Pitchers, get your butts in gear

No, I’m not going to rail on you about getting out and practicing. You should know that already.

This post is more about what you should be feeling when you drive off the rubber. There is a tendency for young pitchers to reach out their front foot, leaving a big spread between their feet, then dragging their back foot up to complete the pitch. This action will pull them forward, but not as powerfully as it could.

If you really drive the front knee forward, you should feel your butt pulling forward as well. This is your center of gravity moving toward the plate. If you get that happening you will generate more momentum into the pitch, which will help increase pitch speed — especially because you will have to increase your arm speed to keep up with your feet.

It takes a little getting used to, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Remember: the key is the butt. Get it in gear.

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About Ken Krause

Ken Krause has been coaching girls fastpitch softball for nearly 20 years. Some may know him as a contributing columnist to Softball Magazine, where he writes Krause's Korner -- a regular column sponsored by Louisville Slugger. Ken is also the Administrator of the Discuss Fastpitch Forum, the most popular fastpitch discussion forum on the Internet. He is currently a Three Star Master Coach with the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), and is certified by both the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and American Sports Education Program (ASEP). Ken is a private instructor specializing in pitchers, hitters, and catchers. He teaches at North Shore Baseball Academy in Libertyville, IL and Pro-Player Consultants in McHenry, IL.

Posted on September 29, 2007, in Pitching. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. You know, the more I’m around sports in general and involved with coaching, the more I realize just how important it is to use the right words. You could have stated this bit of advice many different ways, but this was stated in the way that I got it. I have certain ways of trying to get a point across to the girls, I Tell a hitter to watch the ball hit the bat (I know you don’t actully see it, but it usually helps them understand how their head should be positioned), others tell the girl to track the ball or whatever and that way may work for them. It is so important to find the right way to say something to a girl so that they get it – so they understand what you are saying. Each girl is going to respond differently to what you say so you might need to know how to phrase it multiple ways. The way you stated this post – was the way that I got it. Thx for that.

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  2. Glad to hear it worked for you. What you say is true. I’ve found that one of the biggest challenges of coaching is communicating what you want to players. Every time I think I’ve figured out exactly how to teach a skill I find out my work is not done yet. I’m constantly challenged to be creative in explaining the same thing to different people. What’s fun about it is I feel like I’m learning too. I get a real kick out of figuring out how to explain something old in a new way. I’ll bet you do too. They say the way to avoid getting old and senile is to exercise your brain. Coaching definitely lets you do that.

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