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Thread: Struggling to hit slow pitching ????

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    I'm a fan justwannaplay's Avatar
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    Default Struggling to hit slow pitching ????

    Hello All:

    My daughter hits the ball hard and far in travel ball but in middle school canít seem to be able to understand the concept of hitting slow pitching?

    I could tell her to think about going to right field with it? She walks a few times and then gets frustrated and swings at pitches she shouldnít.

    Can anyone share an approach to this type of pitching etc...? I know we need to hit the fast stuff and the slow stuff but how to teach that to aggressive hitting kids????

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated....


    JWP

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    Certified softball maniac lhowser's Avatar
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    Here is a thought, it's just not the speed it's gravity. The slower the pitch the more the bottom drops out of pitches. That is why big hitters sometimes swing at air. She has to stay with the pitch, track it and anticipate this effect. She cannot expect the pitch to move the same as a 50mph - 55mph pitch. Just knowing this fact and allowing for it can help a lot.

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    Certified softball maniac quincy's Avatar
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    We have a hitter like this. She might swing over the ball but it is hard to tell because her swing is done before the ball reaches the plate. She is a dead pull hitter, I am not sure if she has ever hit a ball right of 2nd base.

    She was over coached a couple years ago and hit terrible so her parents are very sensitive to any changes.

    She is actually a very good hitter, she could just be a lot better so I am interested in the answer to the OP too.

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    Certified softball maniac obbay's Avatar
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    this might sound lame but what DD has done successfully to compensate for slow pitching is fake bunt, then swing away.

    It's not THE solution but it is one way to address a temporary problem.

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball softballphreak's Avatar
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    Many good hitters have problems with slower pitchers. I've seen quite a few upsets because hitters can't deal with slower pitching.

    A technique that really works (but head coaches are afraid to try for various reasons) is to put the batter in a check swing position with the hips already fired but the hands back at launch position. What this does, in effect, is eliminates most of the timing issues. You will still be able to hit the ball hard; though not as hard as a full swing.

    The main reason it doesn't work is because it's not tried. Just like a bunt, though, it should be practiced. Good luck getting someone to believe it. Try it out on your DD and you will see what I mean--that it works. She'll doubt you at first--until she sees for herself how far she can still hit it.

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    Softball Junkie SoCalSoftballdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by softballphreak View Post
    Many good hitters have problems with slower pitchers. I've seen quite a few upsets because hitters can't deal with slower pitching.

    A technique that really works (but head coaches are afraid to try for various reasons) is to put the batter in a check swing position with the hips already fired but the hands back at launch position. What this does, in effect, is eliminates most of the timing issues. You will still be able to hit the ball hard; though not as hard as a full swing.

    The main reason it doesn't work is because it's not tried. Just like a bunt, though, it should be practiced. Good luck getting someone to believe it. Try it out on your DD and you will see what I mean--that it works. She'll doubt you at first--until she sees for herself how far she can still hit it.
    Instead of putting a band aid on the problem by messing with swing mechanics, would a better solution be to do front toss using different speeds so the player learns how to adjust properly to the lesser speed? I'm not a big fan of pitching machines, but you can also set-up the machine speed to replicate slower pitching and incorporate that into your normal hitting practice. It also will help with all the off-speed pitches the batter will face not just a slow throwing pitcher.

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    Softball Junkie FPMark's Avatar
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    This is what timing the pitcher is for. In the ondeck circle is a good time to work on when to coil, stretch, and fire. If during TB she coils while pitchers arm is at 12:00, she may need to delay in MS ball untill 9:00, or later. Then look where the pitch is in relation to the plate when she gets to contact point in the swing to determine correct timing. Being able to adjust to the pichers speed, without slowing down the bat is key.

    You can practice timing by throwing full motion front toss at a speed similar to what you are seeing and having the next girl up timing the pitch before she gets in to hit. Make sure they are serious about it by offering bonus points for hitting hard line drives (no slowing down the swing) as soon as they get in the cage.

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    I'm a fan playball13's Avatar
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    Does she have problems with Change-ups in TB?
    This is the same as a pitcher who throws nothing but change-ups in TB. Changing the swing just for Middle School does nothing to help you in the long run. When she steps have her step softly and stay off her heel until she has recognized the pitch even transferring more weight into her rear like she is going to sit down. You can practice by having her hold the toe touch and sit down for a couple of seconds before swinging off a tee or front toss.

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball softballphreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalSoftballdad View Post
    Instead of putting a band aid on the problem by messing with swing mechanics, would a better solution be to do front toss using different speeds so the player learns how to adjust properly to the lesser speed? I'm not a big fan of pitching machines, but you can also set-up the machine speed to replicate slower pitching and incorporate that into your normal hitting practice. It also will help with all the off-speed pitches the batter will face not just a slow throwing pitcher.
    Definitely agree that teaching the right way to do it is best. My suggestion was for a quick fix in a game--the band aid.

    One other thing I notice is when the kids are hitting off of a tee they have a tendency to set the tee almost a foot away from them towards the mound. This forms a bad habit of not letting a pitched ball come in deep enough. This is a killer for power hitters.

    The hit the ball harder off of the tee because at contact they are just at the end of their extension--disconnected. Which doesn't work well against live pitching. Especially slow pitches or change ups.

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    Softball Junkie FPMark's Avatar
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    There is a difference between hitting a change up and hitting a slow pitcher. Hitting a CU requires an adjustment durring the swing, where hitting a slow pitcher requires adjusting the start of the swing. The main problem I see with slow pitchers is hitters are reluctant to delay the start to be able to swing normally and wind up trying to slow down durring the swing.

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