For the past two years, one of our favorite pitching experts, Cindy Bristow, has brought together the best pitching coaches in college softball for idea sharing and collaboration at the Pitching Summit. Because attendance is limited to college coaches only, she shared her Top 20 take-aways and secrets from our game’s brightest pitching minds in the article linked below. All the take-aways are fantastic, so it’s definitely worth reading the entire article. We managed to narrow it down to our favorite 3 ideas that really help our pitchers become successful!
Our 3 favorite teaching points from the Pitching Summit are:
- “Control is a Dominant Pitch”
- “Throw your changeup more than 15% of the time or else the opposing hitters don’t even have to worry about it.”
- “A swing and miss percentage of 33% or more is great!
Control is a Dominant Pitch
As pitchers advance in their pitching ability and experience, it’s easy to fall in love with learning new pitches. However, college coaches emphasized that pitchers are throwing too many different types of pitches and don’t have good control. Learn to command the fastball with pinpoint accuracy, a changeup, and become great at one more pitch when you are ready. That’s really all it takes to dominate hitters. To learn techniques to work on control, check out our article on using ropes for accuracy.
Changeup 20% of the Time
“Slow is a speed.” A changeup thrown 20% of the time would mean one-fifth of your pitches are changeups. Any less than that makes it a non-factor to a hitter. Pitchers need to throw changeups frequently enough that it messes up a hitter’s timing, and their mindset. If there is no threat of a change of speed, batters can sit on the faster pitches. Throw your changeup early and often, even if it’s not a perfected pitch. The batter will know that you could make them look foolish at any time if they know you can change speeds on any count.
Swing and Miss 33%
At the 2016 NFCA Conference, LSU’s Beth Torina mentioned that she recruits pitchers that generate lots of swings and misses. When a pitcher can make a batter take the bat off her shoulder and whiff, that’s DOMINATING! In our lessons we focus on placement, movement, change of speeds, and setting up batters to strive to meet the goal of 33 swing and miss percentage.
Learning too many types of pitches too soon can hinder a pitcher’s ability to master these three take-aways from the 2016 Pitching Summit. Keep it simple. Master fastball precision, and build confidence in your changeup. Let’s make the batters miserable in the batter’s box. We’re looking forward to finding out more great tips from 2017’s Pitching Summit!
If you’d like learn more about these ideas from the Pitching Summit, come train with us in Virginia to learn our proven techniques. Please check out our contact page to coordinate lessons at our indoor facility in Richmond, Virginia!! To purchase your accuracy training tools, and other pitching tools, visit our online store! Join our mailing list (see green button below) to receive helpful articles and discounts delivered directly to your email address. Additionally, for more videos with tips and drills, subscribe to our YouTube channel!