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To corkscrew spin or not?

redhotcoach

Out on good behavior
May 8, 2009
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My dd just started pitching about 3 months ago, and that is when I started learning about it. She had like 8 lessons, then stopped when we got too busy with the season starting.
Anyway...we have a dvd from Nancy Evans and she says that she starts all of her beginning pitchers throwing the fastball as she calls it "bullet corkscrew fastball". And says that the girls learn there movement pitches in half the time down the road. My daughter will accidently throw this occasionally, and I keep debating in my own mind of changing to this after the season is out.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,921
83
Dallas, Texas
IMHO, it doesn't matter.

If your DD only plays in HS, it doesn't matter. If she throws 60 mph and has a good down or up, it doesn't matter what spin she has on her fastball.

At the D1 level, the pitchers don't throw many "straight fastballs" for fear that they will end up in the ditch behind the left field fence. The pitcher is trying to get the ball to move on every pitch. So, the pitcher is almost always "cutting the ball" to get some movement.

Ray
 

redhotcoach

Out on good behavior
May 8, 2009
4,702
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Thanks Sluggers....your going to make me do my homework :)! A NO never do that would have been fine, or a YEAH that is great would have been good.
but seriously she will probably start just doing it on her own. She was throwing some of them last night, then looking to see if I was going to say anything, even got a "that was an accident" comment. I told her "just as long as you are throwing hard." (my new self limit at the game).
Thanks for your, and all the senior member's advice. I am trying to absorb it all.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,921
83
Dallas, Texas
While I appreciate the words of confidence, I would withhold judgment until Hal Skinner, Mark H and Ken Krause respond. They may have a different spin <*groan*> on this issue.

Ray
 
May 12, 2008
2,217
0
The instructor I"m aware of who teaches this "fastball" teaches a roll drop. One of the Olympic pitchers came out of his instruction. Though she changed her basic form at about 15, I"m pretty sure if you asked her for a fastball, she would still throw bullet spin so it worked out fine. If you wanted to transition to a peel drop, I would think teaching the bullet spin as your first pitch would make that a little more difficult.
 

halskinner

Banned
May 7, 2008
2,689
0
Bullet spin fastballs for the vast majority of young pitchers is not a good thing simply because they do not possess awesome / overpowering speed.

My fast ball was a bullet spin fastball and I used it alot. It was my most accurate pitch and I was EXTREMELY accurate with it. I was one of those that had that overpowering speed. Where the catcher put the glove, I put it in the webbing no matter where he placed that glove.

Bullet spin is well known for having little or no movement on the ball, it has the least resistance to air flow and it is an equal resistance all the way around the ball. Itr's the straightest pitch you could throw.

However, it is very easy to spot that spin coming at you early in the pitch and that makes it easier for the hitters. This is one of the other reasons I taught tactical pitching to my students; so they could take the timing away from the batter and be more successful with that fastball as they were learning their other movement pitches.

Is there a place for a bullet spin fastball in softball? Yes there is. But, just like your drop better drop and your curve better curve,, your fastball better be REALLY fast or you will be sitting in the dirt inside the circle more than you like to be. :)

WINNING FAST PITCH SOFTBALL
 
Aug 21, 2008
863
28
with all due respect, I'm going to disagree with Hal on this one and say there is NO place for such a pitch... it does matter and the Bullet spin is going to hurt, not help her progress. This becomes a habit which is a nightmare to correct long term. I'm still incredulous as to why ANY pitcher would want to throw a "fastball"... a pitch that does not move. All pitches should move, up or down. one of the problems in this is, most pitching coaches teach a drastic difference between the "fastball" and "peel" drop. The majority who teach a "peel" drop tend to exaggerate the release where the pitcher pulls the arm back, as if starting a lawn mower. This is baffling to me and makes it 1,000,000 times more complicated than it needs to be. Why can't people just make pitching simple??????? The difference between a "fastball" and drop is release point. The later the ball is let go, the higher the trajectory it will leave the hand and will likely stay high and not have a chance to go down. The earlier you let it go, the less of the upward angle it will fight and, ASSUMING she has straight rotation on her ball... the seams will make the ball break down. 99.999999% of pitchers who throw a "fastball" with 4 seam rotation that spins straight will tell you they often see the pitch dropping. They don't know how they do it but the answer is very simple... they released the ball sooner!!!! It's that simple. It boggles my mind that people teach this incredible 'pull back' motion for a peel drop. IT'S NOT NECESSARY and completely negates the snap for speed on the pitch!!! Anyway... the bullet spin will simply keep the ball flat and level without a drop to it. In the era of $500 bats and polycore balls, this is insanity. WHy would anyone want to throw a flat pitch?

Part of the problem, and I've said this 1000 times, is there is so much bad hitting out there that mediocre pitching looks good. But that is changing, slowly. Hitting is catching up with bats, balls, better coaching, right view pro, etc. It's very easy for a pitcher to think she's on the right track at a young age by striking out 15 per game. And maybe she is! But maybe she's just more gifted than her competition at that age. That will change. And any time spent working on stuff now that will ONLY help her at the 12 U level, is not going to benefit her at the 18 U level later.

Please keep in mind, I'm in the minority on this. I teach the kids I work with the same things I do myself and did myself as I was learning. I can tell you that even today when my pitches are flat and not moving, I get hammered. So why would I want to do that on purpose? Learning the rise, drop and change NOW will strike the same hitters out that she can strike out with "fastballs", curves, etc. But the "fastballs" and curves may not help her later, where the other ones WILL help her. You don't have to believe me: Osterman's pitches all go up and down. I consider myself an Ok pitcher but even I wouldn't want to throw Crystl Bustos a flat pitch that does not change plains. That's the extreme example for sure, but shouldn't we be training to be the best possible instead of just the best 'locally'?

Bill
 

redhotcoach

Out on good behavior
May 8, 2009
4,702
38
Thanks Bill. I spent the last two afternoons reading every newsletter on your site. Your advice makes alot of sense. It was so interesting to see so many things her "pcm" is teaching her that you are against. Leg slapping comes to mind, you shot that down quick! I just ordered your first dvd and will be anxiously watching for a clinic in the midwest.
Thanks.
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,470
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Mundelein, IL
When you say "corkscrew" spin do you mean the bullet spin everyone here is talking about? That would have the "button" of the ball in the front, basically going toward the catcher. When I first read it I was thinking more of a screwball type of spin, but I may be wrong.

If it is a bullet spin, I would go with Bill on this. I like to see the 12 to 6 spin on a core fastball (which I do teach). As Bill says you can get some accidental drops out of this pitch, depending on how it's released.

I also agree with him on the "start the lawnmower" technique on the peel drop. It never made much sense to me, and looks like it would hurt. Also looks like it would hurt your speed since you're not driving through the pitch. Instead, the motion should mimic a fastball with some adjustments.
 
Aug 21, 2008
863
28
Thanks Bill. I spent the last two afternoons reading every newsletter on your site. Your advice makes alot of sense. It was so interesting to see so many things her "pcm" is teaching her that you are against. Leg slapping comes to mind, you shot that down quick! I just ordered your first dvd and will be anxiously watching for a clinic in the midwest.
Thanks.

Redhot.. thanks. I'm in dire need of a new webmaster as my 'articles' have not been updated in about a year, even though I still send them through my newsletter. I have no idea how to add new pages, I'm a website/computer moron. Some would say moron on many subjects too.

It amazes me what some people teach in regards to pitching. In my mind, a lot of it is simple common sense stuff. But there are so many 'experts' teaching so many things it's hard to know what's good and bad info. It doesn't help that the ESPN commentators treat people like idiots and add to the confusion.

Bill
 

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