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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pitch Speed

Posted by: Emily Koenigsfeld (emmy3sue@hotmail.com) on Fri Feb 10 10:19:37 2006

> > > >
> > > > I agree with you about some of the odd techniques that have
developed in softball. I'm convinced (batspeed)is the way to go because the
best hitters use these hitting principles. It is hard for me to convince travel ball
coaches that they should be doing something different, because they have
had such success in the past (national championships). I'm a proponent of
constantly trying to improve and batspeed makes sense to me; I wish others
would be more open to these principles.
> > >
> > > Anyway I was trying to make a point of reaction time because if I pitched
a ball at 90mph from 40 ft, it would be MUCH more difficult to hit than from
60ft. When I was playing you moved back farther in the box against the hard
throwers and yes it did help. Now my theory on this was there was a certain
amount of reaction time from batting against the average speed pitchers, that
you were making adjustments for by moving back on the harder throwers.
> >
> > Harder doesn't mean squat. Good 14U travel ball hitters will hammer
60mph pitching if it just goes straight. Sometimes you want to move up and hit
it before it breaks and sometimes you want to move back and make her prove
she can throw those breaking pitches for something blue will call a strike.
Reaction time relative to speed doesn't make much difference percentage
wise. Reaction time relative to how late and how sharp the break is makes a
big difference.
> >
> " Have no preconceived theory, report only what you observe."
> Observation: We were recently playing in the Woodbridge Tournament. Our
pitcher (National Champs 16U throws hard good movement)vs theirs (18U
Gold Firecrackers;top 5 team throws hard good movement). First few innings
nobody is hitting anything, no suprise here. Both teams are hugging the front
of the box, bunch of weak grounders, plus offspeed so effective cause batters
have to be more geared up for speed. Later in the game they adjust and move
back start hitting ball harder, we don't no change. They win.
> >
> > >
> > > To compound matters when you move closer to the pitcher in baseball 1
ft = 1.66% of the total distance in softball 1 ft = 2.5%, in other words why do I
want to give any of my reaction time back to the pitcher? By the way in S.
California we have kids on travel teams that throw in the 60's so the window
of time is pretty short.
> >
> > As MD pointed out, the reaction time differences between the two games
are very close. A certain poster on this forum makes the point that even
though the time is the same, the distance you have to visually track and
predict contact location is less. This is interesting and may be a factor. I can't
> >
> > Observation: Go to any batting cage get in 80 MPH hit line drives
consistently. Move to 90MPH hit line drives much less consistently. Speed
> >
> > >
> > > By the way I agree with you that softball people have widely exagerated
claims on how much a softball can break in only 40 ft. I've caught some of the
best softball pitchers (before games) and their pitches don't break anywhere
near as far as the baseball pitchers from 60 ft.
> >
> > A baseball pitcher throwing overhead from a mound at 60 feet 6 inches
can throw a ball at the right speed and spin to produce a huge break and still
get the ball in the zone. A fastpitch pitcher can make the ball break much
sharper and in more different ways than a baseball pitcher but she has much
less room to work with and still keep the ball in the zone. The issue is really
not the size of the break but the lateness of the break and the sharpness of
the break. A softball (men's or women's game) can be made to dance in ways
that a baseball pitcher can only dream about. One other point is that the
softball seems to have the most break when thrown (assuming good spin) in
the mid to upper fifties. This doesn't mean the most effective. Faster speed
with less break is more effective as long as the break is late and sharp.
> >
> > Observation: Laws of physics the faster an object moves forward the more
effort it takes to move sideways, up, or down. Therefore it makes sense to
move up on the pitchers who can't overpower you and cut down the break
(because their reduced speed allows the spin to take effect sooner), but with
the harder throwers I still say back up in the box. A good example of this is
Randy Johnson has a curve ball that really breaks, but I don't see anybody
moving up in the box to take that away from him. Speed kills just accept that
he may get you with the curve, deal with it, try to do something with it, but don't
let him overpower you that's his game.
> >
> >
> >
> > But my real point is do we just think girls can't hit the breaking pitch, even
if it breaks less, are they just unable to do this? That is why everyone wants
them to move up in the box. I just don't agree with them, but I have nothing to
prove my point.
> >
> > Take your argument over to Fastpitch Forum. Probably more rotational
believers over there than linear believers (thanks to Tom Guerry), but I think
you could learn a lot there about pitching, strategy, etc. In any case, as other
hitting gurus have pointed out, if the ball does something in the last few feet
that you were not expecting, it's too late, your swing is already committed.
Same for bb or fp. The nature of the softball allows the possibility (for a good
pitcher) of more of this late movement. This is where the slapper/dragger has
an advantage as far as contact. They are not swinging hard and as a result
can adjust for late movement better than on a full swing. Against a truly
dominant fp pitcher with late movement and speed, this can be what gets the
offense started. Get a speedster like this on first and now the pitcher is
reluctant to throw change ups to your rotational hitters so they have a little
less to worry about. Then maybe the pitcher hangs one or your rotational
hitter guesses right and now your dominant pitcher gets a one or two to
nothing lead.
> >
> > Obsevation: When I was playing we learned to read the rotation of the
curveball track it to the point it was goin to break to and hit it there. Again I
agree with your statement "if the ball does something in the last few feet that
you were not expecting, it's too late" that is why you teach hitters to read spin
and movement so they know what to expect.
> >
> >
> > And I think this is one of the reasons there is much less scoring in softball.
> >
> > Lack of good hitting mechanics, different nature of the pitching, general
quality of the pitching on average, low expectations etc. But hitting good late
movement is tough in either game no matter what your mechanics. The thing
is, when you hit rotationally and the pitcher does make a mistake, you hit
something that really hurts his or her feelings. : ) Doubles change everything.
Home runs are even better. : )
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > >
> > > P.S. If the closer is better theory in softball works, why did we move the
mound to 43 ft in college, wouldn't this make it harder to hit since the ball will
move more and we wouldn't want that.
> >
> > They did find some of that in college when they moved the rubber. Helped
some pitchers and hurt others. The dominant pitchers were generally still
dominant though. Just took a little adjustment. I suppose baseball and
fastpitch aren't that different. If you have Randy Johnson and I have Curt
Schilling, neither one of us is going too score many runs that day (regardless
of the quality of our hitting mechanics).
> >
> > Emily Koenigsfeld


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