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Thread: Do we really need to learn all these pitch types

  1. #11
    I can talk softball all day Hawkeyes's Avatar
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    Up, down, and change. Work off of that and you will be fine. Control your down, spot the up and work the offspeed. The more you feel comfortable with those 3 you can tweak them. After 3 years my DD1 has figured out how to get her 2 seamer to go both ways. just by adjusting her middle finger. The same can be said for pitcher who work the rise.

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    Certified softball maniac GunnerShotgun's Avatar
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    You are asking for something that can't be proven either way. If throwing cutters as the primary pitch shaved a half a run off of every MLB pitchers ERA than everyone would be throwing cutters.

    I prefer droball pitchers but I that's just my opinion and I have zero facts to back it up.

    Best pitcher I ever had threw a change-up as her primary. You didn't ask about that pitch though.

  4. #13
    I eat, sleep and breathe softball Doug Romrell's Avatar
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    In my opinion, variations in velocity is job one. Job one is 80 percent of all the pitching jobs put together. If the pitcher can throw fast, medium, and slow with all three looking like they will be fast...She's gonna be good. Anything more than that is a bonus. However, I think far too many try to get the bonus before taking care of job one.

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    I can talk softball all day mmeece's Avatar
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    All things being equal I'd rather throw pitches that break on two planes at once. Down and in or out, up and in or out at the same time. Not exceptionally difficult to do either. That said, the reason I think it's important for younger girls to learn (or at least try) multiple pitches is it's the only way to learn what they will naturally be best at. That doesn't mean they won't learn the other pitches, just that most girls will naturally be better at throwing one pitch than another. My DD has always thrown drop better than rise. She's still working the rise, but is working harder on learning to make the drop move in each direction.

  7. #15
    Super Moderator sluggers's Avatar
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    I've read that some have been extremely successful in having only a few pitches.
    Interested to see some of your thoughts on this.
    a) My poor DD could only throw a drop and fastball in college. She was an all-conference D1 pitcher. (She didn't have a changeup...she changed speeds with her drop.) What did she have? Precise control of her drop and fastball. She could hit any location around the plate on command with either pitch. Look...good hitters kill pitches over the plate. It doesn't matter how fast the ball goes or how much movement it has.

    b) Daddies who think their kid throws five or six pitches are delusional. If you try to teach your kid a curve, a screw, a drop and a rise your DD is going to have four mediocre breaking pitches...which means none of them are worth diddly squat.

    c) The ability to locate the breaking pitch is extremely important. Good pitchers throw at the edge of the strike zone. They never leave any pitch over the middle of the plate.

    d) What does "good breaking pitch" mean? It means that out of 100 breaking pitches, the pitcher is going to get a break on 90+ of them. It means that out of 100 breaking pitches, she can "hit the mitt" on 90+ of them.

    e) If your DD can't throw her breaking pitch on the outside corner of the plate for a strike with a 3-2 count in the bottom of the 7th with the winning run at 3B, then doesn't "have" the breaking pitch.

    f) Trying to have your DD learn a screwball is a waste of time and energy. You might as well go hunting unicorns and snarks. In 40+ years of being around softball, I've seen a screwball thrown during a game twice. TWICE. Compare that to the thousands of riseballs and drop balls I've seen. Cat Osterman didn't even throw a screwball...and yet 12U Suzy throws one? Give me a break. (What passes for a screwball is simply a "step left, throw right" fastball.)
    Last edited by sluggers; 04-11-2018 at 04:09 PM.
    Ray

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  9. #16
    I eat, sleep and breathe softball riseball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sluggers View Post
    .....What passes for a screwball is simply a "step left, throw right" fastball...
    @sluggers brings up a great point. I have seen many a pitcher ruined by attempting to throw a screw by sticking their butt out, stepping left and then throwing right. Sit back and think about the path of that pitch. Unless you have some real movement and are good enough to put it in a tea cup so it clips the very front corner of the plate, more often than not this will be a fat pitch.

  10. #17
    Certified softball maniac Sparky Guy's Avatar
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    When DD was pitching she had an outstanding drop curve. It was not uncommon for multiple balls having to be removed from the game because there were cuts on them from balls going off the end of the hitters bats. She had a really good rise and her screwball was good. Her drop was fair and her change-up was very erratic. When it was on it killed em'. When it was off. It could get ugly. Through HS she averaged 10+ K's a game. In college it was usually 7-8.

    She would stay mainly with her strengths. DD and her catcher would show the hitters the other pitches just so they wouldn't be sitting on certain ones.

    Had girl at tryouts one time who went to a popular local pitching instructor. I asked her what pitches she threw. She told me the standard 6-pitch list and then added a "Punch Pitch" to her list. I had her throw her "Punch Pitch." It looked like a FB to me, just like all her other pitches. I asked her what the pitch was supposed to do. She didn't know. She said her PC showed her how to throw it. For the life of me I couldn't tell what the thing was supposed to do even after she showed me the release.
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  11. #18
    Super Moderator sluggers's Avatar
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    IMHO, a kid should learn a fastball, change, and then either a drop or a rise.

    When she has decent control (not necessarily mastered, but can use them during a game) over those pitches, then work on the "finger pressure movement pitches" that Riseball posts about.
    Ray

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  12. #19
    I can talk softball all day Softball scholar's Avatar
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    I with you on the screwball Sluggers. Most pitching coaches try to teach the screw, but I glad my DD gave up on it. We've never spent much time on the curve ball either, even though ive seen some good curves. Just mastering a consistent 12- 6 spin on a fastball or drop ball is hard enough. The interesting thing is that most travel ball coaches call the screw and curve ball even though my DD doesn't throw it. She just throws a drop ball on the inside for a screw and the a drop ball on the outside for the curve. One thing my DD does naturally is she puts a little more pressure on the left side of the ball on the release. She get good 12 to 6 spin when we use a striped ball, the spinning stripe faces a little more to the right (instead of the center), so it gets a little break to the right but still moves down. We actually are always trying to fix it mechanically, but I think its helps a little when pitching to the inside on righties. But its counterproductive when she throws to the outside on righties.
    "If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat these two imposters just the same". R Kipling

  13. #20
    I can talk softball all day Bubrox's Avatar
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    DD2 pitches and is very much work in progress. Here's my take. I'm all for learning 6 pitches because you don't know which 3 or 4 they will throw with confidence when they get older. Right now she is not confident in her curve. i think it's more mental than anything. FB, change, screw, and drop are good. Riseball is about 75% there, whatever that means. Sometimes it's good sometimes not. At Camps most all coaches told her she will be a riseball and changeup and screw type pitcher. Sometimes her best rise is when she throws a screw and vice versa. And no she doesn't step left and throw right on the screw. Her curve however is usually a fattie on the outer half that moves very little and gets hit opposite field real hard.

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