Be careful of over-reliance on video
There is definitely value in watching video of high-level players. Seeing their approach provides some good general clues as to what youth and other players should do. If you watch enough to pick up on patterns, it can even help guide more specifics.
But there is a danger in becoming over-reliant on it too. Hal Skinner made a great point about this on the Discuss Fastpitch forum. He said you have to know what you’re looking at to determine whether it’s what you should follow or not.
I want to take that a step further. Just because you see and imitate the movements doesn’t mean you’ll become a high-level player. To understand that, let’s look at it in a different context.
Suppose you could gain access to videos of Eddie van Halen, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Joe Satriani playing guitar. The video would be focused on their finger movements. Do you honestly believe you could learn to play guitar as well as they do simply by watching them and then trying to apply what you see? Doubtful. You might learn to play, and might even develop some pretty decent technique if you worked at it enough. But the odds are you won’t be able to play in their league. They have a level of ability hard-wired into their DNA that you can’t acquire by watching video and imitating.
The same goes with high-level softball players, or MLB hitters. There is simply more to it than that. And quite frankly, a lot of those elite players don’t have ideal (or even the greatest) mechanics. They do have an incredible level of talent that makes up for it, though.
Again, video is good and helpful. It can definitely help you find clues to success and let you know whether the path you’re following is the right way to go. But over-reliance on what you see on video may actually get in the way. Take the general principles and find the rest of the way yourself. It’s the real key to success.