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As I have become my 15 year old dd's pitching coach I am searching for help to teach her the drop curve. She has a change up as off speed but we need another pitch. We tried peel without success, though her fast ball does drop when she gets good spin. Please enlighten me on grip, stride length, balance, etc. We did some work and she had good movement when throwing T's with a four seam grip. I've read turn over to front hip as follow through but need help with other mechanics. Thanks
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If the peel drop was not obtainable, you might want to consider finding a pitching instructor and spending a few lessons with them. You can pick up a lot yourself just sitting on the bucket.
The drop curve can be done both ways, just like the drop. You can throw a peel drop with more pressure on the inside or outside finger to make it curve or screw. My daughter tried this and finds it very difficult, but she keeps trying. You can also throw a roll-over drop and simply not put the hand all the way on top of the ball but more at a 45 degree angle.
Honestly, I think a lot of girls develop the drop curve simply because they fail at getting their hand horizontal on the drop, so the ball breaks as a drop curve, so they figure, "cool, new pitch". Look up videos teaching the roll over drop for how to learn this pitch. Remember that the pitch works on release and spin only, so all of the BS about leg stride, hip, shoulder differences between pitches are usually taught as band-aids for a particular girl to throw a particular pitch better, and then "re-taught" when that girl (or guy) grows up and decides they can start teaching pitching. Have your daughter learn the release and the spin and then go from there on which band-aids you want to apply. Remember that the best pitchers make all their pitches look as similar as possible at release, so if you're cross stepping or leaning forward and back for different pitches, what you're really doing is just telling the batter which pitch is coming.
Some pitching coaches believe the drop curve is more potent then a curve because it breaks on two planes. I disagree with this, because the drop is usually thrown low in the zone, and a batter often has their barrel pointed towards the ground to hit lower pitches, making the drop curve on the same plane as the bat, thus easier to hit then a pure curve or a pure drop. That said, it's still a very effective pitch, I just question learning it before a pure drop or a pure curve.
My advice, if she really can't get the peel drop, is to learn the roll-over drop. Try to have her learn it as a pure drop. It's much easier to teach her to relax her angle later on to make this a drop curve then it is to teach her how to do the pure drop after she's been throwing the drop curve, if that makes any sense.
I suggest you don't give up so easy on the peel and get Hillhouse's DVD. I'm not sure I understand how if DD can't get the hang of a peel how that somehow translates to being able to master a drop curve. JMHO.
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I have the Hillhouse DVD. We tried the peel with limited success. Probably need to watch video again. May keep trying. Just seemed alot of girls were throwing drop curve or maybe just a curve this summer in travel ball. Thanks
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I figured release was different with turn over as opposed to peel.
I can talk softball all day
Ernie Parket has an excellent video on both peel and rollover drops. He explains the necessary mechanics needed.
***(removed by sluggers)***
You should work with your DD to master one or the other. After you get some success with the straight drop, then you can work on getting some lateral movement. For example, a peel drop with sideways movement is achieved by swiping the hand at a 45 degree angle up, instead of 90 degrees. It's just an adjustment, if that's what you really want to develop.
Last edited by sluggers; 08-13-2010 at 08:24 PM.
I eat, sleep and breathe softball
Originally Posted by Screwball
This is why I advocate the "corkscrew" fastball over the wrist-flick fastball. Let's face it, at higher levels no one is going to throw a fastball in a game. The very slight gain in speed the flick gets over the corkscrew don't matter because they're not being used in real situations. The corkscrew teaches proper spin and finger strength early on, and keeps from getting confused with the peel drop. From what I hear, some coaches, like Hillhouse, advocate not teaching fastball at all and going straight to the peel drop as the first pitch.
All that said, the more I think about it, the more I agree with you, I've just come to different conclusions using the same logic. For instance, I'll teach the peel drop, but use the roll-over for the drop curve for the exact same reasons you mentioned: the subtleties are very hard to learn to modify a pitch slightly. I'd imagine if a girl had a roll-over drop and a roll-over drop curve, she'd probably be very confused.
Roll-over drops can generate more spin given weaker fingers, but a good batter can see them coming a mile away, before the ball is released, and like you said, it's harder to teach younger players.
I think it all depends on what level you look at and where you're trying to go. Many college pitchers are successful with the rollover, but at the most elite levels, almost all drops are the peel type. There is wisdom in not settling for less then the best, but there's also wisdom in going with what works best for you and your students.