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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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 February 4, 2009, in Coaching, Pitching. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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