds of factors that can create a false reading on a one-time try.
I think her dad Rick had mixed emotions on it -- happy she*got there but dreading the addition of a kitten to the family --*but I can tell you Steph was high-energy for the rest of the lesson.
One thing that was interesting was how Steph got to her best speeds. On her first couple of attempts, she scored a 56. I knew this was something she really wanted, and guessed she was over-amping herself. So I told her to take a deep breath, relax and give it another try. Sure enough, she hit 58.
It was the same with each of her attempts. When I would remind her to take a deep breath she'd hit her target. When I let her go on her own, she'd fall just short. She told me afterwards she's going to add the deep breath to her pre-pitch routine. Something for all pitchers to think about as they try to get that little bit extra on the ball. Instead of getting all tightened up, breath deeply and relax.
So for those of you rooting for Stephanie to earn her kitten, you can be delighted for her. She's there. Can't wait to see the photos. And by the way, she told me if it's male kitten she'll name it Ken, and if it's a girl it will be Kendra. Guess we'll see about that.