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Some advice needed.


May 13, 2008
Last night was a district game for us and it didn't go well. We were the top seeded team who played a 4th seeded team to start out district play. The other pitcher is very very slow. Our coach was so mad that girls didn't hit the snot out of the ball. I tried to explain to him that hitting a slow pitcher is harder then hitting a faster one. He disagrees with me. We lost because we failed to execute on defense. Way to many errors, our SS is back on her heals and no one is charging the ball with the first baseperson being the exception she did an excellent job of getting to the ball and making plays. Our SS struggles with getting to the ball quick enough to get an out at first. This season the girls level of play has been slipping in my opinion and I think its his lack of knowledge on the game and his inability to see anything other then the pitcher blowing the ball bye the batter and our batters being unable to hit a slow pitcher. Grrrrrrr. Anyhow do your girls suffer with hitting a slower pitcher. Just to let you know how slow at the recruiting camp last year her fastball was 51...and thats was not average, her average was more around 49ish.

Amy in AZ.

Super Moderator
May 7, 2008
Well, needless to say - you should be able to hit 49ish. I think that a lot of HS pitchers throw around 50ish.

I have trouble hitting SP, but I am working on it with a Jugs Toss machine - set out in front of me. But SP is a different angle and is about 20 MPH.

Maybe your team walked into the game thinking you had it won. (That happens sometimes.) We always say "that is why we play the games" (when a lesser seed beats a higher one.)

I used to love hearing the other team complain that my DD "was too slow", after she got done beating them. She averaged 54.

I agree that the girls need to be prepared for whatever pitching that they see.

You are right when you said that you failed to execute. I mean your team. How did you do?
May 12, 2008
As a friend of mine once said after I complained about losing to a team with "no" pitching. "No pitching is hard to hit". When you are grooved for good pitching, changing your timing is not easy. I've often said if I can't have a pitcher who can change speeds and hit her spots, give me a lobber rather than a low to mid fifties bp meat ball pitcher. If you know you are going to face a slow pitcher, practice against a slow pitcher or pitching machine. Likely you will run her out of the game after that.


Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
Dallas, Texas
It isn't a surprise that your team didn't score a bunch of runs in a softball game. You were just surprised that it was a slow pitcher.

So, this is a little like going to a wild animal zoo and stepping in a pile of dog excrement. You were expecting you would step in some, but you were hoping it would be from something far more exotic, like a rhino or an elephant.

The problem is that your team will never win close games. Your defense isn't good enough. And, your team doesn't know how to manufacture a run.

It simply doesn't matter that there was a slow pitcher on the mound. It happens--I've seen lots of games where the batters couldn't hit slow (or fast) pitching. It happens. Next game they might kill the same pitcher.

So, your coach is focused on the hitting. Your coach is really saying, "If we score lots of runs, maybe we'll win!" Which is true, but your team isn't going to score a lot of runs against the good teams no matter what he does. So, a coach should design his team to win 1-0 games--like U of Arizona or UCLA. Your coach hasn't--so, your team will always lose close games. Get used to it.



May 13, 2008
just frustrated....sorry

As a friend of mine once said after I complained about losing to a team with "no" pitching. "No pitching is hard to hit". When you are grooved for good pitching, changing your timing is not easy. I've often said if I can't have a pitcher who can change speeds and hit her spots, give me a lobber rather than a low to mid fifties bp meat ball pitcher. If you know you are going to face a slow pitcher, practice against a slow pitcher or pitching machine. Likely you will run her out of the game after that.
Mark I agree with you they should have practiced with the machines set lower, certainly not against our number one as she has decent speed. Clocked at the recruiting came around 61 average with her fast being 63, but even with her speed and him not letting her change speeds she gets hit and especially if the game goes 11 innings like last night. My DD is the catcher and she always complains he is handicapping us with not being able to change up speeds. Not one change up thrown last night...not one. Lets just say it was a frustrating night.

Slugger I totally agree I won't go to their practices because of the lack of intensity, the bar is not set high enough etc..etc.. If you practice sloppy you are going to play sloppy. This team has enough good players to go to state with the right coach and we did last year. To go deep into post season play we needed defense and offense not just offense. And the pitcher was not a surprise we knew full well who we were facing, we beat them in regular season play, plain and simple we were out coached last night..no doubt. The other team got one good hit, their other runs were on playing small ball.....and it worked and worked well. We lost 5/4 and as I said were first seed. We went 19-1 during the season but I kept telling everyone if we don't step it up we would be lucky to get out of districts..
Mar 2, 2009
Suffolk, VA
No CHANGEUps? cannot understand that and I understand your frustration, INSANE... does he know Taryn Mowatt won the College World Series Championship game 2 years ago on predominantly changeups??
your team was 19-1 and you are questioning the loss and the coach? Not clear I understand.... 19-1 and coach isn't good? then I assume all these great players that find a way to win despite the coach SHOULD have enough experience against fast and SLOW pitching to know how to handle it. ( DEFENSE is CRUCIAL and Pitch calling will win or lose you games, but 19-1 is pretty good!)
** A couple thoughts to game approach when you know you are facing SLOW pitching:
1) This WORKS: Same swing, just CLOSE up and drop weight, so NOW when they are way ahead of the pitch, they are actually just back to making contact to drive the ball back up the middle, which is where you want it ANYWAY.... try it in PRACTICE to see if it works for you......... (Golf - same swing, different club concept), We tell the batter's "Wait on it".... EASY to say, REALLY hard to do, so let's be realistic and know what we need to do to help the batter's chance to be successful. you'll get arguments that you shouldn't have to, BUT I'd rather hit the darn ball, then just keep saying "Wait on the ball!" when that isn't working!

2) Bunt and or Fake Bunt-Slap 1st time through the lineup! Easier to Bunt slow pitching, make the defense work, Slapping slow pitching is MUCH easier then taking full/LONG swings if the players cannpt wait on the ball, especially because and be HONEST, the girls want to MURDER the ball on a Slow pitcher.

3) When WARMING up before the game, Slow down the front-toss pithes and/or backup 2-3 more feet from the batter during front toss so the result is more time to see the pitch

4) obviously, many coaches tell their batters to move to the front of the box, but if you are already there and IN the GAME the batters are strugglling... BUNT or SLAP, OR CLOSE up, so now your contact is out front and NOT Way ahead!
Aug 4, 2008
#4. Additionally coaches that MAKE you stand in the front of the batters box are not very smart in my opinion as that changes your timing and rhythm and if the pitcher has a fast ball and can change speeds they own the hitter….that is a 7 foot adjustment and that affects timing!
My DD has the quickest bat on her 14u team and has a difficult time when it comes to her facing a pitcher that is throwing slower than the ones she is used to facing 48-55 mph. What I have her doing is squaring around and showing bunt and then pulling back when the pitcher is in her "K" position. It seems to have helped her with her timing.


May 13, 2008
Sorry I havent been able to come online for the last few days for more then a few seconds. I have had my head buried in a set of plans for a job we are bidding...wish me luck. Yeah I know 19-1 sounds good, but my opinion is we played the harder teams at the beginning of the year after the girls had come off winter workouts with their travel teams, most travel teams stop working out as soon as school ball starts for a variety of reasons one being lack of fields until late. I do feel the lack of detail in practices ended up costing us in the long run. Since my last post we played a loser out game in districts and lost to a team we have previously won 4 games against. They got better during the year and sharpened up and we just got by. Our high school coach is a nice guy but drives most of us parents insane with his lackadaisical attitude at practices, not many parents can stomach their very long boring practices. So our high school season is over, and we have our first travel play this weekend. Our pitcher from our high school is one of DD best friends and also the number one pitcher for our travel team, so it will be fun for them to be able to use all her weapons and not just one!! Heck my DD might go overboard calling change ups!! this weekend.
Mar 2, 2009
Suffolk, VA
I understand....... and you prove a point I've often said..... a STACKED team doesn't make a great coach.... a team that DRASTICALLY improves throughout the year has good coaching.... at HS we often don't have a lot of experience to choose from, so you work with the girls that are committed. I've always felt that my team would be the most improved, meaning that regardless of whether we had a loaded team, average of lacking experience, we will be a competitive team by seasons end.
** Your teams issue seems to have been a team that was expected to go farther then they did, and instead of the intensity increasing and the team playing at their peak by seasons end, they went backwards. Sorry to hear that.
One of the things I heard at a coaches clinic years back was (and often at HS), the hardest part of coaching older athletes is not teaching the skills of the game, its MOTIVATING them. Organizing practices that include team building/competitive practices that challenge the girls to be BETTER then they've been and motivating them to want to work harder and improve as the season goes on is the hardest part of coaching 15-18 year olds. We all know hundreds of drills and hopefully we are organizing certain drills DAILY and repetitive so the basics are better at years end then from the beginning. (DBMR -Dull, Boring Monotonous & Repetitious - Mike Candrea)

I certainly hope your travel season will be a lot of fun this summer!

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