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Old Thu Mar 19, 2009, 01:48am
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Cool Pitching Mechanics / Illegal Pitches / Teaching Children Properly From Day 1

I am on my third season of coaching my daughter's 6-U now 8-U softball teams. I am a bit frustrated with the mechanical flaws that are being taught at clinics and by other coaches. I could care less if the umpires call players on certain techicalities; however, I want to see the kids learning proper mechanics from the get-go.

My main issue/question right now is with the pitching mechanics of a girl on an opposing team/league. This pitcher starts her rotation with the ball in her glove then swings her arm back past her hip then forward until she has the ball back to her glove fully extended above her head, then with no pause she brings the ball back down past her side then forward again to the traditional windmill rotation.

I think this description may be confusing. I apologize if it makes no sense.

In any event, my understanding has always been that you can only cross your hip on the back swing then through the windmill until the release at the hip. Please correct me if I am mistaken.

Thank you!!
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Old Thu Mar 19, 2009, 07:23am
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Wow, you really need a chill pill IMO. They are 6U and 8U, relax.

Based on the description, I think yes the "opposing" 6 year old is illegal because you I think you are describing the 1st grader as reversing her motion .
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Old Thu Mar 19, 2009, 07:46am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoRafter View Post

My main issue/question right now is with the pitching mechanics of a girl on an opposing team/league. This pitcher starts her rotation with the ball in her glove then swings her arm back past her hip then forward until she has the ball back to her glove fully extended above her head, then with no pause she brings the ball back down past her side then forward again to the traditional windmill rotation.
umm.. picturing it, i got a pause (if ever so slight) at the top to reverse (or to come down) direction.... but dang, thats gotta be a ugly mechanic.
just picking nits.
and dude dont chill (illegal is illegal)... i love making 8U's cry when i IP them over and over and over and over again. usually they get replaced when the first run comes in.
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Old Thu Mar 19, 2009, 10:03am
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Do you even have ASA umpires umping these games?
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Old Thu Mar 19, 2009, 10:14am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoRafter View Post
This pitcher starts her rotation with the ball in her glove then swings her arm back past her hip then forward until she has the ball back to her glove fully extended above her head, then with no pause she brings the ball back down past her side then forward again to the traditional windmill rotation.
You have umpires at 6U???

Anyway, there are some missing things in your description.

When do the hands first come together?
When do they separate?
Do they come together (touch) again after they separate?
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Old Thu Mar 19, 2009, 01:21pm
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Huh?

I've got a much different question- how many places have kids pitching in FP games at 6U? None around here that I know of. If a 5 or 6 year old is pitching I think you should be happy if they're able to throw a few across the plate regardless how they do it. You can correct the mechanics later.
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Old Thu Mar 19, 2009, 07:30pm
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Talking Thanks For Replying

I appreciate all your replies. First, I did not intend to come across as someone who wants to make a third grader (8-year old) cry. My concern is with the children learning proper fundamentals.

As I said in my initial post, I wouldn't want the child called on the motion during the game. I simply would want to make the coach aware that changes need to be made and worked on for the child sakes to avoid dealing with it later on. This kid had fabulous control, speed and composure for her age. She pitched better than most the 10 and 12-U pitchers. I complemented her after the game and her parents said she had been pitching since age 4. I know she will be successful throughout the years.

VCBLUE:

Yes. There was an ASA umpire who didn't know that foul tip caught by a catcher on the third strike was an out, that a ball hit in fair territory then rolling foul before passing first base and untouched is a foul ball and that even if the pitch was 3 feet outside, you still need to call a strike if the batter swings, etc. I did mention the pitching motion to the umpire and asked for his thoughts, while specifically stating I did not want her to be called on it; however, maybe he could speak with her couch for the kid's benefit. He did not have a clue whether it was legal or illegal. I said nothing further.

Fullcount:

My initial post stated that I couched 3 seasons, 2 of 6-U and now 8-U. No, the children did not pitch in 6-U. Now they are pitching. I care about the children and want to see them learn properly now so they continue to improving and have fun while doing so. It is my belief that proper fundamentals learned at a young age only benefits the children as their muscle memory kicks in.

Dakota:

Yes. Her hands were together after getting set on the mound. Then came apart on the back swing then back together again above her head. I have since found and confirmed the rule regarding how many times the ball can pass the hip, etc. It read, "can not put the hands together after they have separated." and, "The Pitcher must not make more than two revolutions of the arm on the windmill pitch." I simply needed confirmation from a forum I felt could provide accurate feedback.

Wadeitothem:

Although I appreciate your feedback, I am a very positive and supportive person that would never do anything to discourage the children. This child was not a 1st grader with backward mechanics. She was great with a slight illegal motion that yes, could easily be corrected. My theory is sooner rather than later. Again, I simply inquired to an umpire, one on one, with good intentions. I am not the coach that stands off to the side complaining, arguing calls, and disrespecting umpires.

To all:

I realize my email was a bit confusing and obviously misinterpreted by several. I feel a bit like jerk from your comments. I am just frustrated that rules, etc. are unknown by the people who should be on top of them. This is for the benefit of the children. Would you want their their school teachers to teach them to read from the end of the sentence to beginning.

I was taught to crow hop from my early days through traveling team play. When I reached high school, I had to readjust my mechanics. It was difficult, discouraging and took time to get back up to my level of play. I want to help these kids from going through the same experience.

Again, thanks for you comments.
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Old Thu Mar 19, 2009, 08:27pm
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"Times past the hip" is not an indicator of an illegal pitch. The pitcher in your example committed an illegal pitch when she brought the hands together a second time. If she had not done that, she would have been illegal when she reversed her forward direction to take the second backswing.
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Old Thu Mar 19, 2009, 10:15pm
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Smile Back Swing

Yes, that is what I meant; however, you phrased it much better. Thank you.
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Old Thu Mar 19, 2009, 10:27pm
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Dont forget the most important fundamental - and this is an issue that must be stressed to umpires often (especially umpires on this forum )

Let them play ball.

They got plenty of time, you are putting too much stress to even be thinking about this at that age IMO. Dont be one of "those dads" who often ruin the sport for their DD. Even if you want to do that to yours.. dont do it to some other coach, expect that of some other coach, or especially not to someone elses DD. Limit it to just your kid.

IMO, its not even a sport at that age, its a game and you guys are just parents bonding with your kids and its just fun - its hardly coaching.. teaching but not coaching..so

Let them play ball - have fun.

OK off my soap box...
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Last edited by wadeintothem; Thu Mar 19, 2009 at 10:29pm.
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Old Thu Mar 19, 2009, 11:16pm
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Finally, someone said it.
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I haven't decided if I should call it from the dugout or the outfield. Apparently, both have really great views!

Screw green, it ain't easy being blue!

I won't be coming here that much anymore. I might check in now and again.
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Old Fri Mar 20, 2009, 12:05am
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I completely agree with "let them play and fun." That is our goal as parents and coaches aka teachers. As someone who grew up playing softball surrounded by supportive, no pressure, parents and excellent coaches from my rookie years through attending college on a softball scholarship, all I want to do is give back to my children and others.

I disagree with your statement that it is not even a sport at this age, 7-8, after 2-4 seasons of softball. IMO teaching fundamentals early on is important. It can be done in a fun way through drills that kids truly enjoy. I have seen and have watched the kids improve, gain confidence and become more and more excited as they improve and learn. At what point do you feel it is a appropriate to start teaching fundamental mechanics and basically reinventing the wheel.

Again, I feel completely misunderstood and a bit offended that I people think I need to take a chill pill or whatever. I know I am good with the children, respectful towards other coaches and umpires. I am appreciated by the parents who watch their children have fun and learn the game. My daughter is happy and has fun with the social and learning aspects of the game.
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Old Fri Mar 20, 2009, 01:21am
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Have you tried heybucket.com?

Those guys get all wild eyed over an 8 y/o illegal pitching. They would be a more suitable peer group for you IMO. For an IP, probably push ups and laps .. For bats, they'd probably recommend a 300 bat for an 8 y/o, me I recommend whatever color the girl likes best and can be found at walmart for under $40.

Give em a shot and good luck as you embark on your new softball quest - the coach!
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Old Fri Mar 20, 2009, 01:55am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wadeintothem View Post
For bats, they'd probably recommend a 300 bat for an 8 y/o, me I recommend whatever color the girl likes best and can be found at walmart for under $40.
Don't you realize how competitive it is these days? If 8Us don't start getting college scouts at their games now, they are way behind the curve.
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Old Fri Mar 20, 2009, 02:35am
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Unhappy Requested a simple rule clarification - received nothing but personal attacks

Those of you that have responded to my simple request for a clarification of a softball rule submitted on a forum called Officiating.com with such a degree of close-headed, sarcastic and rude comments should be ashamed. I didn't ask for your personal judgments or attacks. I asked for assistance clarifying a rule.

You are correct. This is not the right forum for me. A forum consisting of people that actually can answer a question with an answer, not a judgment, would be much more helpful. People who actually care about the children having fun while learning fundamentals and rules, would be more helpful.

My experience with this forum has been disappointing to say the least. I am shocked to learn professionals think a child is better off learning to play the game without the benefit of learning correct mechanics. This confuses me. Those of you officials who set aside the rules, simply do not know them, don't think they matter, or don't think softball at this age is a real sport, IMO are not doing your jobs; rather, you are hurting the children. Should there be leniency with the rules at this level when appropriate, yes; however, awareness should be brought to coaches and children involved. There is a lot for the children to learn and work on. Rules of the game are one them.

In closing, if it makes you feel better to judge people who selflessly devote their own personal time, share their knowledge and give to our communities, than continue on with your insults and conclusions. I am very disappointed that so-called professionals are reacting this way.
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