9 Comments so far ↓

  1. Kevin Kammueller says:

    Bob, I know you didn’t mean this as comedy, but one mans torture is another hilarity. The only difference is you were there and I got to just read about it. All I can say is, been there, done that. As can most people reading this. It is almost impossible to quell the itch to at least try to help, but it always works out that after 30 seconds you wish you anywhere but there.

  2. Larry Hineline says:

    Bob, I feel your anquish. You were in a can’t win situation. I can’t tell you the number of times someone wanted me to fix their daughter in one hour. I have had great success with my two college pitchers because I have them every day and they have to listen to me. The trouble is there are too many people out there with pitching opinions and have no business being involved, especially former D-2 pitchers.

  3. Rich Markham says:

    I’m so glad you wrote this piece–well done and addressing a very frequent problem! I would extend this “detail overload” a little further to the single coach or teacher who tries to take every pitcher down to the tiniest detail—the fingers, the wrist, the hips, the ankles, the glove, and so on. This is all very much an unnecessary overload.

    There are probably 3, maybe 4, things that a pitcher needs to focus on and if those are done properly, the other “pieces” have to follow.

    When a pitcher makes a pitch, she/he can think of only two things at best–one is the setup, that is, the position of feet, grip, legs, balance, etc., and the other is ONE thing during the motion. I do not believe anyone can focus consciously on more than one mechanical factor during a single pitch–step, arm swing, follow through, release, etc.

    I was asked to help a girl who, it turned out, was so focused on her left (landing) foot that she looked down at it on every pitch. That was the one thing she did well. When I had worked with her two years earlier, she was already a fairly natural pitcher who put everything together very well for a 12 year old. Her teacher had her worrying about the foot, the wrist, the fingers and several other things that I cannot even remember and I have been pitching for 50 years!

    We should caution coaches (and the fathers who are demanding that their daughters get the “best” teachers) not to overload the young women with details. Basics will take them through their careers every time!

  4. Doug Noble says:

    Pitching coaches…some girls can throw underhand and some can’t. Most girls have a hard time throwing over hand,and are taught to throw like boys. Boys don’t pay for pitching lessons. They watch men pitch and start form there. I grew up watching Harvey Sterkle, John Spring, Charlie Richard, and Joe Lynch pitch, for the Aurora Sealmasters. Men needed hitting lessons to learn how to do any thing but, PO and K, angainst these guys. I know there are too many pitching coaches across the states making money teaching girls how to throw wrong. Hillhouse calls them the PCM. There needs to be more X men pitchers teaching. There needs to be some kind of certification, to qualify to become a PC. Imagine how the girls game would change, if girls were taught to throw the right way and not the girls way…J. Finch and Cat, were taught wrong, and became good, because of their phyisical ability,size and disire to become the best. They could have become great like Bertha Tickey and Joan Joyce, had they been taught by a male pitcher, like you Larry, or Bill H. I think I know where the back arm swing came from. Even Cat and Finch used the back arm swing, and the roll over drop instead of the peel drop. Why? PC Mafia, maybe? Hillhouse says he takes little credit on a girls sucess. Their sucess comes from hard work and practicing the right ways. I got over to the AAU in Olando, and I did see Folkard and Manley throw. All the one foot on, crow hoppin and replanting would have been very disturbing ,had I not seen it on the internet videos, the last bunch of years. Fastball is not fast pitch. Thank God girls still play fast pitch. and not fastball. How can anybody compare Zack with Lynch, Stofflet, or Sterkle????

  5. Rick Daniels says:

    When Darren Zack and Michael White showed up i always thought of them as old school pitchers. And yes you could compare Zach to Lynch. Darren was taught to pitch by his uncle Lynch whom was as good a right hander as ty was a lefty.

  6. Rick Daniels says:

    correction Gene Mcwilly not Joe Lynch was Darrens uncle.

  7. Doug Noble says:

    Joe was as good as Ty. I never watched Zack. My Navy team beat both Joe with Clearwater and Ty with Penn. team. 70 or 71. Ty was with either York Bar Bell or Rising Sun out of Reading. Long time ago.

  8. Bob Becker says:

    I too grew up in Aurora watching Sterkel, Lynch, John Spring, Rocket Richard, Don Proctor, Chick Walsh, even back to Jimmy Chambers. It was a privilege to pitch on the same team with Sterkel and Richard before I left the state.And Doug, you are right…I dont understand why girls dont learn from the people who made the game great. I pitched with a guy in the Air Force named Garrett Porter who weighed no more than 140 pounds but brought it in the high 90s. Ive seen much larger girls who are impressed with throwing 65. In every sport there is, you get speed and power with a follow through. Kick a football, swing a golf club, throw the ball from deep short, you release the ball and follow through. Sterkel used to knock his hat back on his head with is follow through. Girls today stop at the waist and snap the wrist. You can snap the wrist and still follow through for more speed and more control, but it’s some kind of “girl” thing.

  9. Quint says:

    Bless all you old fastpitchers. I played until the sport died off in my area. Had the chance to bat against Mike White. I got beaned, right in the ankle. Also had the privilege of watching Darren Zack at the world tournament a good 18 years ago. Pure domination.

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