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Starting girls from scratch

Jan 6, 2018
41
18
Not much danger in that! I am not nearly knowledgeable enough to be much help beyond trying to get some girls pointed down the right path. There are no I/R pitching instructors in our immediate area and I am just trying to share what i have learned here while working with my own DD on to others in our local rec league. H/E pitching is deeply rooted in our area but i have noticed during the past few 10u travel tournaments we have been to that there are more I/R pitchers (mostly tincher from what i see with them warming up) showing up...... and the curious thing is they almost always show up in the circle late in the day ;-)
How does a Tincher kid warm up?
 
Aug 1, 2019
253
63
I'm in a similar situation, teaching eight 3rd thru 6th graders, most are new to pitching so there is little HE to unlearn. A couple things that have helped me are being able to use the school's exercise class studio which has a wall of mirrors. The girls throw balled up socks against the mirrors starting with the isolated whip motion and backchaining from there. That way they can see themselves and what is going on. It's also great for reinforcing good posture because they can see if they are leaning forward/tipping over sideways, etc. I also use the gym for the class because I like the block wall. The girls go from socks against mirrors to whiffle balls against block wall to squishy softballs against block wall as they learn their mechanics. They get a lot more throws in by throwing against the wall rather than having a partner. A lot less chasing down bad throws/ bad catching.

Going from socks to whiffles to squishies by itself adds a little variety to hold their interest.

With my 7th and 8th grade class I had a little competition where I had three boxes each about the size of a 5 gallon bucket. Label the boxes with a big 1, 2, or 3. Stack them up and have target practice, keeping score by the box hit. I pitted my pitchers pitching full distance vs. my catchers receiving a pitch and throwing down to 2nd. Believe it or not it ended in a tie.

I am looking for other ideas to make it fun, especially for the last 10 minutes of the class.

Back to scouring DFP archives, because I think fun practice activities has already been discussed.
 
May 20, 2019
127
28
One of my pitching clinic girls pitched her first ever inning in a game last night in a 10u rec game and i was so proud of her. She is one of the quickest studies in the bunch. Its obvious that she puts a ton of work in at home. Working with kids is so rewarding I might have to continue even after my kids are grown!
 
Nov 26, 2019
54
8
In our local rec league that I volunteer for we have a huge deficiency in pitching skills. So this year I stepped back from coaching a team to run a weekly beginners pitching clinic. I am no pitching coach but I have learned a lot here on DFP from the many knowledgeable folks which has been put to use training my own 10u daughter. The object of this clinic is to get girls started early with a solid set of I/R fundamentals so that when they get to the circle at 10u they will be in a much better place. Last week was a huge success as i had a big turnout with mostly 7-10yo and a few older girls. One of my struggles is how to keep the girls engaged and attentive while learning the basic drills such as lock-it-in etc. Would love some suggestions on fun drills to run that incorporate good i/r technique while keeping 7-11yo girls attention for an hour.
A couple of questions for you (all!): this was my first year coaching at a HS. We also have absolutely nothing as far as pitching goes, and had way too many 30-40 minute innings than I'd like to count (karma for all my years of shouting from CF, "JUST THROW STRIKES!!" as though pitchers were not trying). We do not have access to a pitching coach, either...I tried to hit up all local colleges/alumni/former college teammates to no avail. I knew that would be the case, and so have devoted my last two years to teaching myself, both on here, and with about 5 private lessons. I have developed as a pitcher enough that I can throw BP, model I/R and things like cone drill, etc. That said, a couple questions: 1. how would you structure getting enough time with pitchers each day? 2 coaches, ~20 girls. I tried to steal time with them when innies/outties did dailies and then a drill or two, but that was only 20-30 a day, max. And clearly not enough. 2. How many of you would start w/ I/R drills like lock it in vs. drills like Superman (), flamingo, cone drill, etc.? In the 2 weeks we had last season before COVID shutdown, I really hit I/R hard, but wonder if I'd get more bang for the buck in spending more time on pieces that promote general body awareness, leg drive, etc.? Thoughts?
 
Jun 26, 2019
113
28
The school my girls go to in a very small town has a very competitive volleyball program but the softball program has struggled for the last few years. My girls are 10 and 12, the 10 year old wants to pitch and is taking lessons and has been to some camps and clinics, i am the poor sucker that was volentold to coach her 10u team of 100% new kids. One big thing that was missing from the softball program that is not from the volleyball program is the coaching from the upper levels communicating with the yonger kids coaching, so I would stress doing that somehow to at least get the you g girls started without them having to pay for private lessons when they are new and do not even know how to go about it.

That said,you have a team to whip into shape now. I would say do small group sessions outside of normal practice. Maybe before or after? How about having catchers and parents up to speed on mechanics?
 
May 15, 2008
1,045
83
Cape Cod Mass.
Use your phone to take some video and confirm that they have good basic mechanics, especially IR. Drills are for developing the basics and for fixing issues. Drills just to do drills doesn't accomplish much. Then let them throw pitches and check in to make sure they are still on task. 20-30 minutes a day should be enough. Even with good mechanics pitchers need reps not fancy drills, Superman???? I always tell new students and their parents that control is the last thing that comes because you need lots of reps to develop the fine motor control that is required.
 
Nov 26, 2019
54
8
The school my girls go to in a very small town has a very competitive volleyball program but the softball program has struggled for the last few years. My girls are 10 and 12, the 10 year old wants to pitch and is taking lessons and has been to some camps and clinics, i am the poor sucker that was volentold to coach her 10u team of 100% new kids. One big thing that was missing from the softball program that is not from the volleyball program is the coaching from the upper levels communicating with the yonger kids coaching, so I would stress doing that somehow to at least get the you g girls started without them having to pay for private lessons when they are new and do not even know how to go about it.

That said,you have a team to whip into shape now. I would say do small group sessions outside of normal practice. Maybe before or after? How about having catchers and parents up to speed on mechanics?
Anyone else in the boat where they can only coach "conditioning" in the off-season? We can't even touch bats/balls until February. Digs that hole even deeper for us. Our kids couldn't even afford private lessons, so it basically would be me paying for them to do so...which my crazy !@# isn't totally opposed to doing...
 
Nov 26, 2019
54
8
Use your phone to take some video and confirm that they have good basic mechanics, especially IR. Drills are for developing the basics and for fixing issues. Drills just to do drills doesn't accomplish much. Then let them throw pitches and check in to make sure they are still on task. 20-30 minutes a day should be enough. Even with good mechanics pitchers need reps not fancy drills, Superman???? I always tell new students and their parents that control is the last thing that comes because you need lots of reps to develop the fine motor control that is required.
Video this season absolutely confirmed they do NOT have good basic mechanics. Lol. But it sounds like you would absolutely emphasize I/R over body awareness, etc., for lack of better term? I just ask because in learning myself, I suppose I hammered home I/R pieces for a long, long time, before moving into drills, but I felt like I learned more/got more bang for the buck by learning drills to emphasize leg drive, etc., versus lock it in, etc.
 

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