Tag Archive: windmill

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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Video: Windmill Pitch Drive-through Mechanics

The drive-through is an extremely important component of windmill pitching mechanics. It’s one of your biggest sources of power as a pitcher, and it can also be your biggest reason for losing power if you’re not doing it optimally. Throughout our years of teaching and watching softball tournaments of all levels in person and on television, we’ve seen a lot of leg work that, well, needs work. There really is one way to optimize your drive-through and get the most out of your legs when you pitch for maximum power and injury prevention. In this video, I’ll demonstrate those mechanics.

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Is Your Pre-motion Hurting Your Pitch? The Finale!

Monica Abbott about to pitch

Today I’m bringing you the fourth and final part of my windmill pitching pre-motion series. So far in parts 1-3, we’ve talked about improper loading, load foot rotation, and detrimental backswings. Now your load is terrific, your load foot is solid, and your backswing is under control or nonexistent. Is there anything else you can do in your pre-motion that may be detrimental to your pitch? Unfortunately, yes. The Fastpitch Power instructors advocate generally minimalistic pre-motions, and we believe that a lot of excess “noise” in your pre-motion can hurt you immediately and in the long run. Read on to find out why.

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Video: Importance of the Glove Hand in Windmill Pitching

Do you think about your glove hand when you’re pitching? Do you even know what it’s doing? The glove hand is an EXTREMELY important part of the windmill pitch. It has the power to steer your body in the direction of your target, and the power to pull your shoulders way out of alignment if it’s not doing what it’s supposed to do. Maintaining good glove work takes a lot of core strength. In this video blog, I’m going to demonstrate the power of the glove and some common mistakes that pitchers make with their gloves.

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Is Your Pre-motion Hurting Your Pitch? Part 3

A good backswing

We’re continuing our series on the pre-motion portion of the windmill pitch and the most common pre-motion issues that end up affecting the pitch negatively. Today’s topic might be a bit controversial: it’s the backswing. I’ll be honest; if it were up to us, we’d eliminate windmill pitchers’ backswings altogether. We believe they do more harm than good, and we’ll explain why in this post. That said, if you must have a backswing to pitch comfortably, you should definitely be aware of the problems that certain backswings can cause and how to keep them under control.

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Video: Are You Dragging Instead of Driving Through?

In this video blog, Coach Phil goes more in depth about the issues that can arise if a windmill pitcher’s foot is turned during the pre-motion and push off, resulting in a stressful drag-through instead of a powerful drive through.

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Is Your Pre-motion Hurting Your Pitch? Part 2

Foot collapsing during windmill pitch

Welcome back to my series on the pre-motion part of the windmill pitch! I’m explaining the most common problematic pre-motion issues I’ve seen among windmill pitchers, and how those issues can set the stage for a sub-optimal pitch before the bulk of the pitching motion has even begun. In my last post, I discussed the load and the problems that can arise if you’re doing a reverse load. In this post, we’ll be talking in depth about a tiny little 3-6 inch movement in your load foot that has the power to destroy one of the most important aspects of the pitch: the drive through. Unfortunately, this is an extremely common problem. Does it affect you?

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Video: How to Establish your Throw Zone

In this video blog, Coach Phil will tell you what the throw zone, or runway is in windmill pitching, how to establish it, and why it’s so important to your delivery. Watch and learn!

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Is your Pre-Motion Hurting your Pitch? Part 1

Comparison of good and bad load

The very first thing you do when you set out to throw a windmill pitch is the pre-motion. Some of you may call it the wind-up, but they’re the same thing. Your pre-motion has a simple and very specific job to do: it must get you relaxed, get you loaded, and get you ready to throw the next pitch as effectively as possible. There are a number of ways in which a poor pre-motion can really diminish the effectiveness of your pitches, and in this series of posts I’m going to show you the most common ones. Unlike some other mechanical issues a windmill pitcher might have, the pre-motion is relatively easy to change with a little concentration, so I really recommend that you follow along and try to adopt these suggestions. We’re going to start with the most important aspect of the pre-motion: the load. I bet you all think you’re loading, but I guarantee some of you are not.

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Video: The Importance of Vertical Stacking in Windmill Pitching Mechanics

Are you vertically stacked when you pitch? In this video blog, Coach Phil explains the meaning of vertical stacking and demonstrates why it’s such an important part of windmill pitching mechanics (and hitting mechanics too!)

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