Welcome to Discuss Fastpitch

Your FREE Account is waiting to the Best Softball Community on the Web.

Register Log in

Looking for suggestions or drills to overcome fear and re-gain confidence?

RJH

May 8, 2008
2
0
I have a 14 year old daughter. She has played competitive ball over the last number of years. Two years ago, she was hit in the chest by a very hard hit, line drive. Before the hit, she was very fast and aggressive to the ball. As you can imagine, after the hit, she gets nervous and scared if the ball is hit in her direction. Once in play...no issues with fear...only the hit.

Last evening she was pitching. When she released the ball and watched it head towards the plate, she realized she missed her target and it was going down the pipe. When she seen where the ball was heading, she was thinking ...oh my god! The batter hit the ball and it came directly back in her direction. Unlike 2 years ago, this time the ball was not hit solid and it came back at her like a change up. My daughters immediate reaction was to protect herself however the ball slowly drifted in and could have been a simple out. She was very embarrassed of what happened and i know she is getting frustrated.

Can anyone provide us with some suggestions or drills we can do to help her overcome some of her fear?

As for her pitching capabilities.....it has not been effected. She has a ability to focus and get inside her bubble like no other. So far this year, she has faced 96 batters with 30 total strike outs and has a WHIP of 0.91.

I look forward to hearing any and all comments

regards
Rick
 
May 7, 2008
235
0
Rick:

My dd gets on the mound and pitches...upon her release, my husband throws a ball at her. Two balls (looks like juggling).

My daughter (12u but moving up) has been hit three times while pitching. She is very tough and never shows that she is working through it. I don't know the age when game faces become uncool or frowned upon because college players do not where them...it is apparently developmental protection. Twice her game face was knocked off and once she was nailed in the thigh. She and my husband practice response timing drills. We were at a tournament a few weeks back and saw a pitcher get hit in the forehead. She was taken by ambulance, but checked out okay. She was playing 12U, no game face. The girl returned immediately to the game. I saw her pitch, and she doesn't seem gun shy though chooses not to wear the game face. Some pitchers feel it interferes with their line of sight.

Ang
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,447
48
Mundelein, IL
Another thing you can do is get an Incrediball or other "rubber" softball, have her stand about 20 feet away (or whatever distance she can handle) and pitch full out. The ball will come back at her quickly and she will have to defend herself. Using the Incrediball will make it safer.

As she can handle the starting distance, have her move in a few feet closer to work on her reaction time. Once she's able to react quickly she should have more confidence in her own abilities and the fear should subside.
 
May 9, 2008
98
0
You might want to invest in some safety equipment to reassure your daughter and give her peace of mind. You can purchase a heart guard and a face mask. These two items will allow your daughter to pitch without the fear of severe injury. The heart guard is made of hard plastic and fits under her jersey protecting her. Another thing you might want to get is a bounce back net that can be set up at home plate. She can throw to it from the pitchers mound and field the ball as it returns to her. She controls the speed with her pitch and can react to it as needed. It will help her build her confidence and help her from shying away from a batted ball.

Pops
 
May 5, 2008
358
0
Pops: thanks so much for that info. I didn't know there was a product like that. This is one of my biggest fears as the mother of a pitcher. Especially after I heard a lacrosse player died from a ball to the chest. On top of that my daughter is barely 60 playing 12U against girls who are somtimes well over 6 inches taller than her and twice her weight trying to hit the ball as hard as they can with a high performance bat. I don't think I can get her to wear a game face but I'm thinking the heart guard we'll do for sure.

Rick: just like trying to remove fear from younger players, your daughter's fear will reduce the more confident she gets with her own ability. The others have given you great ideas to help with that. I hope ahe's able to overcome it because it sounds like she's a good pitcher. Also let her know it's great that she is able to recognize that mistake pitch because I see a number of pitchers throw one like that and it doesn't even trigger in their head that they need to get ready for a ball hit back to them. They are too busy doing the "aw shucks" thing because they missed their spot. So I think she's half way there. Now it's juat a matter of practicing to improve her reaction time. Let her know that she's not that "terrible" and that she will get better at it because she is working on it.

Wishing you the best.
 
May 7, 2008
442
0
DFW
Safety First

RJ,

What Pops has suggested is excellent for a pitcher your daughters age and it will help restore her confidence. Let me guess. The bat was a Rocket Tech?

My daughter has been on both sides of this story. She was a pitcher and got drilled twice on the thigh by RT's No time to react. She stopped more than her fair share right in front of her face. We constantly worked on bringing the hip through after release to put her into a better position to field the ball. It saved her a lot of pain on more than one occasion.

She also drilled a 3rd baseman in one game right in the chest. The girl never moved. Didnt have time to react. Then dropped like a rock on the ground. DD froze in her tracts in horror. She thought she killed the player. From the stands it didnt look good at all. She turned out to be ok but for those first few seconds it looked very serious and could have been if it would have hit a different area of the chest.

I had a pitcher who was not as fortunate playing for me. Prior to coming to my team she had 3 reconstructive surgeries on her nose from a softball hitting her. Pitcher who missed a line drive.

Never good.

Elliott.
 

RJH

May 8, 2008
2
0
if you see 3 of the below msgs....please disregard them...lets call it technical difficulties. :eek:
==========
Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. There has been a lot of great feed back.....I certainly welcome more.

I will try each drill to see which provides the best results. Just last Wednesday, i introduced a similar drill to the incrediball drill. We used a ball with knobs all around it(ball for dogs)...you never know which direction the ball will bounce. The incrediball drill should be even better for fast reaction. We hope to use this drill on a more regular bases.....great suggestion

Elliott perfectly described what happen to my daughter Jacqui...it was just like the 3rd base person. She was hit directly in the heart and because it was a high performance bat...there was not much chance for reaction time....it was a direct hit and she dropped to the ground...both 1st and 3rd base coaches from the other team ran in without calling time due to the seriousness of the impact....the proud part was...she had the tenacity to pick herself up from the ground....field the ball and attempt to get the runner out.

Jacqui has used a game face mask since the incident. Today its becoming more common the game face...we’re starting to see the masks used regularly in our region. I am pleased to say, eighty % of the players on our team that play infield wear the mask. There are just too many stories of crushed cheek bones for the players to worry about what peers have to say.

Pops...very interesting comment regarding the heart guard. Can you tell me more?

My complements to Marc for creating such a great tool. This is the first time I have ever posted a comment and i must say, its a pleasure to hear from you all.

regards
Rick
 
May 7, 2008
235
0
Another thing you can do is get an Incrediball or other "rubber" softball, have her stand about 20 feet away (or whatever distance she can handle) and pitch full out. The ball will come back at her quickly and she will have to defend herself. Using the Incrediball will make it safer.

As she can handle the starting distance, have her move in a few feet closer to work on her reaction time. Once she's able to react quickly she should have more confidence in her own abilities and the fear should subside.
Ken...

That's great. I grew up in the city, and we used to play with those small pink rubber balls and throw them at the side of the garage. Great memory. I will share your idea with both my son and dd.

Ang
 

Staff online

Latest threads

Forum statistics

Threads
33,598
Messages
486,585
Members
15,286
Latest member
Rebelguy
Top