Loading
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: The truth about breaking pitches in college

  1. #1
    Pitching Coach Carly's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Pittsburgh
    Posts
    217
    Thanks
    39
    Thanked 169 Times in 97 Posts

    Default

    When wisdom comes around, people had better take notice. Carly's post is excellent. Sluggers.

    Quote Originally Posted by mosftballdad View Post
    My DD (13) throws a curve...most times...should she be learning the drop curve also? I have heard opinions around here both ways. One camp says it is a gimmick pitch and the other says it is necessary for college ball. Her current PC does not teach a drop curve or a drop change. Is this a needed pitch going forward?
    The only thing that is necessary for college is throwing a few pitches really really well. It really doesn't matter WHAT those pitches are (unless the coach at your target college is closed-minded and doesn't believe in certain pitches... but that's a whole different can of worms); It matters how good they are and if they get people out. Sure, lots of elite pitchers throw/have thrown terrific drops. That's because the drop is/was their best pitch. Lots of elite pitchers never threw drops too, because something else was their best pitch. At 13, you probably do need to go through a few to find out what your best pitch is... but you do have to be careful to keep a balance between discovery/experimentation and just ending up with 6 lousy pitches, as others have said. A good pitching coach should be able to see what your daughter's hand and body want to do naturally and help you determine what pitches to try first based on which are most likely to succeed.

    Pitches get reputations as "gimmicks" when there are a whole bunch of pitchers around who don't throw them well. Sure, a drop curve is a poorly thrown drop if you can't throw either of them right, just like any other movement pitch is just a really terrible slow fastball if you don't throw it right. If you CAN truly command a pitch, it's a different story.

    I don't usually teach the drop curve as its own pitch unless I see that it would benefit a pitcher. I had one pitcher whose only two movement pitches were the drop and the drop curve. They were distinctly different and both very nasty. We moved to the drop curve when she couldn't get the regular curve; her hand just didn't want to do anything but turn over hard.
    Last edited by sluggers; 02-06-2013 at 11:56 AM.

  2. The Following 11 Users Say Thank You to Carly For This Useful Post:

    Ade's Dad (02-06-2013),elamber22 (02-06-2013),flamethrower (02-06-2013),GOINGDEEP (02-06-2013),marriard (02-06-2013),mosftballdad (02-06-2013),redhack (02-07-2013),starsnuffer (02-06-2013),T.J. (02-06-2013),ThatDad (02-06-2013)

  3. #2
    Super Moderator sluggers's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    4,058
    Thanks
    412
    Thanked 1,495 Times in 689 Posts

    Default

    An elite pitcher is "built" by first developing one really great breaking pitch. Then, the other pitches are built around that breaking pitch. So, a pitcher might have a great rise, and then have a so-so curve or screw or rise.

    Again, what happens is that Daddies try to teach their kid all these different pitches and never really develop *ONE* great breaking pitch. (I caught my DD of course. I also caught other pitchers in practice. The elite pitchers always have one jaw dropping, "what the h*** was that" pitch.) A pitcher should be able to *ON DEMAND* vary the speed, vertical location and horizontal location of that breaking pitch.
    Last edited by sluggers; 02-06-2013 at 12:07 PM.
    Ray

    Every softball parent keeps a hockey mask and a butcher knife in their car...

  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to sluggers For This Useful Post:

    Carly (02-06-2013),PGSAKen (02-07-2013)

  5. #3
    Wannabe Duck Boat Owner Greenmonsters's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    3,871
    Thanks
    1,255
    Thanked 1,731 Times in 1,086 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sluggers View Post
    An elite pitcher is "built" by first developing one really great breaking pitch. Then, the other pitches are built around that breaking pitch. So, a pitcher might have a great rise, and then have a so-so curve or screw or rise.

    Again, what happens is that Daddies try to teach their kid all these different pitches and never really develop *ONE* great breaking pitch. (I caught my DD of course. I also caught other pitchers in practice. The elite pitchers always have one jaw dropping, "what the h*** was that" pitch.) A pitcher should be able to *ON DEMAND* vary the speed, vertical location and horizontal location of that breaking pitch.
    Absolutely agree - 1 great breaking pitch + 2 good pitches >>>>> 6 average pitches

    The only thing I did want to point out is that the "great breaking pitch" might not be the first, second, or even third one a pitcher tries to learn. So, after FB and change are learned, I do think you need to experiment to find what that pitcher's best breaking pitch will be and work on mastering it before moving on to try other breaking pitches.
    Its what you learn after you know it all that counts." -- Atributed to John Wooden by Mike Candrea

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to Greenmonsters For This Useful Post:

    Carly (02-06-2013)

  7. #4
    Softball Junkie David Carter's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Universal City Texas
    Posts
    963
    Thanks
    103
    Thanked 248 Times in 195 Posts

    Default

    I know it is not 100% comparable but I think at 13yo is exactly the time to start trying many pitches. In baseball the way pitchers learn was to understand the basic mechanics of how to throw different pitches but the basically experiment on their own to see what works. Different pressure or rotation from exactly the way their PC taught was critical so the pitcher could find their sweet spot. There is not enough time to spend six months trying to perfect a curve, then six months perfecting a screw, then six months for a drop,etc. Teach the principles at concepts behind these pitches then let the pitcher see what works for them.

    The big misconception is that as the pitcher is working on these pitches is to say they "HAVE" 5 pitches...they do not have 5 pitches, they should have a fastball they can locate and change-up for game situation. Then during games they can try maybe one or two pitches they are working on that they are having success with during practice. This should be a progression not a hey my PC showed me this pitch now I HAVE it to and the coach can call it in a game. As a HC I would never call a pitch for my pitcher that I have not seen demonstrated control of during practice.

  8. #5
    I eat, sleep and breathe softball GOINGDEEP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    In your face
    Posts
    4,079
    Thanks
    868
    Thanked 1,896 Times in 889 Posts

    Default

    I'm kinda a statistical guy and process my information according.

    What gets me when looking over the stats is the batting average of fastpitch. Let's look at D1, when I see 3/4 of the roster above .300 and some even above .400 it gets me to thinking that at some point the pitching approach will have to adjust to the clear advances in batting. Slide over to proffessional baseball and you're a god if you hit over .300.

    Some will argue its the bats, a valid point to a degree. But what if we had a deeper bullpen in FP, if we had specialty pitchers? Let's take the fact that most say you need a good drop/rise/CU for D1. Well what do you think I'd work my batters on hitting ALL the time? I'd make them see the rise and drop until they puke.

    So what if I'm up against a team who hammers the drop and rise? Wouldn't it be effective to bring in a east/west pitcher, or someone who can "run" the rise/drop, or even a different handed pitcher? Just something to shake things up a bit.

    Don't get me wrong, I love to watch FP. But for me the pitching side has little fan appeal. There is no strategy about who to match up against opponents, no rotations, and very little options when that mule gets in a bind.
    Arrive, raise hell, leave. - Steve Austin

  9. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to GOINGDEEP For This Useful Post:

    Ade's Dad (02-06-2013),Carly (02-06-2013)

  10. #6
    Banned halskinner's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    2,696
    Thanks
    95
    Thanked 489 Times in 366 Posts

    Default

    Been several years since I worked with students. Talked with some college coaches about some students I was working with or had worked with. They all wanted to know what pitches they threw. However, in every case but one, the first question they all asked was "How fast can she throw?".

    Its been 6 or 7 years from that time but I hope they put more emphasis on what pitches and not so hung up on speed. It was like if the pitcher did not throw at a set speed the coaches had set in their own minds, they would not even look at them.

    I got the strong impression they (They were all men) had a baseball background and were really hung up on speed, speed and more speed. Hope it's not that way nowadays.


    Additional; Had a college student from Australia fly over for two days training. Worked opn lots of things including speed and a dropball she did not have. She picked up some more mph and her dropball beat the livin tar out of her Dad and I, neither of us could handle. The next year her Dad sent me an email . Her team from Queensland took 2nd place ion their national competition. The winning team would represent Australia in international competition.

    the head coach complimented her on her movement pitches but said she threw 2mph less than what she would consider for the international squad. GGGRRRRR!!
    Last edited by halskinner; 02-06-2013 at 02:18 PM.

  11. #7
    Softball Junkie David Carter's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Universal City Texas
    Posts
    963
    Thanks
    103
    Thanked 248 Times in 195 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GOINGDEEP View Post
    I'm kinda a statistical guy and process my information according.

    What gets me when looking over the stats is the batting average of fastpitch. Let's look at D1, when I see 3/4 of the roster above .300 and some even above .400 it gets me to thinking that at some point the pitching approach will have to adjust to the clear advances in batting. Slide over to proffessional baseball and you're a god if you hit over .300.

    Some will argue its the bats, a valid point to a degree. But what if we had a deeper bullpen in FP, if we had specialty pitchers? Let's take the fact that most say you need a good drop/rise/CU for D1. Well what do you think I'd work my batters on hitting ALL the time? I'd make them see the rise and drop until they puke.

    So what if I'm up against a team who hammers the drop and rise? Wouldn't it be effective to bring in a east/west pitcher, or someone who can "run" the rise/drop, or even a different handed pitcher? Just something to shake things up a bit.

    Don't get me wrong, I love to watch FP. But for me the pitching side has little fan appeal. There is no strategy about who to match up against opponents, no rotations, and very little options when that mule gets in a bind.
    While I understand your point, averages have not changed that much in baseball. Just because they now use specialty pitchers you don't see average all below .275. I think without 200 ft fences and composite bats you would see softball averages come down.
    I think college baseball averages which is probably a better comparison tell the tale. Hundreds of kids hitting over .300 and a dozen or so over .400, put them in A ball against the best pitchers with a wooden bat and they lose .100 points off their batting average overnight.

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to David Carter For This Useful Post:

    ThatDad (02-06-2013)

  13. #8
    JAD
    JAD is offline
    Certified softball maniac JAD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    2,532
    Thanks
    1,027
    Thanked 806 Times in 528 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GOINGDEEP View Post
    What gets me when looking over the stats is the batting average of fastpitch. Let's look at D1, when I see 3/4 of the roster above .300 and some even above .400 it gets me to thinking that at some point the pitching approach will have to adjust to the clear advances in batting. Slide over to proffessional baseball and you're a god if you hit over .300.
    Most D1 schools only have one 'ace' pitcher, so they end up pitching more innings that they probably should, and good batters make adjustments when they see a pitcher 3-4 times in a game. Composite bats turn weakly hit balls into hits. Strong batters can 'mis-hit' home runs on 200 ft fences with composite bats. Speed kills and "small ball" is a solid strategy against great pitching.

  14. #9
    I eat, sleep and breathe softball GOINGDEEP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    In your face
    Posts
    4,079
    Thanks
    868
    Thanked 1,896 Times in 889 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by David Carter View Post
    While I understand your point, averages have not changed that much in baseball. Just because they now use specialty pitchers you don't see average all below .275. I think without 200 ft fences and composite bats you would see softball averages come down.
    I think college baseball averages which is probably a better comparison tell the tale. Hundreds of kids hitting over .300 and a dozen or so over .400, put them in A ball against the best pitchers with a wooden bat and they lose .100 points off their batting average overnight.
    Yes sir, good points. On tap still there is around a .050 spread in BA between a school's baseball and softball team.

    Bama BB team .259
    SB team .311

    Ucla BB team .304
    SB team .340

    Guess old habits die slow, to me it was always fun running rotations, matchups, and different pitching approaches in games or series. I do love watching the girls but there is no mystery in who will enter the circle.
    Arrive, raise hell, leave. - Steve Austin

  15. #10
    Softball Junkie David Carter's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Universal City Texas
    Posts
    963
    Thanks
    103
    Thanked 248 Times in 195 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GOINGDEEP View Post
    Yes sir, good points. On tap still there is around a .050 spread in BA between a school's baseball and softball team.

    Bama BB team .259
    SB team .311

    Ucla BB team .304
    SB team .340

    Guess old habits die slow, to me it was always fun running rotations, matchups, and different pitching approaches in games or series. I do love watching the girls but there is no mystery in who will enter the circle.
    Old rule of thumbs and habits are there for a reason after two times through the line up most quality teams will make adjustments and start hitting once they start hitting I am all for a pitching change.

    I was just never a big fan of 7th innings pitching change to get lefty v lefty when the batter is 0-3 against starter and has not looked good all game

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Segment -- Burn -- Conversion --