In today’s video blog post, we are talking about softball pitching, and ways that you, as a coach or parent, can help a pitcher evaluate what they are doing wrong and how to provide corrections to help them improve and address their errors.
Softball Pitching: Correcting High & Low Pitches
In softball pitching, one of the biggest problems pitchers experience is throwing too high or too low. There are several reasons why this happens. The first reason is the wrist snap, and the fact that you have to hit your hip and then release the ball. So if the pitcher is not releasing at their hip, the pitch is going to be high or low, or to the left or right.
If the pitch is going high, this means the pitcher has released the ball in front of her, instead of at the hip. Remind them to release the ball at their hip.
They should feel the elbow and forearm brush their hip — not the wrist. When they feel the elbow and forearm brush their hip, this is when they release the ball. You can also take a bat and place it at their hip, and this will also help them feel where they need to release that ball.
Another reason for a high release is that they are taking a really big step and end up pulling the ball. This causes them to have to release the ball in front of them, instead of at their hip.
Sometimes the ball will go to the right side of the catcher (from the pitchers perspective). Many times, this happens because they have opened their door, but they slam it a little too soon, and their arm gets beside them, causing the arm to be thrown out to the side. To correct this, make sure they open themselves up all the way and have that hand come in the door first, and then slam the door behind it. Alternately, they may not be opening their door enough, which causes their hips to be in the way of the arm.
Another common mistake is throwing low balls. There are 2 major things that are happening in this situation. The pitcher has either completed the full motion but let the ball go behind them. Or they are leaning on their front foot and they have a short step. If their weight is on that front foot, instead of the back foot as it should be, that ball is going to go into the ground.
If the pitch goes to the left of the catcher (from the pitchers perspective), this means the pitcher has not opened their door all the way, which causes them to pull across their body.
For more great softball pitching drills and tips, be sure to check out my “5 Free Softball Coaching Videos from 11 Time NCAA Champ Sue Enquist”! Sue will take you through more on how to correct softball pitching, as well as hitting mechanics and hitting drill practice plans, baserunning and field progressions! And don’t forget to Become a Fan on Facebook, where I will share more great softball pitching ideas and suggestions, and where you can talk to other coaches and players about favorite softball pitching practices!