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Thread: How do I get my daughter to relax her muscles while pitching?

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    Checking out the clubhouse jvquarterback's Avatar
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    Default How do I get my daughter to relax her muscles while pitching?

    So my 9yo daughter wanted to pitch this year and her coach uses Phil Schoenberg's teaching style. She's improved a lot but she gets so stiff in her movements down the back of the arm circle. She's never learned HE but she'll often do it anyway or just stop her arm stiffly at release without any follow through or if she does follow through she rotates her shoulder so her elbow is out and she gets 6-9 rotation on the ball.

    How do I get her to just relax when she's throwing? Even when she warms up with 6, 9, and 12 o'clock practice she'll move her arms back up the circle and really tense up before throwing the ball. Any suggestions?

    Maybe my question is wrong (or I'm wrong) but if it is please let a poor Dad who's daughter wants to pitch know how to help her.

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    Super Moderator sluggers's Avatar
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    Can you post a video?

    It helps to have a video of her from 3B and a second video from 2B.
    Ray

    Every softball parent has a chef's knife and a hockey mask in the trunk of the car.

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    I'm a fan mmeece's Avatar
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    She may be making too much forward effort, rather than focusing on throwing the ball down. I have found that if you can get them to focus on making their arm circle fast (not "hard" but fast) and focus on the last part of their release snapping or whipping the forearm down (not forward) it can make a big difference. I would also be sure to look at some video and see where her palm is during the back side of the circle, palm up or down. Palm down could lead to pushing the ball down the back of the circle and a much stiffer finish. It helped my dd some to imagine that her arm from the elbow down is just a rope with the ball attached to it. Don't try to control it just let it whip at the bottom.

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    Softball Junkie Hillhouse's Avatar
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    jv, the only things that relax a pitcher is experience and breathing. Unfortunately both are hard to teach as they go together.

    She's probably trying to overthrow the ball and pitch VERY FAST. It's hard to tell a 9 year old to slow down. They go full speed or no speed. Try telling her, no DEMAND it, that she throw 1/2 speed to you and see if she relaxes. The strikes and the mechanics will come from there if you're on the right path.

    Bill

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    I eat, sleep and breathe softball Doug Romrell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillhouse View Post
    jv, the only things that relax a pitcher is experience and breathing. Unfortunately both are hard to teach as they go together.

    She's probably trying to overthrow the ball and pitch VERY FAST. It's hard to tell a 9 year old to slow down. They go full speed or no speed. Try telling her, no DEMAND it, that she throw 1/2 speed to you and see if she relaxes. The strikes and the mechanics will come from there if you're on the right path.

    Bill
    I really like this advice. It's hard to feel the (loose) whip pitching full energy, especially if you're not sure what you are looking for. It's much easier to feel it while pitching relaxed, maybe half speed. Kudos Bill!!!

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    Checking out the clubhouse jvquarterback's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the advice. I'll try to post some videos when I get a chance. I'll try to get her to slow down a bit.

    Unfortunately, even with just 6 weeks practice, she's the most consistent pitcher on her rec team so she'll be getting in games soon and it's going to be rough with all the walks I see coming.

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    Certified softball maniac BoardMember's Avatar
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    "How do I get my daughter to relax her muscles while pitching?"

    Have you tried Zanex? Flexoral? I hear opioids are really in these days.........

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoardMember View Post
    "How do I get my daughter to relax her muscles while pitching?"

    Have you tried Zanex? Flexoral? I hear opioids are really in these days.........
    The myth, the legend, awakens and makes a post!!! Great to see BM!

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    Softball Junkie Hillhouse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoardMember View Post
    "How do I get my daughter to relax her muscles while pitching?"

    Have you tried Zanex? Flexoral? I hear opioids are really in these days.........
    Why not go all the way with some Oxy or Hydrocodone if you're going to do that? Go big or go home, right BM?

    Bill

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    Checking out the clubhouse jvquarterback's Avatar
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    Here is a video. I really didn't want her to pitch this year as she just started pitching in January - but her team doesn't have any pitchers who can throw a strike. The things I see are: her timing is off, her lean - she really pushes her butt back to get her arm around her rear hip, her arm circle gets behind her, and she doesn't engage her legs very well. and she doesn't release her forearm correctly.

    The opposing team's coach has been our pitching coach and he told us to try some wall drills which has helped a bit, but, from what I understand what I really need is to teach her how to engage her glutes and abs to correct for the forward lean she does. I could use some help on everything though.

    Thoughts. Cues that I can give her. Should we just give up? I feel like my time would be better spent with hitting and fielding because I don't have any reference for the pitching. I feel like I've been studying this non stop for two months and I'm not really getting anywhere.


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