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Speeding up muscle memory?

Feb 27, 2009
3
0
My daughter is college freshman. In middle school she had a problem shifting her weight so pitching coach said just keep one leg back further since it was allowed. In 10th grade she was considered one of the best pitchers in our area. She signed with an AISA school that she had fallen in love with. Her junior year she pitched 15 games in a row right at beginning of season when it was cold as heck, and hurt her arm. The February diagnosis was tendonitis. Second opinion in April confirmed diagnosis based on MRI. By June her stress fractures were no longer stress fractures - it was pretty much broken. The MRI was taken below the injured area and it was on side of forearm so first x ray missed it. Long story short - developed some quirks trying to pitch, play first base and hit through the pain. Rehabbed in empty gym and nobody noticed some incorrect mechanics. She pitched that way her senior year. College coach is now working with her. On top of moving to 43', and not being able to step back, she now has to hold glove behind back (something to do with a knuckle curve.) I saw her pitch in game the other day. Her whole form is completely different. Her pitches are higher in the zone and she has less speed. She went on mound with a 4 run lead and walked off two innings later one run behind. This was the second time she went in ahead and came out behind. I do not think she suffered permanent damage since arm healed completely. I think she has lost all muscle memory. She does not look comfortable with the new form. Its like learning to pitch all over again WHILE facing college hitters. Any suggestions of drills to do to get comfortable with new form as quickly as possible but not causing problems. She loves the school she is going to but I am not sure she will get many more tries or have the scholarship extended if she doesn't improve quickly.
 

halskinner

Banned
May 7, 2008
2,689
0
She has injury issues affecting her mechanics. Sounds like the mechanics might no longer be safe and both are causing her to perform poorly.

Trying to find drills will not help you. They will only re-inforce what has become bad pitching habits.

You need to find and enlist the help of a very experienced pitching instructor, one who has dealt with these type of issues before.

Try here;

Fast Pitch Instructors National Registry

Your team pitching instructor is aware of all the physical issues/ injury issues she is trying to compensate for???? Your team pitching instructor may be setting her up for further injury.
 
Feb 27, 2009
3
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Her injury occured her junior year of high school. She threw very hard with a lot of curve balls and rise balls. Pitched 6 games in two day period with games 5 and 6 played in very cold temps. The injury was a result overuse, not mechanics. The poor mechanics were a result of playing with the misdiagnosed injury and then rehabbing without any supervision or input. She pitched with poor mechanics most of her senior year. Her college coach is correcting the mechanics but also changing the windup and delivery. So her present form does not resemble her pre-injury performance or her post performance. She is having to mentally concentrate on not stepping back, holding glove behind instead of in front, the new pitch, etc. As a result her pitches are slower and not as well placed. Since they are now in season, she cannot really see anyone new until summer. I was just wondering if there are any drills that will help her get the feel for new style quickly so that she does not lose any more confidence. Thank you for your input.
 
Nov 6, 2008
71
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It sounds like the new "style" dictated by her coach needs to be scrapped completely. Most colleges, even at the D1 level do not have a true pitching coach. Well meaning coaches freely make pitching suggestions and adjustments that can destroy any pitcher - my daughter played at a mid major D1 school that had no pitching coach. The head coach turned her from an all conference pitcher thowing 65 with good movement as a freshman into a very mediocre pitcher by her senior year, all with good intentions.

Can your daughter go back to her pre injury mechanics? Her present style is obviously something she does not believe in and does not seem to work. Do you have a pitching coach who taught her originally that could resume work with her? She needs to either go back to or find a framework that is mechanically solid and that she is comfortable with. Once that is found and her confidence is restored, a legitimate pitching coach can build her back into the pitcher that she was, and then some.

I know that your daughter is a freshman and right now her coach seems like an intimidating figure, but you need to discreetly take control of your daughters athletic future. Make the decisions that need to be made to restore and develop her. Either find her original pitching coach or another legit pitching instructor as soon as possible. If you can't have the coach work with her on campus due to NCAA rules (did you say it was an NAIA school?), work off campus. This may take a while, like aim for next season.
 
Feb 8, 2009
267
16
I would hope others see a cautionary tale here for overuse of pitchers. IT IS YOUR DAUGHTER. DO NOT EXPECT OTHERS TO LOOK OUT FOR HER BEST INTERESTS.
 
Feb 27, 2009
3
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Thanks for the advice. Luckily, her coach was a college pitcher, so probably knows more than most. I am going to ask my daughter to ask coach about dropping the pitch that required her to start with glove hand behind back, at least until she gets used to all the other stuff. I think what she is doing differently with the windmill might be messing up the timing of her legwork (more of a leap than a step) but not sure as I have only seen her pitch a couple of innings and was too busy wincing ;) to get a good view. She is in different state right now and between games, tournaments and classes, no real free time to work with anyone else. I do not want to undermine the coach's authority, as my daughter really loves the school she is in. I guess she will just have to get as comfortable as she can with some of the stuff and really buckle down off season. I will suggest she do lots of drills to get the feel of rocking back versus stepping, since that one is not optional. Thanks for all the suggestions.
 

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