Well, I feel like I got my Father's Day present this weekend. My 12 YO DD pitched, IMO, her best game ever. At 10U last year she did have some success, but was a "hello elbow" pitcher. Switched pitching coaches at the beginning of this year.
She has been playing as a pick-up pitcher/utility player for a new 12U team for the past two weeks. This has been the perfect situation for more mound time. Since changing PC she has only worked on locating fastball, started change-up about a 1 1/2 months ago, and mechanics, mechanics, mechanics!!
In 10U she was using 6-7 pitches with terrible mechanics, but her best pitch seemed to be a drop ball. This week we started working on her drop ball again. Game 1 yesterday we decided to test it out...she got it working some for that game, gave up 5 hits, 2 earned runs, etc. Overall good game, but had a few walks we need to eliminate.
Third game of the day (second on the mound for my DD) she came in 2nd inning of game, 5 batters and out, next three innings, 3 up and 3 down. She had her drop ball rolling....a few strike outs, everything else was soft grounders to the infield. Gave up one hit for the 4 innings pitched. She threw her drop about 80% of the time during that game and with sound mechanics.
Here is my thinking and questions....my DD is not a flame thrower and probably never will be. Top speed last time clocked was 53 (new PC has only clocked her once) cruising speed during game maybe 48-50?? At 12U we see a big difference in the size of the batter. My thinking is I like her throwing the drop as her main pitch, at least for now. It helps her keep the ball down on the much smaller girls and keeps it down in the strike zone on the big hitters. Even when she cannot quite get the ball to drop the way it should it still stays down in the zone.
Just to get others perspectives on the next step...are we now looking to throw the drop for a strike, out of the strike zone, and location?? Am I being too short sighted in my thinking or am I missing something? Can a pitcher rely on a pitch too much or if it works it works?
Anyway, it was a good Father's Day present to see her hard work begin to pay off. Thanks in advance for your thoughts and advice.