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Thread: Finally...things seem to be coming together!

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    I can talk softball all day PapaPump's Avatar
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    Default Finally...things seem to be coming together!

    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.

  2. #2
    13th Step Softball Addict coach james's Avatar
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    50mph drop ball at 12u is a tall order for opposing teams. I'd make it her primary pitch, and sneak in a high fb every so often along with a mix of change ups... she'll be mowing em down left and right.

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    I can talk softball all day Hit by the Pitch's Avatar
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    50 MPH for an 11 YO is not slow, actually it is fairly fast.

    The more she can get the batters to swing at balls out of the strike zone the better she will pitch.

    Drop ball is a great pitch, if it works for her keep throwing it.

    Seems like a long time but in 2 years she is going to move back to 43’ and the players are going to hit a lot better. A mistake will be sent over the fence.

    It sounds like you have a good young pitcher.

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    Super Moderator sluggers's Avatar
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    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?
    My DD#1 was an all-conference D1 pitcher. All she really had was a drop ball. She didn't even have a good change.

    BUT:

    1) She had exceptional control with all of her pitches.
    2) She changed speeds with her drop. She could throw it 50 MPH drop and a 60+ mph drop on command.
    3) She also had a curve drop, which she describes as a "drop ball with a loose wrist". (No, I don't what she means. Your DD might.)
    4) She had three different elevations on her drop. At the catcher, the ball could be (a) on the ground (b) knee high, and (c) thigh high. She said throwing a drop thigh high requires very precise control of the spin. Otherwise, the ball is "bye-bye".
    5) In college, my DD threw a curve. It was OK. It wasn't great.
    6) She started college throwing around 61 MPH. She was probably cruising at 63 as a senior, with a top end of 67MPh.

    Next year, sit down and watch the CWS. Turn off the sound so you don't get confused by announcer calling inside pitches screwballs and outside pitches curveball. Watch the pitches. Most pitchers have one killer movement pitch. Then, they use the other pitches to "set up" the batter.

    My advice:

    (a) Perfect the drop.
    (b) Develop a really good change.
    (c) When she gets around 14YOA or so, work on the rise.

    IMHO, the drop has become a better pitch than the rise. You can strike out so-so hitters with the rise, but the good hitters will be able to get the bat on the ball. In 1995, the batters would pop it up. In 2013, with the hot bats and better training, those popups are now sailing out of the park. (I was surprised how many CWS home runs were mishit.)
    Top speed last time clocked was 53
    Your DD is 12YOA. So, is she still in her "little girl" body? If so, then my guess is that she'll hit 60 MPH with no problem.
    Last edited by sluggers; 06-16-2013 at 02:39 PM.
    Ray

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

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    Softball Junkie GunnerShotgun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sluggers View Post
    My DD#1 was an all-conference D1 pitcher. All she really had was a drop ball. She didn't even have a good change.
    Peel or turnover?

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    Certified softball maniac Jojo's Avatar
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    Around here 50+mph 11yr olds are considered flame throwers.

    I knew a pitcher who got a scholarship at a pretty good TX school, throwing predominately the drop ball. It was a peel.

  10. #7
    I can talk softball all day PapaPump's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GunnerShotgun View Post
    Peel or turnover?
    She throws a rollover (she actually just turned 12). The rollover is helping her to keep the ball down in the zone and help her time her release. I am going to video her this week and I am going to bet she is releasing the ball prior to the "roll over" in most cases. So maybe she is actually throwing a peel and then turning her hand afterwards??? and the roll over effect is just a timing thing for her??? If I am correct it makes sense to me that her FB is the same speed as her drop. If I remember correctly Hillhouse basically says the drop is your FB? Anyways, she is very comfortable with throwing this pitch. It is good to see her have some success and a smile on her face! She would not be where she is without all the advice I get from this message board and without a fantastic PC that has taken a little girl with very poor mechanics, back issues, and no confidence on the mound to a pitcher that is now showing confidence and command on the mound. However, there is still a lot of work to do.

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