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Elite pitchers at 12 O'clock

May 9, 2008
Hartford, CT
Elite 12 o'clock

Since this seems to be one of my DD's weakest areas...staying back and pushing off
(I have the 150 sftball drills e-book)

What drills?

1. Pitch with all weight on back foot? Keeping front foot in air?
2. Long long pitch?

Mark the ground for her to stride too, increasing weekly?

Although I know that this takes time,

What are the top 3 things that we can do that will show some fairly quick results?

It was a very tough season to get through for her and she needs a boost of confidence soon.
Jul 17, 2008
in the dugout
here is my dd at the same position. notice her foot is already starting to plant where monica, jenny and cat's foot/weight is still transfering forward. so is my dd planting her foot too soon? any advice would be greatly appreciated...
May 9, 2008
Hartford, CT
12 o'clock

Another question....

Exactly what is each increment/position for a pitch.
if release is at 6-ish, then where should everything else be? and when?

How do you teach this?

We can do the drills..but how do we know what little nuance needs to be refined so we achieve this timing?


Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
Dallas, Texas
fivepots: It doesn't work that way. This is a timing problem of the arm relative to the body. Everything that is done by the pitcher up to 12 o'clock is simply to get the pitcher into the correct position at 12 o'clock. We can tell you where she needs to be, but we can't tell you how to get there.

E.g., Monica Abbott throws 70 mph, while Cat throws 55-60 mph. Obviously, Monica's arm speed is faster than Cat's. So, Cat's arm is going to be in a different position relative to her body than Monica's at 9 o'clock.

It is like batting--every major leaguer has a different stance and pre-swing routine, but if you look at the batters immediately before they swing, they all are about 95% alike. The stuff they do before they get into "hitting position" is what they need to do to get into the proper hitting position.

It takes real effort to change the timing. But, it has a big pay-off. The delay in the body movement results in the pitcher exploding with her lower body to "catch up" with her arm. The pitcher is going to feel "rushed"--which is good, since that indicates that her arm and body are moving faster. Of course, this will mean that the balls are going to be flying over the backstop for a while.

I suggest not attempting to change this in the season. It will really mess up a pitcher for a while.

Drills that help:

"the stork"--the pitcher faces the catcher, raises her left foot, rotates on her right foot so her body is "open" and raises her arm to the 12 o'clock position, extends her left foot in front of her body and pauses to check her body position, and then throws the ball as hard as she can. (Obviously, the more advanced the pitcher is, the smoother this should be.)

"slingshot"-- the pitcher "backswings" to 12 o'clock while rotating to an open position and lifting her left foot. When she gets to 12 o'clock, she pauses (to check her body position) and then throws the ball as hard as she can.

One drill is a half-frame while tapping the left foot. The pitcher raises the ball to the 12 o'clock position, lifts her left foot, and then throws.

Another drill is for the pitcher to get open, do four circles with the ball but lift the front foot each time the ball gets to 12 O'clock, and then on the fifth time around to throw the ball.

bgecoach: Your DD is almost there. You can see that her toe has touched down, but it doesn't look like she has done a weight transfer. Her arm is only slightly behind her body. Show her the pictures and compare her with Finch so she knows what she is trying to accomplish. If she consistently does slingshots and storks, her arm will catch up with her body.
May 9, 2008
Hartford, CT
elite 12 oc'clock

"I suggest not attempting to change this in the season. It will really mess up a pitcher for a while."

LOL...the older she gets, the longer "the season"

Other than tryouts next month, we are pretty much done.

If we play Fall ball here, it isn't a big deal and there are so many pitchers..she might get one 3-4 inning game the whole time.

We may venture out of town for another league for Fall ball....but that may open up a bunch of stuff in town ... we'll see what happens in the next week.


May 7, 2008

Sluggers hit it out of the park with his answer! The only thing I will add is this...

...A cue that was very helpful with my DD for keeping her weight back is to think UP & OUT with the stride. Not just OUT! The up part helps keep the center of momentum over her rear leg.

Lastly, get your DD involved in a sports training routine. There is a requisite amount of core strength and stability that is necessary to maintain some of these positions.

May 9, 2008
Hartford, CT
12 O'clock

We have a lot to do ...

She had a not so great season with a coach who pitched his 9 year old more.
Went through the "why am I working so hard...not fair...why bother ....etc...."

She was pitching consistently at 50 at the end of the season and still got pushed aside for the 11/12's as her coach made sure no one had any idea.

All stars was another huge disappointment....team had a group of ignored kids, several Minors and my DD literally cried when they got beat 16-1.

She's just in the wrong place at the wrong time and the last month has not been very good as her performance has deteriorated.
It is a bad (more like sad) attitude .... but we are getting back up on her feet

As much as I agree with how unfair it all was...my biggest message was that "if you really want to play and pitch, you have to be so good that they can't ignore you".

We have three weeks.....hopefully we can bring her back up to my happy pitcher enough to make a team.....

Thanks for the help!


May 7, 2008
Olympic pitchers are exactly that

"fivepots: It doesn't work that way. This is a timing problem of the arm relative to the body." THAT is an incorrect assumption.

The timing marker for all pitchers is the moment of landing foot touchdown.

It is entirely a case of the ball's position in the circle at the exact instant of landing foot touchdown. It has nothing to do with where anything is at 12:00.

As far as these pictures are concerned, I don't see any of the three ladies at exactly 12:00.

A stride length of 90 to 100% of their height is considered a very aggressive stride length.

Everyone has to remember, THESE ARE OLYMPIC CALIBUR PITCHERS! Their stride length can reach 120% if they so choose and many times they do, depending on the pitch they are throwing at the time.

A stride length that long WILL CREATE timing issues that must be compensated for in their motions. (IE: Delaying the start of the arm circle to compensate for an extremely long stride).

Watching an Olympic calibur pitcher and taking someones advice to 'Watch elite pitchers and do what they do'. is BAD advice. You cannot take that literally and do EXACTLY like they do, your timing will be off and you could, worst case scenario, GET HURT.

Example; I have seen Jenny Finch throw different pitches. Some she has thrown with a step style. Some, she has thrown with an extremely strong and aggressive stride length for a leap and drag pitcher. I am convinced she uses both styles as a tactic and because one can produce better moivement for a certain pitch than the other. If you look at a picture of her in motion, you dont know what pitch she is throwing and probably will not be able to tell which style she is using either. Trying to imitate that exactly with your style and the pitch that YOU are throwing at the time, could very well be the worst thing you could try and do.

If you are looking at a picture of an Olympic pitcher throwing a riseball as a leap and drag pitcher and you are a L&D pitcher working on your riseball, probably one of the best examples you could follow. HOWEVER, you must also take into consideration their extremely long stride length. SO, your timing will NOT be exactly the same.

Winning Fast Pitch Softball
May 9, 2008
Hartford, CT
12 Oclock


I don't think my DD (just turned 12) will have a 5-6 foot stride length any time soon...she's 5'1'.

I also see different motion for all these pitchers so that is why I am asking when where how for the timing.

Right now she is out of wack....trying to get her back so we can work on more speed. She has pretty good control, hits corners well.

I realize that there is no quick fix....but something positive would be a good thing for the motivation right now.

We don't have a lot of help in this area right now ....

Thanks for the help

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