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Coaching Pitchers

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Why your daughter needs a pitching coach
by Lou Gareis and Darlene Gareis Truesdale

The first hurdle we must overcome is to convince a parent that a pitching coach is neccessary. We often hear, "my daughter is throwing hard and getting a lot of strikeouts, why do we need a pitching coach? Oh, by the way, her shoulder, back and knee are bothering her. Do you think she might be doing something wrong? And when she plays the good teams she seems to give up a lot of hits when she has two strikes on the batter. Do you know why?"

After watching the young lady pitch, we see she has poor mechanics, causing her shoulder and back problems. She is doing things like leaving her hip back, not using her legs and not using a follow through. Also she’s landing wrong with her stride step. She has never been taught pitching strategy or any pitch other than a fastball, so she tries to overpower a batter. Speed alone will not get strikeouts against a competitive team, but that’s all she has, so she gives up several needless hits.

If your young pitcher had learned the proper mechanics initially from a reputable pitching coach, she would not have back, knee and shoulder problems. So get her to a coach when she expresses an interest. Trying to break a bad habit after pitching untrained is difficult. Teaching good mechanics right from the start prevents injuries to many young pitchers. Don’t be discouraged though if your daughter has been pitching without instruction and has poor mechanics. A good, experiencd pitching coach can correct these habits over time with hard work.

Her problem with too many hits, especially with two strikes on the batter, is she has never been taught waste pitches. Drops, curves, risers, change-ups and srewballs, are pitches that take years to perfect. Without a coach, your daughter finds herself behind many young pitchers her age and must now work very hard to catch up.

Now that we have established that finding a pitching coach for your daughter is a neccessity, let’s talk about how to find the right one.

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