Losers make excuses – winners make adjustments

One of the things that makes fastpitch softball so difficult is that it is not the type of sport where you can hit a groove very often. Because of the design of the game, your tempo or pace may not match up with the tempo or pace of your opponents. When that happens, you either have to make adjustments or you’ll lose the little matchups that make up the game.

Hitters versus pitchers is an obvious one. Nearly every hitter has a pitch speed they really like to hit. If the ball comes in at that speed, it’s like batting practice to her. She can even handle +/- two mph. But go outside that comfort zone and the hitter has two choices — adjust or struggle.

Or take catchers and baserunners. A catcher’s pop time — the time from when the pitch hits her glove to when it hits the person covering the base’s glove — will usually be pretty consistent. But if the opposing baserunners have more speed than she’s used to, or is getting a little extra jump, what normally works may not work anymore.

In these and other situations players can react a couple of ways. They can get mad at the opponent and make excuses — I can’t hit slow pitching, the runner is leaving early, the umpire is making bad calls — or she can make adjustments. In other words, she can change what she’s doing to match what’s being dictated by the opponents.

Take that hitting example. She can time her swing like she always does and be ahead of the ball on a slow pitcher, then complain the pitcher is too slow. Or she can figure out when she needs to move and swing to deliver full batspeed into the ball.

In the case of the catcher, she has to know that she needs to pop up a little quicker, and perhaps get rid of the ball a little quicker than usual if she’s going to have a shot at getting the runner. It may not be what’s comfortable for her, but it’s what’s necessary.

What it comes down to is what you can and can’t control. You can’t control the speed of the opposing pitcher. I’ve never met a pitcher yet who didn’t want to throw faster, so if the pitcher could throw harder she would. That being the case, you can adjust what you’re doing, because you can control that. Just work up your determination, get out of your comfort zone, and do what needs to be done in the situation.

Losers make excuses — winners make adjustments. Remember that and you’ll have a lot more softball success.

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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 July 21, 2011, in General Thoughts. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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