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It's not all about speed

Feb 7, 2013
3,188
48
So freshman DD #1 JV pitcher just completed her 3rd preseason game in the circle and the AC pulls my wife aside as says "how come our other pitcher (#2) throws a little harder than your daughter but gives up many more hits?" My wife calmly explained to him that pitching is much more than speed and that movement, location and pitch sequences have a lot to do with the success of a pitcher.

Welcome to HS ball!
 
Jun 12, 2015
3,848
83
It's still amazing to me how many coaches are only focused on speed. All a batter needs to hit speed is timing. Doesn't it seem like a softball coach would spend at least half as much time the average pitcher's parent to learn about one of the key elements of the game? So strange.
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,535
63
Mundelein, IL
The problem is relative speed is easy to see, even to a novice. You would think faster = harder to hit if you didn't know any better. Again makes sense on an elemental level. You can't see all the other pieces, where the actual pitching occurs.
 
Jun 18, 2012
3,182
38
Utah
Went to a tournament in early February. We took three pitchers. One pitcher only threw heat and that's about it (she was our fastest). Another pitcher threw variety--breaking pitches and variations in speed. The third.... We'll just say she really struggled. Out of the first two, the fastest pitcher was no where near as effective as the pitcher with variety. In fact, the fast pitcher had a #4 batter hit a grand-slam HR. The variety pitcher struck her out her other two at-bats.

I'll take variety over someone who just throws the heat. Well, that is unless "the heat" is extraordinary heat.
 
May 24, 2013
10,630
113
So Cal
Went to a tournament in early February. We took three pitchers. One pitcher only threw heat and that's about it (she was our fastest). Another pitcher threw variety--breaking pitches and variations in speed. The third.... We'll just say she really struggled. Out of the first two, the fastest pitcher was no where near as effective as the pitcher with variety. In fact, the fast pitcher had a #4 batter hit a grand-slam HR. The variety pitcher struck her out her other two at-bats.

I'll take variety over someone who just throws the heat. Well, that is unless "the heat" is extraordinary heat.
Yes!!!....
 

javasource

6-4-3 = 2
May 6, 2013
1,342
48
Western NY
Competitively speaking... speed is definitely not everything. Unfortunately, it's a "wow" factor for coaches... what turns their head. Until someone gets the big stage with less speed... and better spin/location... it will sadly remain that way for awhile.

Cat could juice it... but her ability to spin North/South, East/West... is why she AVERAGED 14k's per game. Hopefully, the future brings us more spinners... this game really needs that...

Watching Wilkinson throw against... and beat the #1 team in the nation lat year.. was because she could spin a 40+ rps riseball with back spin.
 
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Feb 17, 2014
6,983
83
Orlando, FL
Speed is also the only thing that can be easily quantified. Most observers, even some behind the plate cannot really see movement much less measure it. And in the absence of a RevFire or a trained eye the same can be said for spin rate. Beyond the physical aspects of pitching you cannot understate the mental game. You may have all the physical attributes but you have to be able to employ those tools when it counts to be successful.
 
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