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12 year old DD critique

Jun 29, 2014
32
6
Thanks for the kind words DNeeld. I feel blessed to have found this forum early on in the process. Not sure where she'd be if we had continued down the hello elbow path.
 
Feb 3, 2010
5,142
38
Pac NW
Can you comment on why you say to avoid this? Guessing maybe the breakdown in mechanics as the pitchers are powering through the fitness portion. Keep fitness and pitching drills separate?
At a quick look, I'd say only one of the girls in the video has decent mechanics. The rest would be better off focusing on improving their form and not further ingraining poor mechanics. The trend in squatting and bending at the waist for more power in the drive is misguided. It "feels' more powerful because it's harder. It is not efficient. Lunges and other similar exercises are great--not knocking those, just don't confuse them with efficient drive mechanics. Good sequence/using both legs to drive is MUCH more efficient (2 Step.)

I've watched girls do all kinds of fun drills that involve exercises, races to the catcher, push ups and other fun stuff. They really do look like fun, build fitness and can help break up a routine--but shouldn't done at the expense of good form.

Ask javasource, Pauly, Balswick or other great instructors what secret drills they use to build speed. The answer is frustrating because we'd expect some sort of long toss routine, or arm speed drill like you'd expect from most PC's. We had a local girl hit 60 a few weeks ago. She's small for someone just turning 13, but hit her goal of 60 before winter break. I asked her dad what her secret was. He said she'd been doing a strength and speed program, but that focus on form--specifically palm up/lag is what they attribute to the 3 MPH jump since the clinic with javasource, Anna Miller (Nickel) and Romrell.

Form, form form... Efficient drive, good posture, FSR, sequence and good whip w/brush. Add strength/speed/conditioning, some fun stuff and practice with good form. Goal setting, commitment, a big heart, supportive parents and coaches are major plusses as well.


Really good post from javasource: https://www.discussfastpitch.com/softball-pitching/35236-some-timing-things-lizzy-working.html#post492725
 
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Feb 3, 2010
5,142
38
Pac NW
Hi Aaron,
Sorry for the delayed response. I touched on a few things in my response to coachbubbles. I've been wanting to go out and shoot some video to emphasize/summarize some key points that Pauly, javasource, Balswick and BoardMember have taught me, but one thing or another always seems to get in the way...

Screen Shot 2018-12-08 at 1.24.04 PM.jpg

The the reason I asked about a good side clip with a pitching rubber is to see if the above point in the drive would show her COM further past the right toe--like in the shot of Ueno. If not, I'd suggest a 2 Step sequence like the one Man10 recently posted of his daughter:


Notice how her hips stay pretty much over her right toe when the heel drops? With her COM over the right toe, she's able to get into more of an aggressive forward drive that's initiated from the left foot. By the time her right leg hits the gas, she's already driving forward and not just rolling/leaning off the back foot.
 
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Feb 3, 2010
5,142
38
Pac NW
The other point I wanted to share was her torso orientation at release. I'd like to see a shot from behind or front to confirm, but my guess is I'd see a bit of a gap between the hand and thigh at release from what I think is too much shoulder rotation, or lack of resistance at release--resulting in a leak of power and lack of brush. I think it also might be the cause of the high riseballs and likely a spiral spin. Compare her shoulder/hip orientation and resulting release point to Lizzy's:

Screen Shot 2018-12-08 at 12.30.58 PM.jpgScreen Shot 2018-12-08 at 1.05.06 PM.jpg


Watch how solid Man10's DD looks at release. 100% of her whole body's power is transferred to the ball! Truly exceptional!

 
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Feb 15, 2017
210
18
At a quick look, I'd say only one of the girls in the video has decent mechanics. The rest would be better off focusing on improving their form and not further ingraining poor mechanics. The trend in squatting and bending at the waist for more power in the drive is misguided. It "feels' more powerful because it's harder. It is not efficient. Lunges and other similar exercises are great--not knocking those, just don't confuse them with efficient drive mechanics. Good sequence/using both legs to drive is MUCH more efficient (2 Step.)

I've watched girls do all kinds of fun drills that involve exercises, races to the catcher, push ups and other fun stuff. They really do look like fun, build fitness and can help break up a routine--but shouldn't done at the expense of good form.

Ask javasource, Pauly, Balswick or other great instructors what secret drills they use to build speed. The answer is frustrating because we'd expect some sort of long toss routine, or arm speed drill like you'd expect from most PC's. We had a local girl hit 60 a few weeks ago. She's small for someone just turning 13, but hit her goal of 60 before winter break. I asked her dad what her secret was. He said she'd been doing a strength and speed program, but that focus on form--specifically palm up/lag is what they attribute to the 3 MPH jump since the clinic with javasource, Anna Miller (Nickel) and Romrell.

Form, form form... Efficient drive, good posture, FSR, sequence and good whip w/brush. Add strength/speed/conditioning, some fun stuff and practice with good form. Goal setting, commitment, a big heart, supportive parents and coaches are major plusses as well.


Really good post from javasource: https://www.discussfastpitch.com/softball-pitching/35236-some-timing-things-lizzy-working.html#post492725
Thanks so much for taking the time to make a detailed response. So much to absorb in that and learn from. Just like hitting - so much can be fine tuned to get the very best out of the human body. Takes some God given talent, parents willing to source out the best knowledge/training available and a very driven young lady to get to the highest levels. I find my DD works extremely hard, gets herself to efficient high level mechanics and doesn’t get to enjoy it too much and she starts growing again and we have to rebuild what the growth spurt destroyed. Been an absolute blast along the way and man does it go by too fast!!!
 
Feb 3, 2010
5,142
38
Pac NW
Been an absolute blast along the way and man does it go by too fast!!!
So true! My youngest daughter is 15 and sports will likely end in 3-7 years. I'll probably work with 100's more from 7-21 in the next several years, but the time spent with my kids just isn't the same!
 
Jun 29, 2014
32
6
Hi Aaron,
Sorry for the delayed response. I touched on a few things in my response to coachbubbles. I've been wanting to go out and shoot some video to emphasize/summarize some key points that Pauly, javasource, Balswick and BoardMember have taught me, but one thing or another always seems to get in the way...



The the reason I asked about a good side clip with a pitching rubber is to see if the above point in the drive would show her COM further past the right toe--like in the shot of Ueno. If not, I'd suggest a 2 Step sequence like the one Man10 recently posted of his daughter:


Notice how her hips stay pretty much over her right toe when the heel drops? With her COM over the right toe, she's able to get into more of an aggressive forward drive that's initiated from the left foot. By the time her right leg hits the gas, she's already driving forward and not just rolling/leaning off the back foot.
Thanks so much for taking the time to help us Ken! So let me make sure I'm getting this right. She needs to work on more of a sprinters lean with the drive off the rubber being initiated from the stride leg?

The other point I wanted to share was her torso orientation at release. I'd like to see a shot from behind or front to confirm, but my guess is I'd see a bit of a gap between the hand and thigh at release from what I think is too much shoulder rotation, or lack of resistance at release--resulting in a leak of power and lack of brush. I think it also might be the cause of the high riseballs and likely a spiral spin. Compare her shoulder/hip orientation and resulting release point to Lizzy's:

View attachment 13518View attachment 13519


Watch how solid Man10's DD looks at release. 100% of her whole body's power is transferred to the ball! Truly exceptional!
...and this one better frontside resistance particularly the shoulders and torso? Do you have any good feel cues or drills to help with this one? I think I get get the leg drive one but this one has me scrambling for way of teaching this pattern. I'm almost thinking I need to have her overcorrect by trying to stay open hoping to get her firmed up to a 45. Any thoughts?
 
May 9, 2015
252
18
West Virginia
Thanks so much for taking the time to help us Ken! So let me make sure I'm getting this right. She needs to work on more of a sprinters lean with the drive off the rubber being initiated from the stride leg?



...and this one better frontside resistance particularly the shoulders and torso? Do you have any good feel cues or drills to help with this one? I think I get get the leg drive one but this one has me scrambling for way of teaching this pattern. I'm almost thinking I need to have her overcorrect by trying to stay open hoping to get her firmed up to a 45. Any thoughts?
Not to speak for Ken, I’m sure he’ll add more value to this conversation than I will but when I work with my DD or the other girls I work with on firming up at a 45, I tell them to lock it down at release. I’ve also used y’all cones with a noodle across them at the 45 degree angle for them to see where they need to be at release.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Feb 3, 2010
5,142
38
Pac NW
Thanks so much for taking the time to help us Ken! So let me make sure I'm getting this right. She needs to work on more of a sprinters lean with the drive off the rubber being initiated from the stride leg?
Yes, but probably not how you think. I'm hoping to make a short video someday soon that demonstrates/summarizes the foot sequence that results in a more aggressive drive. Start with all of the weight centered over the front toe. (The key with this is to keep the torso/hips over the front toe and never letting the weight shift over the back foot.) Simultaneously pump the hands hands forward as the back heel drops and unweight the front foot--keep the hips over the toes. You will start falling forward and begin to feel the urgency in the backswing and preparation to drive the front foot down and back into the front edge of the rubber. Think pushback drill but keeping the feet engaged. 2 Step!!! You feel both feet engage in the push/push forward. Detaching at 3 becomes very easy. One tip is to try to stay on the toes/balls of the feet--especially the front foot. The back heel may strike, but push off the toe.

Notice how Ueno is finishing her push off with the back foot when her front foot hits the gas:
Screen Shot 2018-12-08 at 1.24.04 PM.jpg


...and this one better frontside resistance particularly the shoulders and torso? Do you have any good feel cues or drills to help with this one? I think I get get the leg drive one but this one has me scrambling for way of teaching this pattern. I'm almost thinking I need to have her overcorrect by trying to stay open hoping to get her firmed up to a 45. Any thoughts?

Your daughter's hips and shoulders are disconnected. The hips are closer to 45, but the shoulders are rotating through release. The whole body needs to firm up and stop to transfer 100% of the body's energy into the ball.

I address this in a few different ways. Start up closer with half whips or easy step in full circles--just playing catch with Sally. ;) Show the pitcher slow motion video of herself and see if she can make the change on her own. Immediate feedback helps, although using video helps verify what the eye can miss. Encourage her to completely resist any torso follow through and hold at 45 degrees at release. Suggest she close her eyes and self evaluate. Use a net to take away the distraction of control. Issue homework and ask for progress at the next 1:1. Get her to buy in. As soon as possible let her self-evaluate and correct. Ask her "ggod or bd" and let her tell you. Let her know if she's wrong, or better yet, have her look at video and get back to it. Once she gets it perfect, stop everything, give her a huge high five and a ton of energetic praise, then tell her you want 299 more just like it! One more thing I might suggest is increasing the plant foot angle to closer to 45 if it seemed to help.

Besides better transfer of energy, staying more open (45+/-) at release makes it much easier to get better rise spin. Try this: Stand at 90 degree with the arm at your side and supinate the hand. It should be facing almost to 2B. No turn and face home. Palm should be facing somewhere between home and 3B. Now try this with 45 degree torso angle. Palm should be facing about 3B. For a good rise, this is very helpful in getting backspin. The more the palm faces home, the more likely you'll get spiral spin.
 
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