TRUST is such a big part of athletics; trusting your team, trusting your coaches, trusting yourself!
When the trust is not there, it can feel like a struggle and sometimes it's even hard to have fun. These are some of my tips that can be helpful, but it definitely can require more of a "deeper dive" in certain cases.
There is no magic pill to having a bullet proof mental game, (focus, confidence, TRUST). It takes purposeful work, every single day.
If you need help with this, or have questions - let me know. Keep working!
I like to find different ways to explain things to my athletes, and arm whip is one of those things where there are a lot of different ways to "get it".
Arm whip begins at the core, the engine of your pitch. You can only whip your arms as fast as your core is strong. The strength of your core is a major factor in how fast and powerful you can rotate your hips.
On the flip side, even if you have the strongest core and the fastest hip rotation...if your arms are stiff and out of position - the whip is not going to happen.
Some pitchers struggle with staying loose and in position on a certain pitch, others may have a bigger adjustment to make. Everyone's journey in pitching is different.
Stay patient, keep working - you got this!
There are several reasons why I don't like this pitch, but the main one is because of the safety and development of our young athletes.
Can it be effective? Absolutely. But is it worth potential injury and poor mechanics? For me - No.
There are other ways we can be effective on that side of the plate that helps a developing body continue to move fast and efficiently. The "screw option" I teach is with my more advanced athletes that have developed bodies and the fastball mechanics down. The traditional "Screw ball" is opposite all of our other micro mechanics. It's literally a bad rep, the type of rep you DON'T want your body to remember. It makes overall consistency more difficult, especially for a young athlete who's body is growing everyday. Consistency is always a battle when you're growing, why make it harder?
Something that is very overlooked and just as effective (if not more) - a solid inside fastball that is spinning down, consistently located, and thrown HARD....
Everyone wants to throw harder, but not many want to put in the work to get there. Velocity work is HARD. It's a commitment. It's putting time in the gym, on the mound and toward your recovery.
But when you're not sweating it out and pushing through the pain in the gym, you can be working on your mobility and range of motion. And you can start with your ankles.
SO easy, and so necessary. While you're sitting between games, after practice with your cleats off...work on your mobility!
It's been proven that increased mobility and range of motion, increases athletic performance - why are you not doing this again?
Give these exercises and drills a try and let us know in the comments how it went for you. Happy training!
Coach Nic and your BCA Staff.
The ability to change speeds is a MUST to be successful as a pitcher. What do you do if you're inconsistent with this pitch? Or not trusting this pitch? Or struggle in general with the development of this pitch?
Don't give up, and DON'T quit on this pitch. Change the way you look at it, the way you practice it, and the way you use it in a game.
I've helped many athletes who at one point felt they would "never" have a change up....become KNOWN for their change up. Check out these tips and drills! Let me know if you have any questions, and get to work girl!
It is not uncommon for a young softball pitcher to slow down her motion to throw a strike, "guiding" the ball is what I call that.
To help combat this - train to GO HARD. Teach your brain and your body to make adjustments going full speed!
Use these simple velocity drills to help "clean up" your young pitcher following a game or a tournament. These are drills that are VERY effective for an athlete at any level.
It takes work to throw hard, throw accurately, and be mentally tough.
YOU WILL GET THERE - get to work, girl.
The peel drop and/or a 12-6 fastball is an incredibly effective pitch - it's also very easy to throw and learn!
When pitchers tell me they "can't" throw this, or they throw a "natural bullet" spin - it's usually a matter of understanding the spin we are wanting to get, and putting in the work. Most people don't understand HOW to put in the work.
Join me for some easy spin drills you can do at home, and if you're lucky enough to have a catcher or a net to throw to, some ways to work your spin training into your pitch.
This is a clip from one of our live online training lessons. My online memberships allow pitchers from all ages and locations to train with me. Train live with me via zoom, ask questions, get feedback! OR re-watch past recorded lessons and train on your own. Memberships also include access to my drill library and members only content. SUCH a helpful training tool, and a great way to get expertise immediately.
If you're interested in joining our...
Being the parent of a competitive softball parent can be tough. Being the parent of a competitive softball pitcher can be even tougher! The investment, the time, the lessons, the tears - it's a whirlwind, and sometimes it's hard to know the best way to respond.
I don't think there is a "best" way, or a "right" way - but I do know the less REACTIVE you can be as a parent, the better.
RESPOND vs. REACT is something I train my mental skills athlete to do. RESPONDING - takes preparation. REACTING - is a knee jerk reaction, completely emotional.
PREPARE for those hard days ahead of time, and plan out how you will respond. Don't be surprised when your athlete has a day where they don't want to practice, or maybe they are a little lazy. Honestly, it's pretty typical when you're dealing with pre-teens and teenagers.
As your athlete nears the end of high school, PREPARE to let them "drive the bus" - your athlete needs to be the one deciding how often they want to...
How many times have you warmed up terrible...but then pitched amazing in the game? What about warming up AMAZING, and then being all over the place when it's game time? What is WITH that?
It's a difference of mindset. Your pregame warm up is not about being perfect, fixing things, or doing a ton of drills. It's about getting your brain ready for the game, and your body ready to mix your best stuff.
Finding a process for your warm up can take time, but once you understand the purpose - and know your body and brain well enough to know what you NEED - you'll be on your way.
Reach out if you need help figuring out the best way to go about your pregame warm up. That's what we're here for!
It can be TOUGH when you're testing your speed on the radar gun, and it feels like everyone else around you is throwing harder or making improvements - and you're not.
That number on the radar gun is an OUTCOME. Managing expectations, responding to outcomes, and using those numbers in a helpful way (instead of in a take-it-personal, beat-myself-up kind of way) is a SKILL. It takes practice, it takes help, it takes accountability.
Trust me, many many athletes struggle with accepting outcomes in the moment. Have you ever heard a coach or parent say, "Just let it go, don't let it get to you..."
You can't let it go, if you haven't accepted it first.
If you are one of those athletes, or maybe you're the parent of one of those athletes - comment and let me know what you're struggling with.
It's never JUST about the number...there is always more going on underneath the surface.
Let's get it! #HWPO
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