Hitting a Rise Ball

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Oct 4, 2018
3,676
113
IF you know its coming, I like the cue hammer it at the pitchers shins. Its a feeling. Hands stay up and you feel like the barrel stays above your hands.

Ok, I can get behind this.

... and I'll chat with her hitting coach too (and let y'all know what he says).
 
Apr 20, 2018
3,824
113
SoCal
This is kind of why I'm asking the question.

One pitching machine at our practice throws rise balls. That's all there is to say -- so much backspin from the single wheel that the foam ball looks like a rise ball. Our 13U team just hasn't seen many, and they are all swinging under the ball. Timing is on, but certainly missing the ball. Even knowing it's a rise ball.

My DD said she's swinging differently just to not look like a jackass at practice. I don't want her changing her swing.

I'm close to discussing with the coach, but of course haven't thought it all the way through.
The light fight I have access to is really old and unpredictable. Its tough to hit off it. Kinda like a real pitcher.
 
Last edited:
Dec 11, 2010
4,478
113
The only change I would suggest is to move up in the box to hit before it rises.
I have never seen this work. Have seen back of the box work some, especially if you have an ump calling the zone where the hitter stands (vs. at the front of the plate)
Riseballs are up and out of the zone, so why would I ever swing at it?
Gosh, I have seen a lot of rise balls called strikes. And sometimes they go over the fence.

One pitching machine at our practice throws rise balls. That's all there is to say -- so much backspin from the single wheel that the foam ball looks like a rise ball. Our 13U team just hasn't seen many, and they are all swinging under the ball. Timing is on, but certainly missing the ball. Even knowing it's a rise ball.
I don’t hate this in small doses! Not a bad time to see a little of this, especially for the kids who will soon be in high school. I also liked the advice about hitting it at the pitchers shins- have never seen the result but like it in concept.

Your dd will figure out how to hit them. That’s actually what she doesn’t like. Give it a little time. Her swing will survive it, make sure you convince her that you believe it and she will believe it too.
 
Jul 31, 2019
392
43
If "take" actually worked, riseballs would've become obsolete LONG ago. Assuming that was a comment in 1/2 truth and 1/2 humor, the problem is, there's a huge number of hitting coach's who's hitting lessons contain soft toss and hitting off a tee. And while working on the swing itself is important, there is nothing being done to work on hitting the pitch. Hitting the ball and the swing are 2 very different things. In a perfect world for hitters, they would simply lay off and take the pitch. Sounds great in theory, so does "lay off the change up". But again, if it was that simple, pitching coaches would be out of their jobs.

The reality is, a good pitcher can throw the rise at multiple levels. If every one they threw went over the catcher's head, then it would only be swung at by the most undisciplined of hitters. And it would be a useless pitch against a good team. So, in addition to learning how to swing the bat off the tee and with soft toss, the hitters that also work on hitting live pitching will have the advantage. And I believe you should always use a pitcher above your own team's caliber to help the hitters improve. This is true at the top levels on down. Ever since Softball went into the Olympics and during the build up to the 1996 games (and every year since), every Olympic team coach would use men's pitchers to throw live to the US Women's team.

I routinely throw live to young hitters, and once they get comfortable hitting BP off me, I'll start working in other pitches for them. Then we start the all important process of learning how to pick the pitcher to see what's coming in advance. No, it does not guarantee they will hit the ball or not pop it ups, but when they know what's coming that is 1/2 the battle. Once they start to get used to the movement of the pitch, they start to learn the adjustments they make to hit the movement pitches. So, if they encounter a situation in a game: R3, less than 2 outs, the hitters should expect dropballs to keep the ball on the ground avoiding the sac fly. But if the hitter knows how to make those adjustments, and especially if they can pick the pitcher to know for sure what's coming, I like their chances of hitting the ball to score the run.

Every week at indoor facilities I see hitting coaches working on the swing but, little is done to learn how to hit the movement pitches. I think that's sad. It wouldn't even be fair to say that the majority of men doing hitting lessons have never played fastpitch so they have no frame of reference for how to hit a rise or what it actually looks like because the majority of female hitting coaches(who probably did play softball) I see do the same thing: soft toss and tee work. While I'm not a hitting coach, I think this is a huge element that hitters are missing out on as they learn to hit a softball. Currently, I throw a TON of live hitting, although mostly to my pitching students who also hit. I tell them all the time to invite their hitting coach down to watch, observe and make pointers when they are swinging off live pitching. Few coaches ever come.
That would be great if there were more resources like yourself that could throw live much less a rise, but the reality is most coaches and hitting instructors can't.
 
Jul 31, 2019
392
43
Work with hitters to start their hands in the right position, and keep their hands above the ball (on all pitches). a one-wheel jugs will put enough backspin on the ball to keep it from dropping. Set it up with the release point near where a pitchers would be, turn up the speed, and angle it up a little. You can also shorten the distance between the jugs and the hitter.
 
Jun 8, 2016
14,234
113
That would be great if there were more resources like yourself that could throw live much less a rise, but the reality is most coaches and hitting instructors can't.
DD's team has the pitchers throw BP once a week during practice. Not the same as Bill throwing BP :p but better than nothing. I know some (typically pitcher's parents..lol) don't like that idea but if the pitchers know this ahead of time they can work it into their throwing schedule for the week.
 
Nov 18, 2022
24
3
DD's team has the pitchers throw BP once a week during practice. Not the same as Bill throwing BP :p but better than nothing. I know some (typically pitcher's parents..lol) don't like that idea but if the pitchers know this ahead of time they can work it into their throwing schedule for the week.

My DD loves to throw live in practice vs just a bullpen session! On her last team the coach would tell her to just throw fast balls... "ok" as she smiled and headed for the circle and proceeded to work with the catcher and throw every pitch she had just like a regular game. It is great practice for her- she said dad why would I just throw fastballs when I rarely throw them in a game? She looked it as practice for her as it is for the batters

Now that she is getting close to recruiting time she loves when she goes to a camp and they have live batters or scrimmages as she always has an extra gear compared to just pitching in a lane


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

TDS

Mar 11, 2010
2,912
113
Work with hitters to start their hands in the right position, and keep their hands above the ball (on all pitches). a one-wheel jugs will put enough backspin on the ball to keep it from dropping. Set it up with the release point near where a pitchers would be, turn up the speed, and angle it up a little. You can also shorten the distance between the jugs and the hitter.

I don't think this philosophy will work to well on rise balls.

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Dec 2, 2013
2,954
113
Texas
You can use a extra high tee to practice hitting rise balls and you will quickly find out players are uncomfortable with the high tee. But they have to get comfortable being uncomfortable. The best practice for hitting rise balls is a light flight pitching machine. You never know what that machine is going to spit out but you get a lot rise ball type pitches. When doing front toss, throw high pitches harder and low pitches slower. You can mix in meatballs but don't just throw them down the middle. Seen many players that are coach pitch phenoms but come game time not so much.
DD's former TB coach had the players work on this. Put the tee on a bucket and raise to the proper height. Here's a pic of DD taking one over the fence a couple of years ago.

1674657540799.png
 

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