Throwing inside? Check the feet

One of the common problems that crops up for pitchers is a tendency to throw inside, i.e. right handed pitcher throwing inside to a right handed hitter. While there can be any number of causes, one I’ve seen a lot is the throwing arm side getting in the way of the throwing arm. When that happens, the pitcher tends to push the ball away from that side in order to avoid hitting her hip and the ball goes inside.

If you’re seeing that, one thing to check immediately is where the pivot foot is going as she drives forward. (In case you don’t feel like thinking, the pivot foot is the foot that is on the throwing side. You’re welcome.) What you’ll probably see is that the toes of the pivot foot are going toward the toes of the stride foot after the latter lands. Often you’ll also see a walk-through, i.e. the pivot foot will keep going past the stride foot.

The simple correction is to tell the pitcher to take the toes of her pivot foot behind the heel of the stride foot. When that happens the hips stay out of the way, the arm stays on the power line, and the ball goes where it’s supposed to — usually. If nothing else it will go a lot less inside and will improve over time.

The nice thing about this instruction is it’s simple and specific. It’s not that difficult to take one foot behind the other, yet it can have a significant effect. Then all you have to do is remember to watch that the pitcher keeps doing it.

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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 March 6, 2009, in Pitching. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I agree that the failure to bring the pivot foot up behind the stride foot will result in an inside pitch. With most girls i have worked with though it is easier to relate to them in terms of the stride foot. Most often, especially with my daughter who loves to wear them out in the inside corner, if she is going to far inside and especially in and low this problem is rooted to her stride foot landing on the first base side of the power line and not on it. Once the stride foot goes left it makes it that much harder for the pivot foot to come over in behind it to keep the hip out of the way. Proper placement and angling of the stride foot is critical to allowing the rest of the pitch to flow naturally as it is the foundation for the building of energy as the pitch is pulled down/around to delivery.I emphasize the “up together/down together” mentality and where everything comes down together is very important.

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  2. That’s a good point on the striding out to the left. It usually causes the shoulders and/or hips to close early, throwing the pitch off inside. I find there are a lot of things that can affect left-right control. Only a couple that affect up/down.

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