My daughter is 10 years old. She is wanting to get into pitching. We live in a small community and our teams are always looking for pitchers. She has been a catcher for the last 2 years. What is the best way to get her started and strengthen her arm? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Cassie: We are in the same situation as you….the DD is now 10 and showed some interest in pitching at the end of last season…we asked for a recommendation from our league director for a local pitching coach, so DD could try a few lessons to see if she liked pitching, fit well with the instructor, and had any chance of success….
DD has been taking lessons now since Labor Day…in addition to the weekly lesson, she practices at least twice weekly (many weeks three times) and throws 300-400 pitches a week preparing for the season..
We live where it is cold this time of year (but not as cold as Minnesota), so it requires indoor practice, which is costly, in addition to the weekely lesson…we think of it this way, you’re getting to spend quality time together with your child, one-on-one, so isn’t that worth it?
In addiron to Coach Buck’s suggestions, I have a few of my own:
1. Get a bucket of softballs – one that has the padding on the lid.. if you have several balls readfy for practice, you won’t have to chase them when they are errant…..the bucket top is a perfect place to sit when you are catching her.
2. Be patient….there will be may bad pitches in the beginning as she learns the mechanics….windmill pitching is all about mecahanics….a good way to tell she is progressing is that the misses start to be high and low in the strike zone, not all over the place and completely inconsistant.
3.You might save a few dollars with group lessons, but individual lessons will get her started and progressing much faster than group lessons….it’s worth the few extra dollars.
4. Pracice, practice and practice…it takes a lot of time to get the mechanics down , so make sure you both have the time to commit to learning.
5. Spend some time on this site reading and learning about softball (I had and still have a lot to learn, but have begun to educate myself on the game of softball).
Lessons Are Important
by: Coach Buck
Cassie, the best advice I can give you is, get her into lessons right away, before she pitches on her own, and develops bad habits.
She’ll benefit greatly by learning proper technique on opening, arm speed, wrist snap, and closing. And the chances of injury are significantly reduced by learning that technique with an instructor, as opposed to her attempting to learn on her own.
Here is information on Instructors in Minnesota, as listed in the fastpitch softball directory. If these or other instructors are not in your area, talk to a local college or high school coach about one of their pitchers giving lessons. Good luck.