It's fun to be impressed now and then
The other night I was doing a fastpitch softball pitching lesson with a girl named Kristi Gandy, a longtime student of mine and one of the pitching studettes in the area. Kristi is a high school senior who will be pitching at Lake Forest College next year, and will likely be spending lots of extra time playing in post-season tournaments with them.
For most of her lessons this year Kristi's brother Jim has been enlisted to catch. (They have a reciprocity agreement, as she catches for his baseball pitching lessons too). But the other night, she had a new catcher, a girl named Amanda whom I'd met once before when she came out to observe one of our team practices.
Now, I have to admit that given what I do in my off-hours I tend to be pretty hyper-intensive about technique. I like things to be done a certain way, and while I don't spend a lot of time with the catchers who come in to work with my pitching students I do notice what they do.
So it was a real pleasure to watch Amanda catch. Her stances were excellent, as was her glove work, her blocking, and just about anything else you'd care to observe. I was pleasantly impressed with her.
Afterwards I decided to let her know. I complimented her and asked her who her instructor was. She said it was Laura Matthews, one of the coaches at Lake Forest College, which is how she was hooked up with Kristi. Her hitting coach is Joe Kinsella, the head coach there, and one of his assistants works with her on catching.
I see a lot of bad technique taught by people who you think ought to know what they're doing, so it's nice to see excellent technique being taught now and then. What was most impressive was learning afterwards that Amanda is in 8th grade. Here she is, not even in high school, and doing a great job catching for one of the top pitchers in the area, and a senior to boot.
Can't wait to see where she is as a player in four years!