Daily Archives: February 4, 2009

Love the breakthroughs

Tonight I was working with one of my students, a girl named Brigid. (Yes, that’s the correct spelling. I confirmed it with her a while back.)

Brigid had done some pitching a couple of years ago, but a wrist problem stopped her career. She decided to give it a try again this year, and a couple of changes we made earlier has made it possible for her to pitch without pain.

She has had one persistent problem, though: she keeps throwing inside. It’s a habit she’s had a tough time breaking. We were able to figure out that there are a couple of different causes, but one of the main ones has been her arm circle. She tends to let it wander behind her, so at release it has to go out to her right to avoid slamming into her hip.

We’ve tried a few things over the past weeks to try and fix it, but none have had much lasting success. Tonight, though, I think we had a breakthrough.

One of the main causes of her circle problems has been pulling the ball behind her on her backswing. That motion forces her arm out and away, which creates an off-center circle. So tonight we switched her to a barrel roll start. The barrel roll forces her to start with her arms in the center of her body and keep them there until the ball gets overhead. In other words, it completely eliminates one of the main causes.

It wasn’t perfect — she also has a tendency to pull her shoulders up and out at times — but it made a big dent in it. One of the biggest benefits was a rise in her confidence level. She was excited and smiling by the end of the lesson, and inspired to go forward.

Hopefully it will have a lasting effect. Stay tuned.

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