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Wow, young pitchers need to deal with a lot!

Feb 7, 2013
3,188
48
I think we forget how much new and/or young pitchers need to learn and do to be skilled at their position. No wonder most give up the position after a few shorts years. Below is a partial list:

- they have to learn how to throw the ball underhand;
- they have to windmill their throwing arm;
- they have to swing one or both their arms behind them to start the pitch;
- they have to time their leap and drag their back foot along the ground;
- they have to be able to find their grip on the seams (by feel) when the ball is in their glove;
- they have to have both feet on the pitching plate;
- they have to have their hands separated when they place their feet on the pitching plate;
- they have to simulate taking a sign from the catcher/pitching coach;
- they can only pitch within 1 - 10 seconds;
- they have to learn signs for different pitches and different locations;
- they have to learn how to throw accurately;
- they have to avoid hitting batters;
- they have to learn to handle being the center of attention;
- they have to learn how to handle their emotions and the pressure of the game;
- they have to know who is on base and what to do if the ball is hit to them;
- they have to deal with the other teams negative chants;
- they have to have to learn how to field the bunt/slap;
- they have to learn how to cover home plate on a passed ball and make a proper tag;
- they have to deal with line-drives hit back at them;
- they have to understand the pitching circle, the look-back rule, and circle violation rules;
- they have to practice pitching weekly and often;
- they need to know and learn all the other areas of the game when they are not pitching such as hitting; fielding when playing other positions, baserunning, etc.

We need to give these new and young pitchers a lot of credit for taking the circle, it's the most difficult position in softball to learn and be proficient at it.
 
Oct 1, 2014
1,089
63
USA
- they have to learn how to handle the pressure from their team mates, pitching coach, team coach(s) and parents;
 
Aug 23, 2016
253
28
- They have to learn to deal with different umpires and different interpretations of the strike zone
- They have to learn to keep forging ahead when they thought they made the right pitch but the defense mishandled the ball
 
Oct 11, 2010
7,476
38
Chicago, IL
8u DD pitched because she was best fielder, lousy P but she could catch the ball.

Be interesting this year a couple players play HS, DD does not, see what happens.

If she practiced she would be OK, I think she is mental stronger though. We will see.
 
Jul 19, 2014
2,384
38
Madison, WI
I remember once watching a HS game with the father of one of the starting pitchers. The two teams playing both had their players go through the same little league. The pitcher's dad pointed out about 4 or 5 girls on the various teams who used to pitch, but gave up pitching. His DD was the starting pitcher as a senior because she was the last girl standing. The starting pitcher for the other team was a freshman, because all the good older pitchers stopped pitching.

What about the starting pitchers in that game?

One of them, my friend's DD, plays at a local JUCO, and plays SS. Doesn't pitch anymore.
The starter for the other team, then a freshman, is now a junior at that HS, and is now the starting catcher. (That is the HS DD 3 plays for. At the beginning of the year they had 2 pitchers on varsity, 3 on JV. One of the JV pitchers quit the team, the other went up to Varsity to play IF and doesn't pitch very often anymore.)
 
Aug 21, 2008
1,038
83
- they have to learn how to handle the pressure from their team mates, pitching coach, team coach(s) and parents;
AND PARENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you're like me, you've watched ESPN with head shaking humor at La'var Ball basically being the embodiment of the kind of parent nobody wants to admit they are. Now we can talk about all the pressures that come from pitching, including the extensive list made by Rocketech. But, there is nothing in that list or in the list others have added that equals the pressure the girls feel from parents. Some of that pressure that is given may not even be a conscience thing the parent is doing. But, I guarantee your kid is more perceptive than you give credit for. She sees the eye rolls when she throws a bad pitch during a lesson, she see's the frustration when she can't quite fix that "thing" being taught in a single lesson, She feels the tension when you get frustrated with her. And then, in the irony of all ironies, the parents say "she won't listen to me anymore" after the kid hits a certain age. They honestly wonder why that is.

As a PC, I am in a no win. I refuse to do lessons without a parent there (more specifically, I refuse to do a lesson alone with a minor). In this business, all it takes is an accusation and you're ruined... so I always require someone with. The problem is, it's often the parent who creates the most stress for the pitcher. And the cycle starts all over again.

Personally, I was lucky. While my father played fastpitch since I was born and I was raised at the ballpark being team bat boy, then imitating the pitchers until I was finally "old enough to play". And the reason I put "quotes" there is, I started in a mens league when I was 11 or 12. Imagine your 12 year old pitching to college, adult women's fastpitch or NPF players from 46 feet. And keep in mind, my first time in the game, was the FIRST TIME IN A GAME. I didn't get to play U10, U12, etc. where I got game experience. My first time in a game was 12 yrs old or so against ADULT MEN. And no, I didn't have a riseball and a dropball worthy enough to fool my competition. But, my father was there to support me. He didn't shake his head at me when I couldn't put backspin on a rise. He didn't get angry when I walked 5 hitters in a row. I was harder on myself than he (or anyone) was. And he never tried to "teach me" pitching. His knowledge of pitching was limited to knowing that he'd strike out on riseball's every time up. I am absolutely not saying he was an idiot who couldn't tell smooth mechanics from something herky jerky. But teaching me? never. Practice with me? Absolutely.

So, it's my belief that the #1 young pitcher issue usually starts at home. This is not an absolute. There are plenty of GREAT parents. But, everyone knows the ones I'm talking about. There is a fine line between pressure and encouragement. Between frustration and understanding. There are so many ways this pressure is applied. And I truly believe many don't know they're doing it. But if your DD cannot play catch with you, without a fight breaking out, the problem could be in the mirror not across the dinner table.

Bill
 
Oct 1, 2014
1,089
63
USA
AND PARENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you're like me, you've watched ESPN with head shaking humor at La'var Ball basically being the embodiment of the kind of parent nobody wants to admit they are. Now we can talk about all the pressures that come from pitching, including the extensive list made by Rocketech. But, there is nothing in that list or in the list others have added that equals the pressure the girls feel from parents. Some of that pressure that is given may not even be a conscience thing the parent is doing. But, I guarantee your kid is more perceptive than you give credit for. She sees the eye rolls when she throws a bad pitch during a lesson, she see's the frustration when she can't quite fix that "thing" being taught in a single lesson, She feels the tension when you get frustrated with her. And then, in the irony of all ironies, the parents say "she won't listen to me anymore" after the kid hits a certain age. They honestly wonder why that is.

As a PC, I am in a no win. I refuse to do lessons without a parent there (more specifically, I refuse to do a lesson alone with a minor). In this business, all it takes is an accusation and you're ruined... so I always require someone with. The problem is, it's often the parent who creates the most stress for the pitcher. And the cycle starts all over again.

Personally, I was lucky. While my father played fastpitch since I was born and I was raised at the ballpark being team bat boy, then imitating the pitchers until I was finally "old enough to play". And the reason I put "quotes" there is, I started in a mens league when I was 11 or 12. Imagine your 12 year old pitching to college, adult women's fastpitch or NPF players from 46 feet. And keep in mind, my first time in the game, was the FIRST TIME IN A GAME. I didn't get to play U10, U12, etc. where I got game experience. My first time in a game was 12 yrs old or so against ADULT MEN. And no, I didn't have a riseball and a dropball worthy enough to fool my competition. But, my father was there to support me. He didn't shake his head at me when I couldn't put backspin on a rise. He didn't get angry when I walked 5 hitters in a row. I was harder on myself than he (or anyone) was. And he never tried to "teach me" pitching. His knowledge of pitching was limited to knowing that he'd strike out on riseball's every time up. I am absolutely not saying he was an idiot who couldn't tell smooth mechanics from something herky jerky. But teaching me? never. Practice with me? Absolutely.

So, it's my belief that the #1 young pitcher issue usually starts at home. This is not an absolute. There are plenty of GREAT parents. But, everyone knows the ones I'm talking about. There is a fine line between pressure and encouragement. Between frustration and understanding. There are so many ways this pressure is applied. And I truly believe many don't know they're doing it. But if your DD cannot play catch with you, without a fight breaking out, the problem could be in the mirror not across the dinner table.

Bill
OK lets get this started, we need a support group for pitchers parents. Maybe a 12 step program? I'll go first...

Hello, my name is Tatonka and I have a problem, my DD is a pitcher. ;-)
 
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