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DD can't hit slow pitchers


Jun 24, 2008
Emmetsburg, Ia
Okay, I used DD in the title although I only think I know what it means..... Darling Daughter? Anyway, here's the deal. My 16 yo DD is our varsity catcher. Has been since 8th grade. Very strong with a swing that keeps improving. She has 10 HR's so far this season. She has hit every fast pitcher she has faced. Fast pitcher usually equals a good night at the plate. However, she has real difficulty hitting a slow pitcher. She is sooo far ahead of the pitch that she generally strikes out swinging (after fouling off numerous pitches to the 3rd base side) or she pops up a little soft blooper. Of course we tell her to wait, wait, wait, be patient, front of the box, bigger negative movement, anything we can think of to slow her down.

Then, last night, it dawned on me. Here's where you guys (and gals) come in. I'm thinking that on a slow pitcher she should adjust her feet and bring the front foot closer to the plate, in essence angling more toward the first base side. Then, a ball normally hit foul would stay inside the lines.

It seems like too simple of an adjustment and one that I should have thought of a long time ago. Comments?


Amy in AZ.

Super Moderator
May 7, 2008
No, do not change her stance.
Just throw her slow stuff from in front of her. Use tennis balls, if you aren't wanting to get killed.
Generally, batters make the adjustment after the first at bat. She just needs some success and she will be beating on the ball.

Ken Krause

May 7, 2008
Mundelein, IL
Here's an idea to help her work on it. Get one of those orange markers soccer teams use and place it, say 10 feet in front of her. Then tell her she can't even start to load for the swing until the ball crosses that marker. This will force her to take a fast swing. If it's still too early, move the marker closer to her.

It's all about timing. Hitters that can't hit slow pitchers aren't making adjustments. They're starting their swings to early. Telling them to wait is vague. Giving them a visual is much more effective.

When my team was younger and we saw pitching that was "too slow," I would drag my foot in the dirt to create a line during games. Same principle as the marker. It was somewhat effective.

One other way to demonstrate the "when to start" principle is to use a pitching machine. Set it at a slow speed and normal distance and have the hitter hit. Then have her cut the distance from the machine to the plate in half, and then in half again. The pitch speed hasn't changed, but the reaction time requirements have. It usually gets the point across -- the pitch isn't too slow, your timing is too early.
Jan 13, 2009
One of the techniques I have seen used successfully is to show bunt and then pull back to hit away. It defeats the purpose, however, if they show bunt too early.

When they square, they can see the ball better and then, in effect, create that larger negative movement. They do need good bat speed to pull this off.
Jan 14, 2009
Atlanta, Georgia
My DD is 12 and has the same problem. I'm hoping it's a motor skill issue that will improve as she ages. I just tell her to relax and try and slow down her pre-motion movements.

I just figure that the rotational swing is a complex swing and that timing issues are bound to occur as these kids learn and build a database of information in their heads as to what they need to do to hit different pitches.

I really think there is a good chance that one day she will roll out of bed and all of a sudden have it figured out.
Aug 4, 2008
Very simple change up drill. If you have a short T great if not a plastic milk jug works fine. Place a ball on the milk jug on the outside corner of the plate. Now soft toss to your student. When you load your hand and do not toss the ball they must go down and adjust to the change up and hit the ball off the milk jug. This teaches them the correct heel plant timing so the do not start the heel plant and bring the back elbow into the slot early. When kids are on deck we always have them time the pitcher in what we call the attack mode. So all they are working on is heel plant. Toe touch is not different on a change up or fast ball. You must be in that position when the pitcher is in the K position. One other good drill is the Barry Bond drill. Sorry I would like to change the name! When you are in the hitting cage, make sure you move up as far as you can go and back as far as you can go, so you learn to adjust to pitch speeds. The worst thing you can let a kid do is hit off a pitching machine and don't adjust the speed. Since it is hard to adjust the speed we adjust our location back and forth , in and out so it represent a pitcher hitting her locations.
May 12, 2008
Okay, I used DD in the title although I only think I know what it means..... Darling Daughter? Ed
Sometimes. Sometimes it's darn daughter, diamond diva and the list goes on as appropriate.

You are good at what you practice. Practice hitting slow stuff too. The intent of the practice should be to NOT slow the swing down but rather wait and then smoke it with the quick swing she normally uses. Practicing some on slow stuff is a good plan even if you aren't facing it regularly.
Sep 18, 2008
Hitting slow pitching is no different than hitting changeups. Keep your weight back and take a strong swing like alsways.

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