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Case Study - How She Added 2 MPH to Her Fastball

Wow, I love great news like that. I had to write you about it because It's a great lesson to any

young pitcher out there.

Booom!This morning, I spoke to the dad of a young 14 years old lady who I've known for a couple of years now.
She's been pitching for 3 years and go to a pitching instructor every couple of weeks to tweak and perfect her mechanics.

However, working her butt off in January, she was able to increase her average speed from 54 mph to a consistent 56 mph (we're talking average speed, not a one-time top speed).
That's pretty sweet!!

How did she do it?

Well, two things:

1) She worked her butt off.

2) She used Barry Lovelace's Pitchers POP Training

I recommended her this program at the beginning of January after talking to her dad.

This program is focusing on softball pitching-specific exercises and emphasizes a lot of core training.

In a nutshell, this program improved her pitching speed by:

- Strengthening all of her pitching muscles
- Develop more explosive power throughout her body
- Helping her body recruit more fast-twitch muscle fibers
- Optimizing sequential muscle recruitment (i.e. teaching her body how to better use all of her muscles)

That's how she was able to gain an average of 2 mph!

And the thing is… she's tiny at barely 5'3 and 100 and something.

If she can do it, so can you.

If you want to create more explosive power and improve your pitching velocity, get your own copy of Pitchers POP training at:

Pitchers POP Training

I fully expect her to add several Ks to her stats over the summer as a result of her improved speed.
Coach Marc
If you think of anything I left out of this post, please feel free to put that on the comment.

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by Marc Dagenais

It's Never Just One Thing

Guest post by Ken Krause, Life in the Fastpitch Lane blog

I've written on this topic in fastpitch softball before, but with what's been happening in both the MLB playoffs, college football and the NFL the last few weeks it bears repeating.

How many times have you seen a game come down to the last play only to watch the official blow the call? In softball it could be an obvious ball being called a strike, or not seeing a foot come off the bag early on a force play, or a runner being called out when the catcher obviously misses the tag.

Whatever the play, inevitably there is all sorts of consternation, wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth by the losing side. Coaches, parents and sometimes even players whine and scream that they were "jobbed" by the umpire, or that the umpire cost them the game.

While it's convenient to think so, and it certainly helps deflect blame, the truth is unless that play is the ONLY play of the game, it's never one play that costs you the game.

by Ken Krause

Practicing at the Edge of Your Ability

Guest post by Ken Krause, Life in the Fastpitch Lane blog

Recently I read Daniel Coyle's Little Book of Talent (LBOT), the companion book to his best seller The Talent Code. Both are worth a read if you're serious about developing players to be the best they can be, but LBOT is a lot faster read. I actually purchased a copy for all my players and coaches, that's how much I liked it.

softball practice bunting 300x205 Practicing at the Edge of Your AbilityOne of the techniques Coyle says is followed by all the "talent hotbeds" around the world is practicing at the edge of your ability. All too often players (and coaches) like to stay where they're safe and comfortable. They love the feelgood success brings, and coaches in particular hate to see mistakes made. So they focus on doing things in a way that will deliver success — in practice.

Yet that's not what the best trainers and coaches do. Instead, they actually encourage their players to make mistakes in practice. Not on purpose, of course, but as they try to do things that are perhaps a bit beyond their current skill level. It's important for players to find out what their limitations are, and then see if they can push beyond them.

by Ken Krause

How Focusing on Outcomes Creates Worse Ones

Guest post by Ken Krause, Life in the Fastpitch Lane blog

Had an interesting discussion with one of my pitching students today. She played in a tournament over the weekend, and while she had a good overall performance she had some issues with control.

softball tips looking back 300x196  How Focusing on Outcomes Creates Worse Ones This was an issue that cropped up for her toward the end of the summer so it wasn't a total surprise. But it was definitely something we wanted to address.

After some discussion I saw what I believe to be a self-fulfilling prophecy, or even a death spiral for a pitcher. Since she'd had some problems in the recent past she was concerned about throwing strikes. As a result she was trying to force herself to throw strikes. That made her tighten up, which of course made things worse. As she got worse she got more uptight, and so forth.

And that's the way it often goes. The focus on outcomes, the worry about what is happening, knocks a player off her game, creating more pressure which makes things worse.

It's true that the outcomes during a game are important. But they should be the canary in the coal mine, not the main event. If a player is struggling pitching, hitting, fielding, whatever it's more important than ever to focus on the process.

by Ken Krause

Youth Softball Coaching - Speed Fastpitch Learning through Super Slow Mo

Guest post by Ken Krause, Life in the Fastpitch Lane blog

Fastpitch softball coaches are always looking for new and better ways to teach their players the fundamental skills they need to succeed. There dozens, maybe hundreds of books of drills out there, and the Discuss Fastpitch Forum itself has zillions of posts on how to execute this or that.

The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle

The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle

In almost all cases the drills are designed to be executed at regular speed, or even high speed. So I found it interesting over the weekend, as I read Daniel Coyle's new Little Book of Talent, to be reminded of a totally different teaching technique that's been proven in training/talent hotbeds all over the world — the value of super slow motion.

The purpose is to get players to understand at a much deeper level than usual exactly what their bodies need to do to execute the skill the way the coach wants it. And when those instructors say super slow motion, they mean anyone walking by casually should either not be able to tell what you're doing or they should think you're crazy!

by Ken Krause

You're Coaching More Than Softball

Guest post by Ken Krause, Life in the Fastpitch Lane blog

Today's fastpitch softball rant comes after an encounter Sunday with one of my players and her mom. No, it wasn't a negative experience for me. It was more the effect on the player.

coaching 300x180 Youre Coaching More Than SoftballFirst of all, let me tell you that the player in question, Lindsay, is one of the nicest, sweetest girls you'd ever want to meet. Always polite and respectful, always with a smile on her face. And she's a hard worker in practice — the type that dives for balls others would let drop because, well, it's only practice.

Anyway, after our Sunday practice I stopped to chat with her and her mom for a minute. Her mom says "I have to 'tell' on Lindsay," and she proceeds to let me know that a college coach had contacted the girl a week prior, by email and phone, and Lindsay still hadn't returned the call.

Mom was telling me because she knows I have a very good softball relationship with her, and can get her to do things her parents can't. I, of course, told her how special it is to have a coach you haven't contacted be interested in you, and made her promise that she would return the call that day. I even followed up with her and her mom via text to make sure it was happening.

by Ken Krause

Team Chemistry - Getting to Know Each Other

Guest post by Ken Krause, Life in the Fastpitch Lane blog

Believe it or not, right now is one of the most important times of the softball season. No, not tryouts.

teammates softball 268x300 Team Chemistry   Getting to Know Each OtherI'm talking about the period after tryouts where players are just starting to get to know each other. Sure, on established teams most of the players have a pretty good idea about each other. But even then there are always a few newbies. And on newly formed teams, or those that have had a lot of turnover, it can be a daunting task.

And if you don't think that's important, it is. Everyone plays better when there's a level of trust and familiarity — when you feel you know the other players around you, and that they have your back.

A couple of years ago my team got put into a round robin that the organization I was with ran. We'd had exactly one practice before game day, so as part of the pre-game my team was actually standing in a circle trying to learn each others' names. Needless to say we didn't exactly burn it up on the field.

by Ken Krause

Does Loyalty Exist Anymore?

Guest post by Ken Krause, Life in the Fastpitch Lane blog

Over the past few days I've been exchanging texts with a few parents and coaches who are going through the tryout process. While we've discussed a number of topics, one theme that seems to keep running through them on both sides is whether anyone feels loyalty anymore.

loyalty 300x265 Does Loyalty Exist Anymore?Back when I first started coaching it was unsual for players to leave the program they started with to go somewhere else. Sure, it happened, but it was more the exception — perhaps a more athletically gifted player looking to play on a higher-caliber team.

Today it seems like everyone is jumping around. Some are in search of that elusive "super team" that will win a bunch of trophies. Even if that means they actually spend most of their time on the sidelines.

Others are looking for that magic ticket into a college scholarship. They hope by playing on the right team they will be discovered, and all their financial worries for the future will go away. (Even though the reality is players are rarely "discovered" randomly, and instead put in a lot of hard work contacting coaches to let them know where they'll be.)

by Ken Krause

Setting Up Players to Fail

Guest post by Ken Krause, Life in the Fastpitch Lane blog

A few years ago, one of my pitching students was in a tough predicament on her team. It was coached by, shall we say, some less than scrupulous parents who were primarily in it to make their daughters look good.

Softball failure

Don't set your players up for failure

Ok, that's not unusual. But here's the problem. Pitching time was based on performance according to certain criteria. That's ok too. Except the criteria always seemed to be a moving target.

One week she'd be told that circle time required getting at least 60 percent first pitch strikes. (Never mind that the more advanced thinkers have come to realize it's the first three pitches, not the first one, that are the deciding factor. Because there's a huge difference between 2-1 and 1-2, no matter what order you use to get there.)

In any case, she'd work hard all week and when she got in there she'd hit the mark. In fact she'd succeed it. But then all of a sudden she'd be told now it was hitting your spots that counted most.

by Ken Krause

Sometimes Softball is More Than a Game

Guest post by Ken Krause, Life in the Fastpitch Lane blog

This past Saturday I had a softball junkie's great day. I was able to get out to see all or part of six games where students and/or former players of mine were playing.

It was quite an upbeat day overall — at least until my last stop of the day. Not for the game — my students' team won that handily. Instead, the bad part was a story I heard from one of the moms.

bigstock fastpitch softball contact 1608159 300x190 Sometimes Softball is More Than a GameShe pointed out a little girl we'll call Jolene. It was Jolene's first year of playing, and she had come a long way. Watching her you would never have guessed it was her first year, and that she was at least a year younger than anyone else on this 12U team.

The mom of my student told me Jolene loved to play, and how good it was for her. Then I got the back story.

Mom and dad are getting a divorce. Dad is a hard case who didn't look any too happy to be at the game that day. Mom has a new boyfriend, and she'd rather be "doing stuff" with him than wasting a weekend at softball.

by Ken Krause


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