Category Archive: In-game Tips

Natural Healthy Alternatives to Sports Drinks

Newsflash: sports drinks really aren’t very good for you. Many of them contain multiple different sources of sugar, including high fructose or other corn syrups. If you’ve got a zero-calorie sports drink, you’re likely contending with artificial sweeteners, and no matter which you choose you’ll likely be consuming artificial flavors, “natural” flavors (which aren’t as natural as you think), artificial colorings, and preservatives. If you’ve got a practice or a single softball game ahead of you, you really only need water to stay hydrated; however, if you’re facing a 90+ degree summer day under full blazing sun with three or more tournament games to play, something with extra carbohydrates and electrolytes can definitely be beneficial. So what should you drink? I’ll tell you!

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Take a Lesson from the “Tortoise and the Hare” When Pitching

Like the story of the tortoise and the hare, sometimes slow is the way to go.
Pitchers can’t all throw at 70 mph. But if we pitch with intelligence, utilizing all of the tools in our shed, we can be just as effective.

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Staying Focused in Front of College Coaches and Screaming Fans

Today we have another wonderful guest post from former East Coast #1 NCAA pitching recruit Jill Schonberg. Jill is going to share some important wisdom from her years of being a high level pitcher and give you some tips for how to pitch in high pressure situations. Enjoy!

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You Can’t Fix What You Don’t Understand

When you’re all alone in the eight foot circle and things seem to be falling apart around you…who are you gonna call? If your answer is anything other than “your own self,” you’ll probably get a busy signal.

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Guest Post: The One Trick That Can Make You a Better Pitcher RIGHT NOW!

Today we are very fortunate to have the first of several guest posts from someone with a tremendous amount of firsthand experience in windmill pitching and the game of softball in general. Jillian Schonberg went to Villanova University as the number one NCAA east coast pitching recruit in 2007, and now she’s a physical therapy graduate student at Harcum College. You’ll hear us talk a lot at Fastpitch Power about how we don’t like to teach “tricks,” but rather we insist on proper, healthy mechanics and hard work, even if it takes longer to get where you want to be. Nonetheless, there IS one thing you can have that can make just about any pitcher noticeably better without changing anything else: a fabulous catcher. A good catcher is invaluable to a pitcher, and a good pitcher-catcher relationship is integral to the success of a team. Jillian is going to share her wisdom on the subject.

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Where have all the fastballs gone?

I try, as often as possible, to attend softball tournaments where our students are performing in game situations. In doing so, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend, prevalent at the NCAA level, that is now filtering down to younger and younger pitchers: The reluctance to throw fastballs. No doubt learning to throw movement and off-speed pitches is a critical component of any pitcher’s development. But let’s take a closer look at what I believe is a serious case of “throwing the baby out with the bath water.”

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Overcoming psychological barriers: tips for pitching as well in games as in lessons

Over the past few weeks I’ve begun participating in discussions on the message board DiscussFastpitch.com, which is a general gathering place for players, parents, coaches, and enthusiasts of fastpitch softball. One of the topics that came up recently was the difference in a specific young pitcher’s performance in games and team practices versus lessons with her pitching coach. In the latter, she had been quite good, while in the former situations she had been struggling, with a noticeable change in her mechanics. This is something that affects a huge number of pitchers, so I thought it was important to write about it. Nerves can certainly affect a pitcher’s performance, and different people have nervous reactions to a wide variety of different stimuli. But sometimes a pitcher might not even feel any anxiety or sense of pressure whatsoever, and yet she still sees changes in her performance when a batter steps into the box. Today I’d like to share some suggestions for how to deal with this situation.

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