Pitching is my passion. Through enthusiasm and instruction, I try to pass on that passion to my students. A true passion for this unique skill is the best internal motivator for pitchers to practice. My business is about my students, their development and their success.
It’s not about me and what I did as an athlete. Some of my students are better than I ever was. If I’ve done my job, it should be that way.
Considered the premier pitching instructor in the Richmond, Virginia area, I have influenced the careers of many outstanding pitchers in over 36 years of instruction, including the 2014 USA Softball National Player of the Year, Florida State’s Lacey Waldrop, since age 10.
I also instructed three-time All-American Jailyn Ford of James Madison University since age 10. Here is a long list of honors for Jailyn Ford:
- 4x CAA All Tournament Team
- CAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player
- 3x NFCA All American
- 2x CAA Player of the Year
- VaSid Player of the Year
- ECAC Player of the Year
- 2x CAA Pitcher of the Year
- 2x VaSid Pitcher of the Year
- CAA and VaSid Rookie of the Year
- CAA All Rookie Team
- 4x CAA All CAA First Team
- 4x NFCA All Region
- 4x ECAC All Star
- 4x VaSid First Team All State
It was a thrill to attend the 2014 Women’s College World Series to watch Lacey and Florida State compete. In 2015, I had 8 pitchers advance with their teams to the NCAA Div I tournament. In 2016, I had 5 pitchers advance.
Most recently in 2021, I had 7 pitchers advance to the NCAA D1 Tournament. Florida State’s ace Kathryn Sandercock pitched in the national championship game and has trained with me since age 12. After the Spring 2022 season, Sandercock was selected 2nd Team All-American and was selected as a member of the 2022 Women’s National Team for tournaments in Canada and Japan.
Clemson’s Valerie Cagle, a student of mine since age 8, made a huge impact on D1 softball and finished Top 3 Freshman of the Year. Cagle was also the 2021 ACC Player of the Year and led the Junior National Team to two gold medals in November 2021.
- 2021 MVP U18 Jr World cup
- 2021 Top 3 Freshman
- 2021 ACC Freshman team
- 2021 & 2022 1st team ACC
- 2021 & 2022 ACC All-tournament team
- 2021 Frank Howard Award (Clemson Award)
- 2022 Thad Madden Award (Virginia Peninsula Award recognizing local athletes)
Valerie’s pitching teammate at Clemson, Millie Thompson, is also a student of mine.
Please reference my complete list of pitchers who have achieved performance for:
I am a full-time pitching instructor which has given me time to do a very detailed study of the optimal pitching motion. I am a long-time member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and have attended the NFCA Convention and Advanced Pitching Analysis Coaches College several times.
I invent creative techniques to teach and correct mechanics. I model my instruction after the top female Olympic pitchers. I use video analysis to demonstrate the mechanics of these elite pitchers to new students and then we go to work! Step by step we correct and adjust students to create efficient, safe mechanics.
We often re-video to compare before and after form. It is the pitcher’s responsibility to come back with that same perfect form. Body awareness is one of our best teaching points. Some students can feel what their body is doing versus others have to see it.
Bring a pitching notebook so I can write a “prescription” for practice success. Students are to have mastered their homework before returning the next lesson. I keep an appointment page on each student and document each lesson I know what weaknesses had better be gone when I see them again! Lessons are fruitless if you don’t practice at home. Practice with a purpose. Know what you were working on and why. Review all the instructional videos on my website before attending lessons.
The best way to improve a pitcher’s accuracy and speed is by correcting a pitcher’s mechanics. Practice makes permanent. Pitchers must practice correct mechanics at 100% effort. Aggressive mechanics done correctly builds speed…accuracy will result from consistent repetitions. “Strikes first” without regard for mechanics and speed is an absolute plan for failure.
I have a JUGS radar gun to monitor progress. My goal is 55 mph for seventh graders and 60 mph for ninth graders. We have serious work to do to get you there or to get you caught up. It may be too late of aggressive mechanics were not ingrained in you from the start!
I also use the RevFire to measure spin speed of each pitch. We want to fastball spin speeds at 20 RPS and movement pitches at 24-28RPS. You must work on spins! Too many kids have poor spin and poor movement. I really focus on arm whip, finger pressure and spins.
Parents, this is your lesson, too. If your daughter is going to be successful, you’d better be prepared to get involved. Go ahead and get shinguards because you must spend years sitting on the bucket catching for your pitcher. You must learn how to be positive. I don’t need a timid pitcher because you get after her for bad pitches! You fail to realize how hard this is! You also must set up a practice area she can use on her own as well as during these cold, dark winter months when practice is critical but hard to do because of all those excuses. And finally, you are my eyes at home. You must catch mechanical flaws and assist in making corrections. Learn how to say it so your daughter will listen!
I spend most all of my time conducting individual lessons instead of clinics. Sessions are 45 minutes. I’d recommend back-to-back sessions for any groups and for individuals over an hour and a half away. Contact me through the form below to set up appointments and to get prices. I book three months in advance so be patient and book ahead of time. Out-of-state students get weekend priority.
Appointments are yours once booked. Time is valuable I want to spend time with students who value their timeslots. I expect you to keep your appointments and give me the courtesy of a 2-day notice of any cancellations. Payment is expected for any missed appointments.
Always arrive early and let me know you’re here! Completely warm up before our start time! You should do the dynamic shoulder warm-up and J-bands before touching a ball. Since we are indoors, wear turf shoes not cleats. Bring your own catcher, taped balls, Spin Right Spinner, 14″ ball, release flap and weighted balls.
New students may purchase these their first session. It is highly recommended you bring a video device to record your lessons. Pitchers are responsible for everything we cover each lesson. Most importantly, bring a good attitude and lots of energy and be ready to work!
Always use the contact form below to set up lessons! Resend if you don’t hear back. I always answer!
If you’re considering bringing your daughter for lessons, the sooner the better. Practice Makes Permanent. You want to be on the right track as early as possible in her development. It’s easier for me and your daughter to create correct habits than to fix bad ones. Don’t wait! I wish I had met lots of my students sooner!
In December, 2008, I worked the Michele Smith Holiday Gold Camp in Clearwater, Florida. I worked alongside Michele, Cat Osterman and Kelly Kretshman! In March 2008, I was invited by the Chinese Taipei Amateur Softball Association to lead their National Pitching School. I co-owned an indoor baseball/softball training center called Batter Up, Inc. from November 1998 – August 2004. I opened up a new softball-only, pitching school on my farm in Hanover County Virginia in August, 2004.
I began teaching pitchers on a whim the summer of ’87 when our batgirl asked me to show her how to pitch between games. That first student, Natasha Johnson, won a Virginia AAA State High School championship for Manchester HS and received a scholarship to the top Division II school in the country: Kennesaw State. She transferred and completed her softball career at Marshall University. In the infancy of travel ball in Richmond, I led the first and only travel squad to two national ASA tournaments, pitching a no-hitter in the first game of the 1989 Sioux Falls, South Dakota ASA national.
A native of Hanover County, I have witnessed the evolution of fast-pitch softball in the central Virginia area both as a participant and an instructor. I played Rockville and Mechanicsville Little League, Patrick Henry High School and Sports+Plus (now Richmond Diamonds) ASA travel softball (‘87-‘90). I am a 1988 graduate of Patrick Henry H.S. in Ashland, VA with over a 4.0 GPA. I worked hard in the classroom as well as the ball field! I was All-Region basketball player and softball pitcher for 3 years, and 1988 Times-Dispatch Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Nice honor!
I played basketball at University of Richmond on scholarship! Yes, basketball not softball! Life is timing!!! Go Spiders! I am a 1992 University of Richmond graduate with BS in biology and commission in US Army as Second Lieutenant. After ROTC in college, I spent 4 years active duty in the U.S. Army at Fort Lee, VA (1992 – 1996), as a Medical Service Corps Officer and obtained the rank of Captain. I’m Airborne qualified…yes I jumped out of a perfectly good air plane! Pretty cool for a pitching instructor!
Seeking guidance first on a lesson plan or tools for your pitcher?
You are welcome to complete Rita Lynn’s pitcher questionnaire or use the following form to contact Rita Lynn directly: