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live pitching

Apr 27, 2009
11
0
I been around travel ball for 3 or 4 years now and the one thing that jumps out at me is how little time is spent hitting live pitching at practice. I see teams devote 2 hour practices to defense and then 30 minutes with the coach pitching from 25 feet away. I am a firm believer that you cannot recreate or duplicate live pitching. I've seen young girls crush the ball in batting cages at 55mph off the machine, only to look very lost when facing live pitching. The batters whole mental approach is different when seeing a 12 or 13 yr old girl pitching as opposed to a 40 year old coach or machine. I know live pitching makes for a very long, boring practice, but would you agree that it is necessary to instill confidence in young batters?
 
May 13, 2008
832
16
I was just thinking about this topic.

If I'm having my pitchers and catchers go against live hitting I want them to be trying to get the batter out. Vice-versa for the hitter, they're there to get a hit (or walk).

At my last practice I gave the girls three at-bats each against live pitching. I just don't want my pitchers to get in the habit of just throwing strikes to the hitters. It provides the hitters a challenge as well.
 
Aug 2, 2008
553
0
I agree with cshilt, the point of hitting live pitching is so the batters and pitchers can get real time practice. As for it being boring, I hit fungo inbetween pitches to keep the girls moving, we also have baserunners practicing leadoffs. The point is to create drills within the batting practice to keep the kids engaged.

Mike
 
Jul 16, 2008
1,487
48
Oregon
I was just thinking about this topic.

If I'm having my pitchers and catchers go against live hitting I want them to be trying to get the batter out. Vice-versa for the hitter, they're there to get a hit (or walk).

At my last practice I gave the girls three at-bats each against live pitching. I just don't want my pitchers to get in the habit of just throwing strikes to the hitters. It provides the hitters a challenge as well.
Live pitching for batting practice is important. I'm on the fence about using our own pitchers for this. Is it batting practice or pitching practice? If you say both, then let me ask, "the girl batting wiffs at 9 pitches off your #1 pitcher, what does that do to the batters confidence? Or, "Your #1 pitcher gets pounded by your own team, what does that do to her?"

I think using a good combination of mostly coach pitching live, and then every once in a while making some sort of competition between the team and having your own pitchers throw is a good balance. I wouldn't use your own pitchers on a regular basis tho. Another good idea is to have a pitcher from another upper age bracket thow BP to the team, plus you can give her like $10 to do it, makes everyone happy.
 
May 13, 2008
832
16
Live pitching for batting practice is important. I'm on the fence about using our own pitchers for this. Is it batting practice or pitching practice? If you say both, then let me ask, "the girl batting wiffs at 9 pitches off your #1 pitcher, what does that do to the batters confidence? Or, "Your #1 pitcher gets pounded by your own team, what does that do to her?"

I think using a good combination of mostly coach pitching live, and then every once in a while making some sort of competition between the team and having your own pitchers throw is a good balance. I wouldn't use your own pitchers on a regular basis tho. Another good idea is to have a pitcher from another upper age bracket thow BP to the team, plus you can give her like $10 to do it, makes everyone happy.
If I'm working on their swing I definitely will do coach pitch. I wouldn't recommend live bp all the time. When we do it, however, I want it to be competitive. I don't like girls standing around either, so I usually have parents shagging the balls in the outfield. This way the girls can put the ball in play. As far as the pitcher's and batter's egos; they seem to handle it well enough. I hopefully have a bunch of girls who are of comparative skill so I a good hitter gets a hit off of a pitcher I hope to see a tip of the cap and a 'I'll get you next time' attitude.
 
Jan 15, 2009
689
18
Midwest
We rotate "live pitching" with coach pitch, and soft toss at our practices on a weekly basis and devote about 30-40 minutes of practice to this for our 10U team.

In this simulated game, I use three different pitchers (3 innings) who throw to a group of 3-4 batters and then everyone rotates. I make up a "line up" before hand to make things go a little smoother.

A coach stands behind pitcher and calls, balls-strikes and outs.
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,470
48
Mundelein, IL
One of the issues you often run into with live BP is girls have problems pitching to their own teammates -- especially if a pitch gets away and either hits or comes close to the batter. I've observed this phenomenon with a few different pitchers. They are animals in games, but when they face their own teammates they have trouble.

Reminds me of an amusing story. When my daughter was a freshman, she was involved in a scrimmage of freshmen against varsity. She was pitching to her frosh teammates, varsity pitcher was pitching to hers. My daughter is very competitive, so she would actually grove the ball to her teammates so they could hit it. If they weren't very good, she'd look at where they were swinging and try to hit the bat. Not exactly what the coach was hoping for. I believe the freshmen won.
 

FJRGerry

Abby's Dad
Jan 23, 2009
202
0
Collegeville, PA
To me live pitching by both coaches (who can throw reliable hitable balls), as well as having girls pitch to their team mates should be fundamental to practice. Pitchers can work on specific pitches, or locations while the hitters learn how to read/hit these pitches. Over time this should install greater confidence in both hitters and pitchers.

When the coach is pitching he/she should be trying to throw hitable balls. For the pitchers their goal can be to strike out their team mates with hitable pitches, or work on location or specific pitches (drops, curves, etc...) so their team mates can learn to adjust for these pitches. To me building competition into practices makes it more fun and a little competition between the #1 & #2 pitchers, or the #3 and #4 pitchers can make for alot of fun! Also if your girls can hit well off your best pitchers their confidence should go way up when facing less or equally skilled girls.

Gerry
 

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