When to Give Up on a Pitch?

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Oct 4, 2018
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We all know many of the best pitchers only throw 3 or so pitches. Why throw a crappy drop if your rise, curve and change-up are unhittable?

We also know that all 12-14U pitchers are at some point taught all of the pitches.

So when do you finally give up on one? When do you say "Know what, I'm going to focus on these three?"

We don't work on dropball much, as DD just never quite "got" that one. It's still called some in games, and every now and then it works great. And I personally love the pitch. Create more ground balls? Yes please. And I wonder if as she grows and her body changes she might have an "AHA!" moment and all of a sudden drop is working and working well. I'm not ready to give up.
 
Feb 15, 2017
920
63
The best pitchers is softball throw the ball on different planes. Work the pitches that make it happen.

Sent from my SM-N986U using Tapatalk
 
May 27, 2013
2,289
113
I don’t think you necessarily give up on a pitch. I think you put it on the shelf and come back to it at a different time.

Dd never threw a drop in HS. Learned it at a younger age but hated to throw it, so she just didn’t use it. Once she got to college, it was apparent that a drop would help immensely. She began working on it again after about 5 years and it works for her now. I just think when she was younger she had a difficult time controlling it; hence her dislike for working on it.
 
Sep 13, 2021
26
3
Same situation for my 14u daughter - good curve, rise, change and screw that she and her coaches are comfortable throwing in a 3 ball count. Drop/drop curve is her most inconsistent pitch, and can be a PB/WP if she dirts it, so it doesn't get called too much in games, no matter the count. We keep working on it at lessons and bullpens though but not to the same extent as her other strong pitches. If at some point she gets it, and it becomes consistently game-usable, it opens up the zone that much more.
 

LEsoftballdad

DFP Vendor
Jun 29, 2021
2,753
113
NY
My daughter had a great rise for her age a few years ago. For some reason, her mechanics got out of sorts, and she struggled to get it right, so her TB coach suggested she learn a drop instead. While she can throw the drop, she doesn't do it well enough to feel confident in games, so she relies on her ball's natural heaviness to create a drop. The curve was a good pitch and always her fastest, but she struggled after the rise mechanics got wonky. After Bill reviewed her mechanics, she started to get back on track, and both pitches are working much better now. Even though the message was the same as what her PC was teaching her, it was getting lost in translation.

What we are doing now is deciding which to keep. She knows *how* to throw an FB, CH, DR, RB, and CV, but she hasn't mastered the final three. I'd like to see her master one more and scrap the other two like we did the screw, which I agree with Bill about it not being an actual pitch.

I think we have to see which one she's most comfortable with throwing. Once she decides, we need to stick to it and scrap the other ones.
 
Jan 1, 2023
109
28
We all know many of the best pitchers only throw 3 or so pitches. Why throw a crappy drop if your rise, curve and change-up are unhittable?

We also know that all 12-14U pitchers are at some point taught all of the pitches.

So when do you finally give up on one? When do you say "Know what, I'm going to focus on these three?"

We don't work on dropball much, as DD just never quite "got" that one. It's still called some in games, and every now and then it works great. And I personally love the pitch. Create more ground balls? Yes please. And I wonder if as she grows and her body changes she might have an "AHA!" moment and all of a sudden drop is working and working well. I'm not ready to give up.

Instead of learning all the pitches, we’ve gone in more with a plan. Of course plans can change.

My 13-U DD has never been taught a curve or a screw, and I don’t think ever will be. She has a cut fastball that takes the place of a curve. It’s effective but the pitch we spend the least amount of time working on. It often has an upward movement which goes well with her natural downward movement.

She has a natural drop, so we spend a lot of time on it. Want this pitch to be the primary go-to pitch at some point.

Then she has 2 change-ups. Similar mechanics with a slight adjustment can make the ball move differently - one a sweeping curve and the other where the bottom drops out. Plan is to start working on distinguishing between the 2 to throw at different times. The one will be a core pitch and the curve change we’ll see.

Learning a back-spin rise currently. We’ll spend a lot of time over the winter and see. If it’s not working will try a different type of rise. Really want an effective up pitch to go with the down pitches and to replace the cut fastball with this.
 
Jan 20, 2023
181
43
My daughter learned a killer drop- but it ate her change up somehow. Her coach taught her a different change up - which is going well. But she told her to keep practicing the other one as well- because the next movement pitch she learns could result in it coming back and killing the other one.

She said most pitchers know a lot of pitches but and any given time usually only 3-4 work well- which is great cause that’s really all you need.
 
May 17, 2023
222
43
She said most pitchers know a lot of pitches but and any given time usually only 3-4 work well- which is great cause that’s really all you need.

This is more our DD experience. She can definitely spin it correctly to throw Curve, Drop, Rise, Flip Change, and Circle. But most of those pitches come and go in phases. To me that isn't an issue, her and coach understand what is working that day/week/month and ride mostly with 2-3 during the game.

Many of you play golf and might be able to relate. Most great golfers hit a wide variety of shots, but day to day the primary one they depend on might change. But if you have several options the odds of showing up to the course with at least 1-2 working is pretty good. Versus if you have only one go to shot it can be a long day if that isn't working. I think similar logic applies to pitchers, but just my $.02.
 
Oct 11, 2010
8,336
113
Chicago, IL
DD was a tiny little thing, she had a couple growing spurts so she is average size now. She really only threw 2 balls when she was pitching, FB and CU. We did work on other pitches because I felt it got her hand involved and she got older and bigger more opportunities opened up for her.


She never got off the FB and CU because she was comfortable with it. When she was a little older she could have tried to add another pitch butbshe never did even though we practice them.
 
Aug 21, 2008
2,331
113
We all know many of the best pitchers only throw 3 or so pitches. Why throw a crappy drop if your rise, curve and change-up are unhittable?

We also know that all 12-14U pitchers are at some point taught all of the pitches.

So when do you finally give up on one? When do you say "Know what, I'm going to focus on these three?"

We don't work on dropball much, as DD just never quite "got" that one. It's still called some in games, and every now and then it works great. And I personally love the pitch. Create more ground balls? Yes please. And I wonder if as she grows and her body changes she might have an "AHA!" moment and all of a sudden drop is working and working well. I'm not ready to give up.
As I've said before many times, the hardest part about the drop is the simplicity. Too many pitching coaches over complicate this pitch soooo much. Does she have 12/6 spin on her "fastball"? IF so, the rest should be easy. If not, that's what I'd be correcting first and foremost. I'd be curious to hear about why she's having so much trouble with it.

Have you considered changing pitching coaches? That's just a question not necessarily a suggestion. I know everyone likes to believe they have the greatest pitching coach around. Kind of like the Seinfeld joke about how everyone thinks they have the very best doctor. "Oh you're sick? Go see my guy he's the absolute best at fixing that!!" lol

Having a dropball will make her rise seem even better. The 2 pitches should compliment each other. And, I'm a stickler for playing percentages. If I was her team coach, and we're up 1 or 2-0 vs. a really good team, I'd change pitchers to a dropball pitcher for the final 2 innings. % wise, dropballs are hit for HR's less. So, when protecting a 1 or 2 run lead in the 6th or 7th inning, I want my dropball to be my primary pitch.
 

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