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Finding Your Edge

Whether you’re learning a new pitch or trying to fix a bad habit, “finding your edge” is the most valuable technique you can use. And if you’re NOT mindful of your “edge,” you can end up having setbacks.

What is your edge?

The edge I’m referring to is the exact spot where your mechanics fall apart. For example, if you’re trying to fix a crow hop, maybe you can do first and second end game without hopping, but you hop in full end game. That means second end game is your edge. Let’s say you’re learning a curve ball, and you can do isolated snaps and isolated arm circles perfectly, but as soon as you add footwork of any kind you lose the spin. Your edge is the isolated circles.

How to use your edge to get better

In order to properly learn whatever you’re trying to learn, or fix whatever you’re trying to fix, spend a lot of time at your edge. It may seem tedious, but it is ALWAYS better to spend a lot of time ingraining proper mechanics, even if you’re sticking with a very small basic drill, than it is to push yourself too quickly. The less time you spend ingraining the WRONG mechanics, the quicker you will learn something, even if it feels like it’s taking you forever to progress.

After you feel like you’re an expert at your edge, take the next baby step past your edge and become an expert at that. You may totally fail at first, but do it as slowly as it takes to get the mechanics down, and gradually speed yourself up. Keep taking baby steps until you are pitching at full speed.

Case study

I have a 13-year-old pitcher who I’ve been working with for a little over a year. After spending a long time getting her fastball mechanics under control, we revisited her change up over the winter, and when it wasn’t working for her we switched to a backhand flip change a little over a month ago. She took to it immediately, and then because of her school ball schedule I didn’t see her for 3-4 weeks. When I did see her again, her change up was not working at all.

What happened was she wasn’t mindful of her edge with the change up. After a great deal of hard work, she was finally throwing a really good fastball with a lot of pop without having to think about it too much. She started to make her motion faster and more aggressive. However, she threw her change up right into this new aggressive motion without spending adequate time at her edge and then taking baby steps to solidify the mechanics. It was too much too soon and the mechanics fell apart.

We backed all the way up to isolated flips, which she does perfectly. Her current edge is the isolated arm circle. She’s working on getting her hand to turn to the right position smoothly down the back side of the arm circle. We will continue to progress at the appropriate pace, and when she’s ready to throw the change up at full speed, it will be killer!

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!

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