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Re: Re: softball for RQL

Posted by: Mark H. () on Fri Oct 5 05:56:24 2001

A few women's fastpitch thoughts.(I have started a thread here
> because the September threads do not show in October,and the
> October replies to September topics show only at the end of
> September posts.)
> >
> > As Mark mentions,there are some long threads at the fastpitch
> forum,but they can be hard to find/search.The most recent has to
> do with the pitching distance-should international and 18u
> Gold(different governing bodies) go to 43 ft which is the NCAA
> pitching distance ?
> >
> > As your friend Wade Boggs has experienced,even he can only
> wave at the ball going 70mph from a pitcher leaping off the 40 ft
> pitching slab and releasing the ball around 35 ft away.In my
> opinion,43 ft would be right for the top level women's game.This
> is not likely to be the situation for most high school kids,and the
> colleges are already at 43 ft.Both these situations give adequate
> reaction time for a full swing.The best full swing is the
> Mankin/Nyman/Epstein/baseball/rotational/lower body/whatever
> you want to call it swing.
> >
> > For fastpitch you want to adjust by using as small as possible
> a swing radius and a more upright axis of rotation.You need to
> really work on crowding the plate and accentuating bottom hand
> torque to keep the middle in ball fair and to be able to reach the
> outside pitch.This is the best swing,but not well understood or
> coached,and kids rarely put the time in necessary to maximize
> their potential(in the fastpitch forum thread it was stated that
> almost no one had seen a hitter work as much as pitchers
> do-what's with that?)
> >
> > When coaches talk about taking the hands to the ball,they are
> just doing the best they can to get some kind of
> contact,preferably a grounder.It would be theoretically ok to
> consciously teach a linear style for certain kids and
> situations,but this is more likely to just confuse the muscle
> memory and weaken the full swing,so mastering multiple
> mechanical styles is rarely realistic.Unfortunately,most of these
> linear approaches are just making a compromise for a possible
> immediate gain that in the long run prevents kids reaching their
> potential.They are also usually a poorly understood mixture of
> styles that suboptimizes both.
> >
> > An example of a successful rotational swing(slow power hitter
> type) is Cal's Veronica Nelson.No other hitters on the team can
> protect her,unfortunately.Last years stats:BA .353,93BB,19
> HR,150AB,.780 slugging,OBA .601.
> y
> > Tom- I have often and more so just recently wanted to
> specifically ask you what you thought about many of your
> observations and concerns regarding womens fast pitch
> softball.I have often asked Mr. Mankin about various aspects of
> hitting and the handling of coaches that preach a strange
> combination of linear mechanics with a sprinkling of rotational
> mechanics that results in a contact hitter .These coaches
> wonder why the scores are so low.They want their players to use
> -9 to -11 bats ,swing with their arms , practice 4or 5 months a
> year and then they expect them to hit it in the gap.These coaches
> want them to make contact out in front on the outside pitch.My
> girl 's college coach filmed her and told her she was making
> contact to close t o her body ,She told her to extend those arms
> and to quit using tophand torque.This summer my girl hit.444 on
> the women's class b national champions and her college coach
> made the changes i referred to above without letting her hit the
> way Mr. Mankin taught herand which she has been using for two
> seasons.I thought I would send her Mike Epstein's tape because
> the torque position doesn't utilize THT and maybe the coach
> might allow this swing which as you know really emphasizes the
> lower body mechanics.One of my questions to you is -Could a
> person use M ike's lower body mechanics and Mr, Mankin's tht
> and bht.? A question you
> asked above about the practice time for pitchers vs hitters is a
> fair one. My observations over the years are that the pitchers
> work 9 to 10 months a year,many on a daily basis.Hitter's on the
> other hand spend far less time without the benefit of good
> instruction which causes frustration and produces contact
> hitters.This is just my opinion,but I watch div 1 ,2and 3 softball
> and they pretty much all swing the same way. Your concern
> about the speed and distance also intrigues me.43 feet is a lot
> fairer to the hitter than 40.Most pitchers tthat I see throw
> between 58-64 and the 70 mph pitcher appears tobe the
> exception ,at least on the east coast.But guess what?Most of the
> girls still stand in the front of the box because they fear the
> breaking ball more than the fast ball.A gain ,technique seems to
> be the problem.Its hard to hit the off speed pitch when your
> weight is moving forward.Thanks for writing the above post and I
> look forward to reading yours and others thoughts .

There is a thread working over on eteamz fastpitch board about linear vs rotational swings.

Mark H.


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