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Thread: Pulling the ball question

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    Checking out the clubhouse clank's Avatar
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    Default Pulling the ball question

    Hey all…I am new to posting here and have a question regarding pulling the ball.

    My DD is 8 and plays rec 8U. It is coach pitch and her coach usually pitches it pretty slowly down the middle. She always hits it back up the middle. When I work with her I try to teach her to hit the ball where it is pitched and she has gotten pretty good at it. Problem is if the other team has a decent pitcher she has a hard time getting it past her. Her coach keeps telling her to pull the ball toward third base and she can't do it.

    At this age should she be working at always pulling the ball or continue with what she is doing? Thanks

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    Checking out the clubhouse Red504's Avatar
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    In 8u she is ahead of the game if she consistently hits off the kid pitching. Most 8u girls wait for four balls and the coach to come in. It comes down to her not hitting the ball out in front. Probably a slow swing, which is common at that age.

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    Checking out the clubhouse clank's Avatar
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    Thanks Red,
    It is actually coach pitch and is very slow with a downward arc like slow pitch softball. I wish he would pitch it faster and flatter, but that is another issue. Right now she strides and loads her hands early then is waiting for the ball. She lets it get deep and flatten out then hits it back up the middle. The coach says she has timing issues and wants her to swing earlier to pull the ball. That would probably help her get on base more often, but I am unsure if she should get in a habit of swinging early as she plans the try TB next year and will be facing much faster pitching.

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    I'm a fan sb03dad's Avatar
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    My DD was the same in 8u. A friend told me, have her open her stance up, and swing away. She did, and was putting the ball in play to third and left field.

    Was worried about hitting technique, and all that, friend just laughed and said, no matter what, you're going to have to fix it anyway when she's in 10u and goes through her growth spurt. Sure enough, 8 inch growth spurt and fixing her technique now, even though she had great technique as an 8u. Amazing how a awkward and gangly a little girl can get over night.

    She's in TB now, and is a .400 hitter with a good slugging percentage.

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    Certified softball maniac CoogansBluff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clank View Post
    Thanks Red,
    It is actually coach pitch ....
    If it's coach pitch, then if the coach wants the ball hit to LF, the coach should pitch the ball inside. You are correct in your original post that hitters should go with the pitch. IMO, hitters typically should look to drive the ball up the middle, but adjust based on where the pitch is thrown. That is, take an inside pitch a little early, an outside pitch later. I don't think it's a good idea to throw a ball down the middle and ask girls to pull that. It can lead to the player casting her arms out in order to get around the ball. Casting doesn't hurt you that much in 8U coach pitch, but it's a significant problem when facing pitchers with control.

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    13th Step Softball Addict coach james's Avatar
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    If its coach pitch, and the coach wants the ball down third base line... then he should help her out by pitching to the inside, so that she can get turned easier.

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    Certified softball maniac MsDinosaur's Avatar
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    If you have a girl who's already hitting the ball where she should, i.e. where it was pitched, it seems crazy to try to train her into a technique which won't serve her as well in the long run. (However, if the pitches are really s-l-o-w now, then she is going to need to work on her hitting when she goes into TB.) I sure wouldn't change her hitting strategy just to increase her batting average in 8U rec! In her not-so-distant future, hard hit ground balls to the 5/6 hole mostly turn into outs; hard hit ground balls back past the pitcher mostly turn into hits.

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    I can talk softball all day Rooster98's Avatar
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    If I had a 8U girl slamming the ball up the middle I be giving her a high five everytime she did. Nothing wrong with a strong hit up the middle. 8U pull the ball??? Nah, hit the ball. As she grows and gets stronger she will turn on a inside pitch and drive it. But with that being said what size bat is she using and what is her size?

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    Certified softball maniac CoogansBluff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rooster98 View Post
    If I had a 8U girl slamming the ball up the middle I be giving her a high five everytime she did. Nothing wrong with a strong hit up the middle. 8U pull the ball??? Nah, hit the ball. As she grows and gets stronger she will turn on a inside pitch and drive it. But with that being said what size bat is she using and what is her size?
    Not that I disagree w/ you, but he didn't say she was slamming the ball up the middle. He said ''the other team has a decent pitcher, (and) she has a hard time getting it past her.'' In other words, she's grounding out to the pitcher a lot. If you ground to SS or 3B in 8U, you're usually safe at first.

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    Checking out the clubhouse clank's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot guys,
    Rooster - her bat is 28/17. She is on the smaller side, but swings it well. I don't know her exact size. I would guess she is 4'2" and about 60 lbs or so.

    CoogansBluff - correct, I would not say she is slamming the ball up the middle but she does it it pretty solid. It will get by most mediocre pitchers but the good ones field it and throw her out at first. I have worked with her quite a bit and tought her to hit middle pitches back up the middle. If I pitch it inside she will always pull it and she always hits outside pitches toward first base. This is what we have worked on and what I want her to do. Problem is I don't think the coach and I are on the same page. I am more concerned with the process and how she will hit when she is bigger. He wants wants all the kids to hit it toward left so the are guaranteed to get on base. To me that is ok because he obviously wants to win. I want my dd to help the team. But we have put in a lot of practice to her swing and really don't want to take a step backward.

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