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First inning

Jul 15, 2015
85
18
DD (16U) tends to be tentative when starting a game out. Once she gets past the first inning she settles in and can do very well. Obviously, she's facing the top of the order, but will usually do better against them the second time around. Any thoughts on getting out of the gate strong?
 
Dec 15, 2018
129
43
CT
Does it happen only in the first game of the day, or any first inning?

Our 12u P1 had this issue off and on...until we realized that days we had a rec game in the morning (where she would usually get an inning or two in) followed by a travel game/games in the afternoon- problem disappeared.

On travel only days we had her throw a simulated inning or two beforehand.
 
Jan 28, 2017
790
28
My DD struggles the first inning sometimes. For her it seems that once she figures out the umpires strike zone she gets going and that's a hard one. From my days as a HS baseball coach we would have some of our kids simulate throwing the first inning in the bullpen before the game.
 
Jun 11, 2013
2,078
63
I'm not sure how much it affects pitchers, but I find it amazing how many different surfaces they have to pitch on. One week it's artificial turn, others have gravel bases, some are sand,etc. There are holes all over the place. I wonder how much just getting used to another circle every game factors in.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,991
83
Dallas, Texas
Success in the first inning comes from being ready-- mentally, emotionally and physically.

MENTAL: Have a plan for the game. Have a plan for the first inning. (E.g.: 1) Find out ump's strike zone. 2) Show your pitches. )
Are you focused on each and every *PITCH* and not the game? (The pitcher mantra: One pitch at a time, one batter at a time, one inning at a time.)
An MLB pitcher (who won a WS game) told my daughter: "When you are pitching, there is only you, the ball and the catcher's mitt." Pitching is completely about execution. You have to be "in the now".

EMOTIONAL: (1) Don't confuse being excited with being nervous. Your DD should be excited. (2) The game is 7 innings long. The first inning is only one inning.
(3) If you (the pitcher) appear worried, the entire team will be worried.

PHYSICAL: Are you warmed up? Are your pitches working? If not, what are you going to do about it? (You don't always have time to get ready. You need an alternative.)
 
Last edited:
Apr 23, 2014
261
18
East Jabib
In my DD’s experience her HS coach realized that she needed WAY more warm up time than she was giving herself. Once she started warming up for a longer period of time it was a completely different pitcher who was very strong right out of the gate.


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Jul 22, 2015
270
28
Two things that might help (helped for me in baseball anyway when I had struggled to start games):
-Start her warmup earlier and have her stop when she is about 90% ready. Do some hitting work or just sit and watch the other girls get ready for about 5-10 minutes.
-Finish warming up by simulating starting an inning. Throw 5 warmup pitches, then begin throwing to a "batter" and keep a balls and strikes count. Call pitches just as you might in a game so she is mixing them up and doesn't get to throw 5 of the same thing in a row. A coach needs to be watching and "umpiring" to add a little pressure.

If it goes well, it should boost her confidence. If it goes poorly, tell her she got it out of her system and now she's ready to really get the game started off right.
 
Jul 16, 2013
3,155
83
Pennsylvania
Every pitcher has their own warm up routine, and that routine can make a big difference at the start of a game. Some pitchers throw a lot of pitches, some considerably less. When DD first reached high school, she had a tendency of warming up each pitch separately; fastball, change up, drop, rise. Once she felt comfortable with each she thought she was ready. Sometimes she wasn't. I asked her to switch it up. Once she was comfortable with each pitch, she would go through all of them randomly with her catcher deciding the sequence. The change from pitch to pitch seemed to help her with her control. But from experience, I know this varies from team to team. The most talented team I ever coached (18u) had four pitchers that are all playing college ball now. Every one of them had a different routine for warming up. It's a personal thing.
 
Nov 8, 2018
464
43
Two things that might help (helped for me in baseball anyway when I had struggled to start games):
-Start her warmup earlier and have her stop when she is about 90% ready. Do some hitting work or just sit and watch the other girls get ready for about 5-10 minutes.
-Finish warming up by simulating starting an inning. Throw 5 warmup pitches, then begin throwing to a "batter" and keep a balls and strikes count. Call pitches just as you might in a game so she is mixing them up and doesn't get to throw 5 of the same thing in a row. A coach needs to be watching and "umpiring" to add a little pressure.

If it goes well, it should boost her confidence. If it goes poorly, tell her she got it out of her system and now she's ready to really get the game started off right.
This is some amazing g advise and never even thought of it. I will be making this suggestion to DD


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