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Avoid Unnecessary Confusion in Young Pitchers

I had a conversation with a parent last week whose daughter, a 10U pitcher, is in a transition phase with her pitching mechanics and struggling. It occurred to me that her dilemma probably applies to many of you, so I want to talk about it a bit.

Why It’s Important to Pick a Pitching Style and Stick To It

The pitcher in question had been taught a particular pitching style—specifically, a “close the door” hip rotation and an elbow to the catcher finish—and was attempting to learn the style we teach, which, as you know if you’ve been following, is a bit more open and linear with an emphasis on loose arm whip. She was struggling during her lesson and it turned out that she was practicing her original pitching style on some nights of the week and the new one on other nights.

If you’re a regular reader of Fastpitch Power, many of you are probably parents trying to teach your own daughters how to pitch, or trying to decide if the pitching style she’s been taught is right for her. It’s very important not to switch back and forth between styles.

Especially with a young pitcher, trying to practice two styles at once will just lead to confusion, both mentally and physically. It will inhibit the development of muscle memory for BOTH styles, and it will make it very difficult for the pitcher to intellectually understand what she’s trying to accomplish. In the end, she’ll just struggle with both styles.

The solution is simple: just pick one. I don’t mean that you need to pick one forever; just DO NOT work on two different styles simultaneously. If you suspect that your pitching style is not optimal and you’d like to change, commit to that change 100% and be patient as you work through it.

We’ve learned what we teach from working with some of the best softball clinicians in the world and constantly tweaking our technique through our own research and experience. We work very hard to provide our readers with the best information possible and truly believe that our methodologies give pitchers the best chance to succeed. However, with that being said, if you’re truly torn between pitching styles, choose the one that makes you the most comfortable and happy and allows you to get maximum enjoyment out of playing softball. Educate yourself as much as possible, make a choice, stand by your choice, and work as hard as you can to perfect the technique you’ve chosen.

About the author

Carly

Carly is a windmill pitching specialist and co-founder of Fastpitch Power. She has coached teams at every level from 10U to NCAA. She also designed and built fastpitchpower.com. Please feel free to leave questions and site feedback in the comments or via our contact page!

2 comments

  1. Frank Lopez

    I teach pitching lessons in Austin TX. I have a 12 yoa who has been pitching about a year n half. Just recently she has started to hit her hip with the inside of her elbow as she comes through with her wimdmill. Ive tried working on keeping her windmill long and in a good straight circle. She is actually bruised because of that. Any suggesstions? Tks

    1. Carly

      Hi Frank,
      I would have to see video of her to be sure, but it sounds like she either has an issue with the angle of her arm circle, or she’s driving through in a way that is putting her hip in the way of her arm too soon. This drill might be helpful:
      http://www.fastpitchpower.com/wall-drills-for-improved-pitching-mechanics/
      Working near a wall can help her get a visual “throw zone,” and she’ll be able to tell if she’s blocking it with her hip or leaving it open and just not getting her arm there.

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