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Pitcher Spotlight: Blaire Luna

While the whole Schonberg family was watching college softball this past weekend, Texas pitcher Blaire Luna’s mechanics really stood out to us! She exemplifies so many of the things we’re trying to teach. Take a look!

Blaire Luna: Texas Longhorns Softball

Forearm fire: Check out that arm whip! Blaire’s elbow leads her arm down the back side of the arm circle with her palm turned upward, and her hand naturally flips over as she whips her forearm through the throw zone. Her shoulders are relaxed and her arm looks like jelly as her hand flows all the way to the catcher’s target before relaxing across her body. An excellent example of what you should all be shooting for.

Drive through: Her drive leg is also outstanding. She gets a great forward push off the pitching rubber, her transition from push to drag is super smooth, and her knee drives straight at her target as her toe grazes the ground all the way to the front side.

Here is the video that I took the above animation from:

Watch the sequence of pitches at the beginning of the video. Notice how her arm action, stride, and drive through all look the same, yet the result is many different types of pitches. She does trail off to the left a bit at the end of her motion for what appears to be a drop curve, but the batter will have had to decide to swing or not well before she sees that.

About the author

Carly

Carly is a windmill pitching specialist and co-founder of Fastpitch Power. After teaching pitching both privately and in clinics for many years in the New York tri-state area, she is now teaching in Pittsburgh, PA, and 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!

5 comments

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  1. jordan

    carly,
    hi you mentioned that Blaire’s push off foot’s transition from push to drag is super smooth.
    it’s a little choppy on the GIF image above so can you clarify how the transition is supposed to happen?
    When the pitcher pushes off, her body is initially parallel to the pitching rubber. Should the foot be straight forward to the catcher (on the tip/toe)?

    When the body starts to open up should the push off foot still be pointing forward or should it start sliding to the side? I’ve seen some pitchers drag straight forward on the tip of the toe and some would actually tilt as to drag on the BIG toe.
    which is right or are both okay?
    thanks
    jordan

    1. Carly

      That’s a great question Jordan. During the push off, the whole body faces the catcher. The toe and knee of the push foot should definitely be forward at this point. When the hands pass the eyes, the body opens up to K position. The knee, and ideally the drag foot, should NOT be affected by the body opening up and should remain pointed to the catcher as much as possible. The knee is really key here. There can be some variation in the direction the foot is facing depending on the individual pitcher’s leg structure, as long as some part of the big toe is dragging and it’s not the whole side of the foot. I usually tell my pitchers to aim to have their shoelaces facing the catcher, and as long as the knee is driving forward wherever the shoelaces actually end up is fine.

  2. jordan

    carly,

    thanks for the explanation. my 12 year old has a difficult time transitioning that push off foot from push off to drag. she has a tendency to leave the foot ‘behind’ (acting like an anchor) and that slows down her speed.
    Any tips to help her correct this?

    thanks

    1. Carly

      Yes, I’ll address that in my post today.

  3. Whitney

    I have a questions about Blair Luna’s foot placement on the rubber. She looks like she is on the very right end of the rubber. I thought it is better to be in the middle in order to stay on your power line.

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