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Fear of hit by pitch

Apr 30, 2018
DD got nailed in the middle of the thigh in fall ball (first time 10u) and left a really nasty bruise. She is really worried about it now starting travel ball for the first time. At practice last week coaches had the girls doing batting practice off our pitchers in one of the cages for the first time. My DD's turn came up and sure enough, third pitch nails my DD on the bone just below the knee and dropped her. Pitcher went on to hit the next two batters, all three were bad enough they left the cage. Now she doesn't want to get in the cage against girls pitching. Any advice on helping her face her fear? She has an albow guard and a foot shin guard, but neither would have protected her from where she has been hit so far.

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Oct 11, 2010
Chicago, IL
DD finger was broke from a pitch, she bailed all the time for a while. We had her bunt for a while. Hard to bail buntting.

Worked out of it.
May 24, 2013
So Cal
It's something she's going to have to work through and learn how to get over. HBP is part of the game. Try to deal with this as soon as you can, and get it sorted out in her head. I have seen a few girls at that age get their hitting process thrown really off track by the fear of getting HBP to the point where they are trying to judge if it's going to hit them before they even start their pre-launch movement sequence. Against even moderately-decent pitching they are then left with too short a time window to complete a good swing.

In theory, it happens less as they get older, and play at a higher level. That said, my DD got HBP 17 times last spring/summer playing 14U travel ball, leading her team - by far - in that category. It was to the point of being comical. Until recently, my DD has always lead her teams in HBP. She's just that girl.
Jan 5, 2018
Had a 12u player get hit multiple times in one season. Fortunately she was the toughest kid on the team. Many times she got hit in the back turning away from the pitch but it wouldn't have mattered where she was that pitch was hitting her. We started calling her 1.0 her # was 10. It became a good laugh for all of us and bragging rights for her.

Learn to take a pitch. It helped our DD to see it as a badge of honor....especially at the younger ages. We told them...on base is on base...you can't score from the bench :rolleyes:
Apr 16, 2013
I don't know that it works for every person/player, but she has to simply accept she's going to get hit. I told my DD years ago, she can either be strong or weak. When you get hit, show no pain and no emotion. Always be strong. The bigger your bruise, the more proud you are to wear it. Simply put, you will get hit, get over it.
Feb 3, 2016
You can teach a kid to properly take a pitch. Had a coach on a team use softee type balls and transition into real softballs. Lots of angry parents after that practice. A few bruises and kids were skittish for a few at bats.

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Mar 1, 2016
My 18u DD has led every team she has been in for the last 4 years in HBP. She takes pride in it. Not to the point of leaning out over the plate to take one on purpose, but we know it’s coming sooner or later. One time she got hit twice in one PA (one of those exposure tournaments where you get to hit again if you walk or get HBP). Several times, she has had more HBP in one weekend than ABs. Every Monday at school after a tournament, she has classmates asking her to see her newest bruise.

Bruises will heal, but the stories behind them last forever.

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Last edited:
Dec 18, 2016
My 13 YO has always lead her team in HBP. Last year she got hit like 6 times in one weekend and actually got twice on the same AB. Got hit once and the ump said she was in the strike zone, very next pitch she gets hit again. Thankfully she's never become skittish about it now jokes about it.

When coaching my younger girls going from coach pitch to kid pitch I talked to them about it. Talked to them about turning the correct direction and hopefully how to recognize it and get out of the way. Lastly, I did toss some whiffle balls at them....hard enough to let them know they got hit, but not enough to make any lasting impressions. For a girl who's gotten gun shy about it, I would just try and start her off with coach pitch and then have pitcher throw with the safety balls that you would typically use indoors.


Dec 18, 2014
My daughter has a girl on her team who eats hit-by-pitch for breakfast. It's so bad, she leads the team obp because she gets hit so much. And when she does get it, she's like a statue. Not sure why, but she doesn't flinch at all. It's to the point umpires aren't giving her first base. Now that I think about it, I need to tell her to sell it a little bit.

As far as facing her fear, reps. And as she moves up, girls seem to get hit less. Unless our hook is pitching, she's flat our bean ballin'.

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