As a coach you probably spend a lot of time teaching your pitchers and telling them what you want them to do. To flip that approach a bit, let’s talk about what you DON’T want them to do.
Here’s a video that outlines four mistakes that softball pitchers want to avoid. The instruction is hosted by Amanda Scarborough, a former All-American pitcher at Texas A&M. She does a great job of covering the negative topic with a very positive attitude.
In brief, here’s what she tells pitchers to avoid:
- Don’t throw illegal pitches. The crow hop and other sneaky moves on the mound might not be noticed at the youth level, but when your players get older, they’ll definitely be pointed out and sanctioned. Get your girls started on the right foot by making sure they use windups and pitches that fall within the rules of the game.
- Don’t have a bad attitude. Scarborough says that a pitcher needs to keep her cool and to show her positive outlook through good body language. She needs to keep her position players feeling confident, even when they make an error. When she isn’t getting the calls she wants from the ump, she shouldn’t get upset or argue. Stay positive and show it.
- Don’t walk the leadoff hitter. You want to get off to a good start in every inning, if possible. Walking the first batter puts you in a hole. Scarborough cites the statistic that 70 percent of leadoff walks come around to score. Ouch! To that first batter–throw strikes.
- Don’t give up 0-2 hits. As Scarborough says, “You’re ahead in the count!” You are in control of the batter at 0-2. She has to swing defensively and is just trying to make contact. So put her away.
Excellent advice throughout this video. I encourage you to watch it. And if you can deliver these lessons to your pitchers in the same positive way that Scarborough uses, you’ll do well as a coach.