Fastpitch success story

Heard another great fastpitch softball success story yesterday that I had to share. This one involves a pitcher who has gone from what Jeff Janssen might call forming to performing.

Her name is Tina Kliver, and she is a second-year 16U. I met Tina after the last summer season (2011). Her dad Bob contact me about getting a pitching lesson for Tina to see if I could help her. She really wanted to pitch, and they’d been to a couple of pitching coaches in the area who have good reputations (and one of whom has a great resume), but she was struggling.

When I met Tina her basic pitch was a fastball in the dirt at the hitter’s feet. I could see some core things I thought would help and we gave them a try. They did help in that first lesson, but more importantly Tina and I seemed to click. She has the same quirky sense of humor I do.

We worked throughout August and September, and then every other week in the off-season. (She was a two- or three-sport athete in HS plus doing some other stuff so every week wasn’t going to work.) It took a little while to lock in the core mechanics we wanted.

Her first time out throwing with the new mechanics was pretty much a disaster. She struggled and had to be taken out. But there were some good things that came out of it, and she understood what she needed to do. We kept working, not just on basics but on throwing different pitches too.

She didn’t get to pitch more than a couple of times in the HS varsity season since her team had a couple of very good, established pitchers ahead of her. Then fast-forward to yesterday.

I received the email every coach hopes to get. Tina pitched a six-inning no-hitter (have I mentioned I hate time limits?) plus a few innings in a couple of other games when other pitchers struggle. So she went from hoping to get a couple of innings here and there to being the go-to pitcher for her team.

Time will tell whether it’s permanent, but I have a feeling it is. Yesterday should give her the confidence to go out and be the pitcher she’s capable of being. It just goes to show you what you can do when you’re motivated and determined. For those of you who are struggling right now, take heart! If you want it bad enough you can make it happen.

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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 June 10, 2012, in Coaching, Instruction, Pitching. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I just want to say two things: 1. I REALLY wish we lived closer than 2 million miles away! You seem like just an awesome coach! and 2. I really enjoy your comments! I frequently forward the “great ones” to family and friends, and of course, my daughter. Both my girls play competitive softball so I can relate to almost everything you post. I am not coach (just a softball mom!), but I live the game through my girls! Its always an honor to share their successes…and failures.Thanks for all your insightful comments!

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  2. Hi Melissa,Thanks so much. I have my moments. 🙂 Seriously, I appreciate your kind words and am glad you find the posts helpful. Hope your daughters are doing well this season!Ken

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