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Softball Pitching - Tips and Observations

By Ernie Parker

1) Study the batters on the opposing team. Are they really aggressive and swing at the first pitch? If so, start them with a breaking pitch if you have one, if not, try and hit the corners. If they take the first pitch, throw your best control pitch to throw a strike and get ahead of the count.

2) If the opposing coach yells “lay off the high pitch” or “lay off the low stuff”, they’re telling you that these batters have a weakness for swinging at these pitches. That’s exactly where you should pitch them. The coach wouldn’t still be yelling at them if they still didn’t swing at them.Developing great softball pitching requires a lot of time and observations from qualitied pitching instructors

3) If you don’t know the umpire, check immediately if he calls high pitches, low pitches, corners, etc. You have to work the area that he gives you.

4) If you start the game and your control is bad or a pitch isn’t working, get a catcher and work on it when your team comes into hit.

5) If you are playing in the outfield and the pitcher suddenly gets in trouble and you may have to come in to relieve her, and you haven’t warmed up, swing your arm as if you were pitching to get loose. The few pitches you get when you relieve someone isn’t enough to get you warm.

6) Go to your best pitch when you get into trouble. Why take a chance with your 2nd and 3rd or 4th best pitches?

7) If you don’t throw breaking pitches, be sure to practice a lot on hitting the corners and develop some type of off-speed pitch.

8) Check to see if your catcher knows how to “frame” a pitch.

9) Let your coach know immediately if you feel a sharp pain in your shoulder, arm, back, etc.

10) Don’t let it upset you if someone makes an error. This is something you cannot control. You can only control what you do.

11) Don’t let the opposing team or their fans upset you with their yelling. I always felt they only yell at the good pitchers so you should take it as a compliment.

12) Remember that all pitchers make mistakes, but the good ones don’t make the same ones twice.

13) Don’t make excuses or let your parents make them for you if you have a bad game. Example: Too many errors by teammates, no support, team didn’t hit for her, team didn’t play together, etc. Some or all of those might be true in some cases but if you constantly find excuses, you will find yourself being satisfied with less than your best effort. Don’t be afraid to say something like “Boy I really had a rough game, I couldn’t get my pitches to break” or “my control was sure off today.” By admitting these things, you’re more apt to practice harder and pitch better.

14) We often hear the expressions “Be a good loser.” I think its equally important to “Be a good winner.”

15) Accept the fact that umpires are going to make mistakes. They are human (some do seem a lot more human than others.)

16) Young pitcher, don’t change pitching styles every time you see a good pitcher with a different style. Find a good one and stick with it. You throw off your timing every time you change your style thus delaying your development.

17) Practice pitch-outs in case you have to intentionally walk a batter.

18) Practice a lot on fielding ground balls and bunts. Throw to all bases.

19) If you’re having problems with your form, practice in front of a mirror so you can see your problem and determine how to correct it.

20) As a  general rule, you shouldn’t throw change-ups to the bottom part of the line-up.

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