Keeping an open mind on fastpitch drills

In the world of fastpitch softball there are tons of drills. Some I like, others I don’t. Yet sometimes even a drill you don’t particularly like can be effective if you’re willing to keep an open mind.

One such drill for me is the pitching drill where you get down on the ground in a runner’s starting stance, like you’re in blocks. You then go into the regular pitch from that start.

When I’ve seen it done, it often feels like it works against using the legs effectively. The pitchers are down so far that they have to raise themselves up first, which means they don’t get a good launch. It’s not my favorite.

But last week I had a girl who was having trouble leaning into the pitch. At launch she would pull her head up early and if anything lean back, which was killing her speed. So I suggested she get down into the starter position and try pitching from there.

One good thing was she didn’t quite get all the way down, so she started from a little better position. But that did the trick. She got the feel of launching head-first and driving out with her legs, and was rewarded with noticeably more speed.

So I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks. Or at least get an old dog to try an old trick.

And once again it proves that the effectiveness of a drill is in the hands of the person running. That night we both learned something.

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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 January 17, 2012, in Coaching, Pitching. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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