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Pulling Front Foot

May 13, 2008
8
0
Benton City, WA
My daughter continually pulls her front foot. Her swing is great but how do we keep her from pulling her foot. We have noticed it is a common probelm but would like to get her to stride toward the pitcher instead. Are there any drills we can do? Thanks for your help and suggestions.
 
May 5, 2008
358
0
Put something behind her foot? Maybe a glove or something - well actually, maybe not a glove because I don't like to see gloves get stepped on, but you get the idea. Put something there so that she feels/sees/understands that she is doing it and can make a more conscious effort to step straighter. I'm guessing she's also pulling her shoulder as well?
 
May 13, 2008
8
0
Benton City, WA
She does pull her shoulder too. She has good hand eye coordination bc she makes contact with the ball consistently but either goes foul or right side most times. the strange thing is in practice she does not pull her foot. We have done drills with putting a bat behind her feet and she never touches the bat. It seems to only be live pitching vs. an opposing team. She tends to keep it in with our own pitchers too. She has been working on toeing the line to see if that helps and we get about 50-50 whether she pulls or not. The other thing she tried was setting up in a closed position in the box so that when she pulled the foot she would be in line. Any other suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.:)
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,447
48
Mundelein, IL
I've had some success by starting the hitter with more of an open stance, then having her stride into the pitch. In other words, start her in the bucket and teach her to step toward the pitcher.

It's a small sample so far, but it does seem to help.
 
May 7, 2008
29
0
Get the to REAL problem...

Your daughter's problem is NOT physical. It's mental. Is she capable of moving her foot in a straight line toward the rubber when there's no pitcher there? Of course she is! Then why isn't she doing it when she's batting? Simple answer: FEAR.

The first thing I say to any player seeking hitting instruction is, "If you're afraid, find another game.

Here's the best advice I can think of:

1. Ask her if she's afraid the ball will hit her and hurt her.

2. Ask her if she really wants to play softball.

3. Ask her if she's playing just to please her daddy (or mommy).

4. If she convinces you that she's not afraid and wants to play, then tell her to get into the box and step toward the pitcher and hit the darn ball hard. Either that or she can widen her stance a little and hit with no stride at all. She could start with her front heel in the air and simply cock her bat and set the set the heel down as she starts to swing (see Albert Pulhols). Many of the best hitters are NOT stepping. No step. No bailout! Fancy that!

5. You owe me $40.
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
0
I've had some success by starting the hitter with more of an open stance, then having her stride into the pitch. In other words, start her in the bucket and teach her to step toward the pitcher.

It's a small sample so far, but it does seem to help.
Yeah that can be good. I would add that a lot of hitters who are unafraid of the ball do this from habit though fear is a common reason as well. Taking the stride away for awhile can be good too. It's really not about the stride though it's about movement of the middle/developing momentum. If her middle is moving toward the pitcher she will not step in the bucket. She is likely opening up so she can drag the the bat and back side through which is common in young hitters. Even effective ones. But it's not what elite hitters do. If you really want good advice though, you should get some video of her swing that you can post on here.
 
May 13, 2008
8
0
Benton City, WA
She is a kid that loves the game. As far as fear goes she is a catcher and not afraid of contact at the plate in fact she loves that aspect. But, I agree it is most likely a mental think. We tell her all the time that the ball hitting her at the level she is playing is uncommon. She knows that but I believe it may be in her head some. I think it is funny she is afraid of the ball bc last football season she played tackle with the boys and never had any fear. Her goal is to play college softball and has been her goal since she was about 10. She really does love the game. As do we but we make sure not to pressure her.

Thank you for all the advice and her coach came to practice with one of the ideas that was listed on here. :D
 
May 7, 2008
29
0
Shocking. Huh, fellas?

Now that you've faced facts, mom--- get her to face it and overcome it. She'll hit once her goal in the box is to tear the cover off the ball and not to avoid getting hit by it.

I take checks, money orders, cash.
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
0
She is a kid that loves the game. As far as fear goes she is a catcher and not afraid of contact at the plate in fact she loves that aspect. But, I agree it is most likely a mental think. We tell her all the time that the ball hitting her at the level she is playing is uncommon. She knows that but I believe it may be in her head some. I think it is funny she is afraid of the ball bc last football season she played tackle with the boys and never had any fear. Her goal is to play college softball and has been her goal since she was about 10. She really does love the game. As do we but we make sure not to pressure her.

Thank you for all the advice and her coach came to practice with one of the ideas that was listed on here. :D
Whether or not fear is part of the equation is a question only you and she can answer. Lots of kids who are not afraid of the ball have the same pattern it sounds like your DD has. Either way, she needs to learn two things. One, how to take the knock if she can't get out of the way. Two, an entirely different way to "stride" and rotate.
 
May 7, 2008
29
0
Is there an echo in here?

I'd say every hitter who bails out is afraid. There's no advantage to it. No hitting instructor (hopefully) would ever teach it. So the only place it can come from is fear. The question becomes: how many times (right handed batters) do you have to hit a weak roller off the end of the bat to the second baseman before you realize that you can't hit with your foot going left? Step at the ball or play some other game.
 

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