The peel drop — It’s all in the butt

The more I work with pitchers the more it seems like the cues I use revolve around the butt. In an earlier post I talked about how driving the front knee out and up helps pull the butt (or in reality the center of gravity) forward, allowing a more powerful drive off the rubber than simply pushing off the back foot.

I will also explain need to keep the hips open until the arm passes (rather than slamming the door shut) by stating that in the war between butt and ball, butt always wins. It’s a more fun way of making the point that two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time, so if the butt is in the way the arm will have to go round it, causing the pitch to go somewhere it’s not supposed to go.

Now lately for the drop ball I’ve been explaining the release point by stating the hand needs to pass next to the butt rather than down at the thigh. If it comes past the butt (or hip) the pitch starts higher, allowing it to start as a strike rather than getting too low immediately.

Understand that I don’t necessarily teach the peel drop the same way as some other coaches. I’ve never much cared for the “slide the paper out” method. It seems unnatural and potentially dangerous to the shoulder to me. Just one man’s opinion. Instead, I like the elbow to drive down and the hand to flatten out so it’s palm down behind the leg/butt, like you’re trying to slap a hand back there. Then as the hand comes forward it goes somewhat over the ball, and when the wrist snaps it is adding that little extra bit of spin. If you use this method then bringing the hand past the butt makes sense.

Referring to the butt seems to be a good way of making the point and keeping it more fun. Butts are funny. Gotta go with what works.


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 October 20, 2007, in Pitching. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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