Great article from Cindy Bristow on pitch calling

Just had to share this article from Cindy Bristow at Softball Excellence. It’s about the four biggest mistakes you can make when calling pitches.

Cindy really hits the nail on the head! No surprise there – she’s brilliant. And very realistic when it comes to the subtleties of coaching fastpitch softball.

I have certainly seen all of the mistakes she mentions made at one time or another. The first two in particular – not knowing your pitcher’s capabilities overall and THAT DAY, and calling YOUR favorite pitches instead of the pitcher’s best ones.

One major example was what happened to a former student of mine when she went to pitch in college. The team’s pitching coach (who was maybe a second-year coach) didn’t seem too interested in helping the pitcher become the best she could be. Instead, it was almost like she went out of her way to make her look bad.

The two biggest mistakes were 1) not calling the girl’s best pitch (a dynamite curveball) because the coach preferred screwballs and 2) calling almost nothing but screwballs, thereby making the pitches predictable. This pitcher had a great screwball too, and could survive on it for a couple of inning. But after a steady diet of them college hitters figured out if they backed off the plate a little bit they could feast on them.

And even then the PC wouldn’t call a curve, or a rise, or change, or a drop. Instead she’d let her get pounded, then have the coach take her out because “she wasn’t effective.”

I don’t know of any pitcher anywhere who can throw the same pitch time after time and be effective. Even the greats mix it up. But when you insist on making a pitcher one-dimensional it doesn’t take long for good hitters to make them look bad.

Absolutely check out this article, if for no other reason than to make sure you (or your PC) isn’t falling into one of these traps. And be sure to sign up for Cindy’s newsletter while you’re there. Tons of great information lands right in your email every couple of weeks.


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 November 4, 2015, in Coaching, Pitching and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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