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Help teaching pitching.


I will be coaching a 10u rec. league team this spring. I will more than likely have to teach a couple girls to pitch in a 6 week time span(3 practices a week). I would like to teach the proper basic form and consistency to give them a good base to work from. Where would be the best place to look for this information.


Gary Barrentine


May 7, 2008
Fast Pitch Instructors National Registry


I will be coaching a 10u rec. league team this spring. I will more than likely have to teach a couple girls to pitch in a 6 week time span(3 practices a week). I would like to teach the proper basic form and consistency to give them a good base to work from. Where would be the best place to look for this information.


Gary Barrentine
I would start by finding the nearest qualified instructor at the link below.


Fast Pitch Instructors National Registry


Thanks for the link. The issue here is most of parents of these kids are not going to pay for a pitching coach and most of the kids are not going to put forth the extra effort. After all it is a recreation league.

Thanks Again!

Gary Barrentine
Nov 21, 2008
Thats a tough one, I hear what you are saying about it being recreation league. The problem with the kids not putting forth extra effort is it will lead to major frustration and possible injury if they do not take it seriously. Pitching is a big commitment that most kids are not cut out for, I have 2 daughters 10 and 11 the 10 yo loves practicing and taking lessons the other does not want to put in the time. I was in your shoes a couple of years ago, I would suggest finding 1 or 2 kids that will put in the effort and help those learn to pitch. There is alot of information on pitching (good and bad), Michelle Smith has a good video called Beginning Pitching.
If you can get them hooked then Hal is right, they have to find a qualified instructor.
Good luck,

May 22, 2008
NW Pennsylvania
Buy a good instructional pitching dvd & make yourself a student first, Then maybe have a pizza party & have your prospective pitchers watch it. Michelle Smith puts out a good beginner video, as well as Bill Hillhouse.
Jan 15, 2009
I was in your situation a few years ago, so I feel your pain. My first coaching job was for a "C" level travel team and I only took it on the condition that the guy running the organization at the time who coached an older "A" level travel team would come work with my pitchers at least a few times at the beginning of the season to get them on the right track. His daughter was a phenomanal pitcher and he had picked up how to coach pitching over her years of lessons and some coaching clinics.

So your doing the right thing in asking for help, but I would start closer to home because I just don't believe that you'll get to a comfort level coaching pitching without experience by reading anything and/or watching a DVD. You need someone you can watch physically there working with the girls and if you want to accelerate your learning curve, you'll allow them to teach you the basics of pitching because I really think you need to be able to physically demostrate pitching in order to teach it.

If there isn't a more experienced coach you can lean on go to the local high school and ask for help. Even if the coaches don't have time they probably know a player who might be willing to help out. At 10U they would respond great to a high school pitcher. I would guess that your average high school age pitcher (even if they aren't the #1 Varsity pitcher) has several hundred hours of lessons under their belt.

I know it's hard to ask for help, it's easier to do so on an anonymous board, but you'd be surprised how many people are out there who are eager to help if you reach out.
Feb 19, 2009
Hi everyone, although I've lurked for awhile this is my first post on this forum.

I also have a first year 10u DD who pitches and I will be coaching her team. Fortunately, I got her in on lessons over a year ago with her older sister who is a first year 12u (my instructor is on Hal's list).

I take it from your post that your rec league doesn't have organized pitching clinics for new pitchers? They would probably teach it completely wrong as my rec league does but there is some value in having a group of girls the same age all learning together. My older DD became a competent pitcher in her first year by going through our rec league clinics but only became exceptional when I got her into private lessons and the instructor undid what she previously learned.

A parent of another kid I coached on my younger DD's coach-pitch team expressed an interest in having his DD learn to pitch so I started teaching her last fall (ideally, the time to start since it takes a long time to sink in). I had some reservations about teaching her since I'm basically just another no-nuttin dad but I figured I could do better than the rec league clinics and so far I have.

Other than my DD's pitching coach, my two main resources have been a book, "The Softball Pitching Edge" by Cheri Kempf and Bill Hillhouse's "Building the House" DVD. They are both very useful but if I could pick only one I'd go with the Hillhouse video. The one thing about the video is that Bill advocates learning the drop ball as a first pitch and I wouldn't attempt to do that with a brand new pitcher (I'm not saying Bill's wrong, just that I wouldn't do it).

Here are a couple of drills I frequently use with my rookie pitchers:

YouTube - Softball Pitching Tips and Drills - Increase Speed Video

In this case, I'm talking about the first drill where the girl has her back knee on her glove. I don't have the pitcher face the catcher though; I have her facing 3b and extending the left leg towards the catcher with her toe angled at 45 degrees.

YouTube - Fastpitch Softball Quick Tip # 326

I pretty much do this one as demonstrated, I may only have them only take one or two steps though (it ain't as easy as walking and chewing gum for a rookie pitcher)

Whatever you do, don't go drill crazy with them. I made a deal with our rec league commissioner that I would help out with the league pitching clinics but I wasn't going to teach my pitchers the way they do. We get a gym for one hour once a week and my pitchers are actually doing full pitches while everyone else is doing crappy drills that are most likely doing more harm than good to these kids pitching mechanics (it always reminds me of what Hillhouse says in his video, "drills don't teach!").

With only six weeks until the season starts you probably won’t have a game-ready pitcher on opening day but if you do your homework and get kids that will do theirs you should see some dramatic improvement over the course of your season. Good luck

May 7, 2008
Morris County, NJ

Gary: I was in your boat last year....DD was a 2nd year 10U who showed some interest in pitching.....our league runs an early season clinic administered by a HS pitcher to teach the players interested the basics of pitching, snap, K, etc. DD did as well as any other entry level pitcher so our League director suggested a local pitching coach, who is on Hal's list......3 months of lessons, practicing 2/3 times a week and chasing softballs got us to the point of locating the plate, but not always the strike zone (high and low versus anywhere)...she stuck with it and continued to improve to where she was successfully throwing strikes and getting batters out on most occasions by the middle of last season.

It takes time and practice and if you have a few girls interested, by the end of the season, they'll begin to throw strikes, just be patient.

The suggestion of a volunteer HS player to do this for free is a good one as the upper classman all need community service projects for their college applications.....group lessons from a qualified instructor would also be cost effective.

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