The Saga of Rebuilding a School Program: A parent-coach's journal

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Dec 19, 2021
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Yeah, but how was how was her form?

I catch DD2 with mask, shins, and some form of toe protection - heavy boots or safety shoes. I'm not good enough to catch everything. If it's in the air I am usually good, but not those ones in the dirt.

I hate catching DD1 now. Upper 50's and they feel like twice that. She only pitches for HS now so I don't have to worry about it hardly ever.
 

LEsoftballdad

DFP Vendor
Jun 29, 2021
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Yeah, but how was how was her form?

I catch DD2 with mask, shins, and some form of toe protection - heavy boots or safety shoes. I'm not good enough to catch everything. If it's in the air I am usually good, but not those ones in the dirt.

I hate catching DD1 now. Upper 50's and they feel like twice that. She only pitches for HS now so I don't have to worry about it hardly ever.
I won't catch my younger daughter without full gear now, and I mean full. She got me with a change back in August that broke my toe. Somehow it got under my mitt and just above the ground in that perfect slot where it could hit my big toe. And that was on a change up.

I found catching in a crouch is much safer. It leaves the feet in a much less prone position. I bought knee savers, which really help me catch those hour-long bullpen sessions. The bucket leaves your feet in front of where your mitt can reach, so I felt that was worth the cost of the knee savers.
 
Jan 25, 2022
489
63
Yeah, but how was how was her form?

I catch DD2 with mask, shins, and some form of toe protection - heavy boots or safety shoes. I'm not good enough to catch everything. If it's in the air I am usually good, but not those ones in the dirt.

I hate catching DD1 now. Upper 50's and they feel like twice that. She only pitches for HS now so I don't have to worry about it hardly ever.

That's part of the problem. I try to watch the mechanics then come back to the ball and I don't have the visual acuity or reflexes to always pull that off. Plus I'm just not a good catcher. She throws to her HS catcher once a week but she's got a growth plate inflammation condition so she's prone to overuse problems. If she gets throwing much harder I'm gonna have to come up with a better plan.

I won't catch my younger daughter without full gear now, and I mean full. She got me with a change back in August that broke my toe. Somehow it got under my mitt and just above the ground in that perfect slot where it could hit my big toe. And that was on a change up.

I found catching in a crouch is much safer. It leaves the feet in a much less prone position. I bought knee savers, which really help me catch those hour-long bullpen sessions. The bucket leaves your feet in front of where your mitt can reach, so I felt that was worth the cost of the knee savers.

At home in the basement I catch from an exercise ball. It's really the best thing as far as I'm concerned, although it can ne difficult to lean to ine side or the other. I let a lot of pitches like that go, though.

On the field or the outdoor cage I catch from a squat. I'm still getting hit some though. If I cant get any better at catching I'm gonna have to pay one if the other girls to do it.

When she was throwing 40 this was never an issue..lol.
 
Last edited:
Apr 8, 2019
125
43
Yeah, but how was how was her form?

I catch DD2 with mask, shins, and some form of toe protection - heavy boots or safety shoes. I'm not good enough to catch everything. If it's in the air I am usually good, but not those ones in the dirt.

I hate catching DD1 now. Upper 50's and they feel like twice that. She only pitches for HS now so I don't have to worry about it hardly ever.
It's the drop balls that kill me. They are breaking, often in the dirt, and with a sharp forward spin so they come off the bounce fast. I have a bruise from a DB on my right thigh that doesn't look like it is ever going to heal.
 
Jan 25, 2022
489
63
It's the drop balls that kill me. They are breaking, often in the dirt, and with a sharp forward spin so they come off the bounce fast. I have a bruise from a DB on my right thigh that doesn't look like it is ever going to heal.

It sucks, and I think that's essentially what happened. heavy top spin with just a touch of angle to it and shot it right at me. My kid has a natural drop, too. We're actually about to start learning it for real, though, and I expect it'll develop quickly. Her primary catcher has a knee condition that makes her prone to overuse inflammation, so I'm gonna have to find another to work with her some. But, being the rebuilding program we are, there really are only two other kids that could catch her at all and neither is really much of an option for a number of reasons.
 
Jan 25, 2022
489
63
I won't catch my younger daughter without full gear now, and I mean full. She got me with a change back in August that broke my toe. Somehow it got under my mitt and just above the ground in that perfect slot where it could hit my big toe. And that was on a change up.

I found catching in a crouch is much safer. It leaves the feet in a much less prone position. I bought knee savers, which really help me catch those hour-long bullpen sessions. The bucket leaves your feet in front of where your mitt can reach, so I felt that was worth the cost of the knee savers.

I just saw your pic in the other thread. Ouch!
 
Jan 25, 2022
489
63
DD2 can be high strung at times. Sweetest, nicest kid on the planet, but she wears her stress on her sleeve. Both sleeves, really. And the rest of the jersey...and...you get the idea.

Softball is love/hate for her, and lately she's been particularly hatey about it. It had gotten pretty frustrating for me, trying to get her to practice, etc. I really don't even push her much. In discussing it with my wife, I told her she should be throwing 300 pitches a week as a minimum. On a good week she throws 150. But after further discussion it does seem that I do TALK about it too much.

So, I've cut a lot of that out. It's actually been kinda nice.

She's worried about high school ball. Not just pitching though. Whether this team will be better/worse/same than last year is really up in the air. The thought of repeating the perpetual losing of her first two seasons of her career really eats at her.

Her attitude for the past week has been great. She's had a couple HS BP sessions and threw 30 or so each time. I didn't get to see any of it but my friend told me she did very well. I think she's starting to relax around her new, older teammates and seeing it's just like MS.

****************

This evening she and I went to the cage. I wanted her to start learning the circle changeup. We started out just passing back and forth and working through the motion. It was so bad it was funny. After about 20 minutes we moved on to full pitching, just throwing fastballs. She was firing away when suddenly this beautiful changeup drifted in. I looked up and she was wide eyed.

"Did you do that on purpose?"

"YESSSSS I DID!"

She tried another and it went into the dirt. I told her she could throw another surprise one later whenever she felt like it. About 10 minutes later she put one right down the middle. We stopped right then. No better way to end it.

Tossed her a couple buckets of BP afterward, and her hitting is coming along really well. That's been another big concern for her.


After we finished up, she said "this was a really good practice."

And it was.



And I haven't talked about softball since we got home...
 
Jan 25, 2022
489
63
A side note...I've decided to stop talking about whip. We've worked a lot on it and I think she "gets" it, but she's not actually doing it. I believe her posture has a lot to do with that. The torso pulling forward while the arm moves backward can only help the arm to extend more. The internal rotation and pull is there and there's a modicum of brush contact (or at least an anchor point) but most of the bend is gone by 9:00. So until the posture is sorted, I think working on whip is a waste of time.

That's ok, though.

I told myself if she wasn't getting whip by this point that we would let it go for the season and focus on location, etc. The posture is definitely improving. The front side resistance is showing up more often as well. But if we keep harping on whip she's gonna start chucking everything inside and we'll have to spend too much time righting the ship at even a basic level. We choose our battles. Many a girl out there throws a clean pitch without whip, so the next 8 weeks before game #1 will be dedicated to getting as much accuracy and speed out of her current mechanics as we can.

We'll add the mask, heart guard shirt, the new cleats, and pitch out of the dirt as much as possible, getting accustomed to any manner of deep holes in front of the rubber and soft dirt conditions, dampness, etc. We'll pitch with a batter in the box, then throw whatever BP her coach has planned once official practices start.

We'll also start focusing more on hitback protection, fielding the position, and distraction/heckling/crowd noise.

It's time for a big speaker and some death metal. Maybe toss in some ear plugs to isolate her some.
 

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