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Thread: 13yo Maddie

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    Always learning... Eric F's Avatar
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    Default 13yo Maddie

    The journey continues from this thread...https://www.discussfastpitch.com/sof...yo-maddie.html

    I don't think that the swings in this thread are ideal, nor do they represent all of what I believe is included in an "elite" swing. There are lots of areas that still need improvement in her mechanics, and I'm not in a hurry to fix everything all at once (I made the mistake of trying that early in her journey). As much as anything, this is about documenting Maddie's progress, and hopefully it can help someone else in their own journey.

    As I stated in the previous threads, I'm not necessarily looking for "help". I'm comfortable with the progress she's making, and the coaching she's currently getting. That said, I welcome input and comments about her swing, and things you're seeing - good or bad.

    After our team of the past 2+ years folded, we had to find a new team for her first 14U season. This was from her first game as a 13yo, as a 14U, and with her new team - an RBI double to the fence in right-center...


    On this swing, the pitching was very slow, and she started way too early. She adjusted by learning her torso forward (not ideal), and letting her hands leak forward before launch (also, not ideal). Thankfully, she still got good barrel on the ball and made something good happen.

    I'm excited for the journey ahead. Being Maddie's dad has been an amazing ride, so far.
    Last edited by Eric F; 09-27-2017 at 05:23 PM.

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    Certified softball maniac djcarter1966's Avatar
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    Think she is well on her way...we've discussed before but if you watch the whole time her foot is coming forward she is reaching back great job forward with coil and some separation but about three frames before her foot hits the ground she stops reaching.

    I think it will give her better bat position and tilt at heel plant if she can continue reaching back until her foot touches...the good thing though is she does not release early she holds for that split second I think it is because she knows not to start the forward portion of her swing until her foot is down now just need to work on not stopping the reach or rearward portion until foot is down as well. In most elite swings that instant between toe touch and heel plant is the sweet spot for the transition from reaching back to going forward I've even noticed lately elite swings that take an extra frame of reach back after heel plant then release.

    All in all keep up the good work; the key here is she has the sequence down right and anything you are working on should be minor tweaks not major changes

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    You're right, djc. She is a little too early to get to the top with her hands. This has been an issue that she has worked on some, but not quite corrected. Getting it right will improve her ability to create the "missing frames".

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    I have mentioned it before, but I think she is on a very good path. I agree with DJ's assessment but would suggest some work on "early and slow". Instead of focusing on the reach back (still important), I may try focusing on getting her foot to touch down a little later (stride just a little slower). Just splitting hairs.... A different way of looking at the same thing. As you are well aware, the true key is how all the parts blend. Great job!

    As a catcher I assume she has a pretty high softball IQ. It is my belief that will also be valuable as she progresses. In my opinion, catchers can develop into really good hitters because of their understanding of the strike zone and how other pitchers may choose to attack them. Valuable tools for a developing player to have. It has long been my opinion that hitting depends on a lot more than mechanics.
    "Once you stop learning, you start dying" -- Albert Einstein.

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    Here's another clip from the same day, against a much faster pitcher. Unfortunately, she missed a little low and popped up...

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    I can talk softball all day CoachJD's Avatar
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    First, I actually thought she did a pretty good job of adjusting to the slower pitcher. I'm guessing it's a lot slower than she's used to seeing. Even when you KNOW it's slow, it can be hard to stay back, and she did so juuuust enough.

    One question: How often do you work with her on hitting? I've checked out the earlier threads, so I've seen her progress. Just wondering the amount of hours you put into her development as a hitter, not counting team practices/games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
    Here's another clip from the same day, against a much faster pitcher. Unfortunately, she missed a little low and popped up...
    Just a little late with the barrel turn connecting to her rear leg. Hands are going back as rear leg starts and then hands turn the barrel. One of the reasons I am not a fan of walking away from the hands cue. Connect the hands to the back and connect the back to the rear leg. #Fusion

    TexTJ says it's one sided garbage...

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoachJD View Post
    First, I actually thought she did a pretty good job of adjusting to the slower pitcher. I'm guessing it's a lot slower than she's used to seeing. Even when you KNOW it's slow, it can be hard to stay back, and she did so juuuust enough.

    One question: How often do you work with her on hitting? I've checked out the earlier threads, so I've seen her progress. Just wondering the amount of hours you put into her development as a hitter, not counting team practices/games.
    She got away with her adjustments because she's strong and was able to get the barrel on the ball. The leaning forward of her torso, and forward drift of her hands before launch, are not ideal adjustments. I prefer to see the hitter stay over the back hip and continue pulling back with the hands.

    Generally speaking, she does hitting with her team once per week, plus 1-2 additional sessions with either a coach or myself. When it's just the two of us, it's not generally very instruction-heavy. I will usually give her something to work on, but don't push it if she's not into it. Most of the time, it's just her just trying to hit the ball hard.

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball FiveFrameSwing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
    Here's another clip from the same day, against a much faster pitcher. Unfortunately, she missed a little low and popped up...
    Too much slack in the system at Go!.

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    What is your advice to remove the slack?
    TexTJ says it's one sided garbage...

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