Daily Archives: June 6, 2011

Predictable in pitching equals fail

Did a little catching up over the weekend with some of my high school-age students who have wrapped up their high school seasons. They were looking for a little tune-up before going into the summer travel ball season.

One theme that seemed fairly universal was that A) their high school coaches wanted to control pitch calling and they had no idea how to call pitches. A big frustration was the lack of change-ups being called. These girls have excellent change-ups, very effective, and throw hard enough to make a change-up worthwhile.

One in particular went even further. She told me her high school coach would only call pitches to one location — low and out. He was obsessed with throwing the ball there, and would yell at her if the ball rose above mid-thigh. And this for a pitcher who is naturally inclined to throw riseballs.

The frustrating part for her was that while low and out is a good location, eventually their opponents would figure it out and start pounding the ball. Then she’d get yelled at for letting them hit the ball.

The key to effective pitching is keeping hitters off-balance. That means avoiding falling into patterns or being predictable. Throwing the same pitch to the same location is being very predictable.

Pitch calling isn’t rocket science. Mix it up — speeds, location and movement. Keep the hitters guessing and you’ll be far more successful.

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