Cant believe I never saw this before but in viewing Coaches Eye videos of my 12yo DD, it appears she does a glove swim! Even though she throws with good control and pretty hard (low 50s) she still has a somewhat of an issue with leaning slightly forward after release... wondering if the 2 are related?? plan to have her do the Hillhouse drills religiously but do we have more than one issue? if so, which do we fix first? and how do we fix the lean. Thanks so much for your help!! Ill try to post a video
Last edited by Ken B; 06-14-2013 at 11:34 AM.
"Glove swimming" and "the lean" come from the confusion of overhand mechanics and underhand mechanics. When you throw overhand, the upper body leans forward. So, the newbie pitcher wants to lean her upper body forward as well. Similar with the "glove swim"--in over hand throwing, the glove hand is used to start the momentum of the the throw. So, the pitcher tries to do the same thing.
To fix "the lean", have her do a walk through. She starts two or three feet behind the rubber, walks forward and then does her pitching motion when she steps on the rubber. *BUT*, after she throws, tell her she has to keep her right foot (if she is a rightie) off the ground until the catcher returns the ball to her. She is not to set her right foot down after release until you throw her the ball.
Another "lean fixer" is for her to get open (chest facing 3B), lift her left foot off the ground, do a complete circle and throw the ball. This time she is not to lower her *LEFT* foot to the ground until the ball is returned to her.
Both these drills are focused on balance and "keeping the body quiet" during the pitch. The more extra motion she does (like swimming or leaning forward), the more difficulty she will have in staying balanced on one foot.
A "swim fixer" is to have the pitcher softy (not hard!) tap the inside of her thigh after release. (Don't let her start slapping her thigh...there are instances of kids slapping the thing so hard that they end up with huge bruises.)
Every softball parent keeps a hockey mask and a butcher knife in their car...
IMO, if ain't broke, don't try to fix it
I think someone could find something wrong with every single pitcher out there. If there is a problem or something needing improvement, identify that and then look for the root causes to "fix". But if she's doing well, your idea of swimming, might not be a big deal and would do more harm to try to correct
Fix it. Why pull that left shoulder blade back like that, with a glove weighting the hand, 100 times a day? Yes, to what Sluggers said. And she wants all of her momentum going forward, not throwing back a sail, to throw her off of the linear movement. I like for my pitchers to be able to pitch, like they are standing inside a wall. I like simplicity, with no extra motion. If she misses, is she missing to the outside of the plate? That would mean that the glove swim is effecting her control.
MTR - A foul ball is a foul ball. Nothing else, just a foul ball.
She can also do that drill (the one slugger is talking about) in front of a mirror so she can see herself.
My DD has trouble with those issues as well.........
Video would be helpful.
I started posting some pics of swimmers and leaners but ran out of time. Here are some pics of pitchers that might be known as leaners:
Last edited by Ken B; 06-18-2013 at 04:03 PM.