What are your go-to methods for learning to hit spots?

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Jul 28, 2014
8
3
Gotcha. And that's basically the position we're in (or almost in). She's finally getting a consistent platform. She can do it pretty well without a ball, but up until the past few sessions she would revert completely to weak FSR and forward lean if the ball was in her hand. I was struggling to find the right patterns or cues to get her sorted, then got a few pointers from another instructor that finally got things to click for her. Now we're much closer to consistent FSR and correct posture. I think with a few more sessions she'll be there and we can start aiming again. She hasn't thrown a full pitch to me in months.
A que phrase I've used to help is chin up on release. Push tall & chin up on release. It's worked pretty well for most. Just a thought. Faster arm and waiting for the arm is important. If the kick out/ leap is started before the hand and ball pass the hip from the downswing to the upswing, then the timing will be off due to dragging the arm from behind and the brain has to wait for the arm causing the finish mechanics to fall apart. Resulting in a less accurate slower pitch. I hope that made some sense. Remember, you don't have to agree or try something I talk about. Just sharing my experience in case it may help. Thanks again.
 
Apr 14, 2022
608
63
For DD it is to motion without a target to reinforce good mechanics. Either with mirror work or into a net that is fairly close. It seems backwards, but my kid is a little backwards.
Better at hitting spots in games than practice as sometimes she tries too hard in practice.
 
Jul 28, 2014
8
3
For DD it is to motion without a target to reinforce good mechanics. Either with mirror work or into a net that is fairly close. It seems backwards, but my kid is a little backwards.
Better at hitting spots in games than practice as sometimes she tries too hard in practice.
Sounds good. I have often had pitchers that start aiming to much throw into the fence or a net from about 20 feet at full power no specific target just working on mechanics. Works pretty well. Take care
 
Jan 25, 2022
929
93
A que phrase I've used to help is chin up on release. Push tall & chin up on release. It's worked pretty well for most. Just a thought. Faster arm and waiting for the arm is important. If the kick out/ leap is started before the hand and ball pass the hip from the downswing to the upswing, then the timing will be off due to dragging the arm from behind and the brain has to wait for the arm causing the finish mechanics to fall apart. Resulting in a less accurate slower pitch. I hope that made some sense. Remember, you don't have to agree or try something I talk about. Just sharing my experience in case it may help. Thanks again.

We took out the backswing about a month ago. It just made everything else so wonky with her timing and drive that it simplified things. She prefers going straight out of the glove now. What finally got her going was emphasizing throwing that left leg forward hard. "Don't step across the creek. Jump across."

She had another gear she wasn't finding before that (seems to be the same with hitting). Now she's starting to land on the ball of her foot with that nice arc. Her torso is opening up correctly and the hip is close to getting around where it belongs. The body can't fall forward when it's still chasing that front side. Just gotta keep pushing on that drive and get the posture worked out a bit more. I'll remember that chin cue.
 
May 15, 2008
1,960
113
Cape Cod Mass.
If her mechanics are sound and reasonably consistent then it's fine to move to some accuracy practice, but if she starts to revert you might have to stop.

If you start some accuracy work I would move from blocked practice to random practice as quickly as possible. Blocked practice is more for learning and improving mechanics. It's easy to get hooked on blocked practice when working on accuracy and the idea that consistency is key and that's what you're improving. It's widely accepted that blocked practice produces more immediate improvement but when it comes to retention random practice is much better. The short term, more immediate improvement is what gets people hooked. For instance, if she's working on her change up (mechanics) it's fine to throw a bunch in a row (blocked) but if you're working on locating the change throw it to different locations, even ones that you might never use in a game (random). Then move to mixing different pitches and different locations. If she struggles with this and misses by wide margins move back a little and have her throw the same pitch twice in row then move on to another. This is what I consider a conservative start.
 
Jan 6, 2018
226
43
Once my students get the basic mechanics down, they "locate" every throw with a few exceptions. As you said in/out is a difference of only a few degrees which is incredibly difficult to do with a mechanical adjustment. Yes, a mechanical change technically occurs, but the approach is more mental in my opinion or even "feel" if you will. So the short answer is practice, practice, practice. Start locating from the very 1st warm-up position.
 
Aug 1, 2019
1,000
113
MN
...Once my students get the basic mechanics down... Start locating from the very 1st warm-up position.
Emphasis on this. When my kids warm up, even from 9 o'clock at 20 feet away, they are throwing to quadrants; around the world two throws to a quadrant, move to the next. Even if they are chattering away they can be thinking about making adjustments to make the ball do what they want. Becomes second nature.
 
Oct 11, 2010
8,343
113
Chicago, IL
She also uses a softball set up on a tee in various spots and tries to knock it off.

What I like about this drill is you can put a plunger in the batting tee so you can put a huge ball on to it. Hit it a few times in a row decrease ball size, If they miss that ball back to the bigger ball. It becomes a completion.

As others have mentioned the pitcher guiding the ball is illegal and her pitch does not count.
 
Jan 25, 2022
929
93
Emphasis on this. When my kids warm up, even from 9 o'clock at 20 feet away, they are throwing to quadrants; around the world two throws to a quadrant, move to the next. Even if they are chattering away they can be thinking about making adjustments to make the ball do what they want. Becomes second nature.
Is it two successful attempts and on to the next quadrant, or do they just move along no matter what? We always start with 9:00 from 25ft or so. I honestly hadn't even thought to give her locations at that point. I could have been doing that for months. I just think of it as a warm-up and some reference for working on whip.
 

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