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The articles available here are designed for Coaches of girls fastpitch softball teams...high school and college coaches, travel team coaches, and parents of those girls playing competitive softball.  These hints and recommendations are from Colorado Pitching Instructor GERALD WARNER, and are based on questions and E-mails received from visitors to this website. Topics change and are updated regularly, so re-visit this website often.



The Return of the Faster, MUCH Faster Fastball
An increasing number of 16, 17, and 18-year old college hopefuls are finding that college coaches do NOT feel that they are ready to pitch at the college level.   An ideal pitching candidate for most NCAA Division I and Division II colleges and universities needs to have... (click here for full article)

Three Essential Pitching Elements for Fast Pitches
There are three primary phases of the pitching sequence that contribute to the speed and control of the pitch.  These are the common elements of virtually every high-velocity pitcher.  Many sequence photos in this article were selected at random from an analysis of pitchers... (click here for full article)

11-Years Old - With a Rise Ball?
It’s a great dream…a young pitcher throwing the infamous rise ball.  Pitchers and their parents like to brag about how many pitches they throw…even though all of them often look alike with no movement at all.  A true rise ball is not merely a pitch that is released low and thrown to a chin-high spot.  We discuss the correct spin direction, the very fast spin speed, and fast pitch speed required for a “legitimate” rise ball elsewhere on this website.  In 20 years of training scores of pitchers of all ages and observing thousands more we are yet to see a pre-teen pitcher with a true “moving” rise ball...  (click here for full article)

Crow Hopping, Foot Dragging, & Other Misunderstood Pitching Rules
There are some often-violated rules in girls' fast pitch softball that are misunderstood by many pitchers, coaches, and even some umpires, and consequently are often not enforced.  (1) A CROW HOP is, as the name implies, a "hop" off the pitching rubber by the pivot/push-off foot (typically moving it forward a foot or more) to "replant" it and use it for a second push-off point.  (2) LEAPING can be caused by a failure to "drag" the pivot/push-off foot... (click here for full article)

The image and reputation of softball, not just in the U.S. but around the world, has been tarnished by the dramatic increase in the number of illegal pitch calls recently, for the most part caused by the "leaping" violation...not keeping the rear foot in contact with the ground until the forward / stride foot lands.  In many cases, the calls were confusing to the pitcher, her coach, and in the case of televised games, even the announcers... (click here for full article)

Does a Rise Ball REALLY Rise?
There has long been differing opinions between fastpitch softball players vs. die-hard students of physics and aerodynamics as to whether a properly thrown rise ball can overcome the gravitational force trying to pull it toward the ground, enough to really RISE... (click here for full article)

For Increased Speed and Accuracy, Make Certain Your Pitcher "Finishes the Pitch"
A leaping-style pitcher must have a strong, fast push-off from the pitching rubber in order to drive her stride leg out fast and far.  Then the power, speed, and landing of the stride determines how effectively the pitcher can push back against her stride leg to give her the resistance for a hard final arm “whip” to throw the ball with maximum speed... (click here for full article)

How to Select a Pitching Instructor
Finding a knowledgeable and competent softball pitching instructor in your area might not be as simple as it sounds.   Just because someone calls him/herself a “pitching coach” doesn’t necessarily mean they have all the credentials and skills you or your daughter might need.  Find out from long-time travel-team and high school coaches... (click here for full article)

Avoid Pitching Injuries - The Top-10 List of What NOT to Do
Softball pitchers…even those with years of experience…often develop (or were even taught) incorrect pitching mechanics.   Some can become successful.  However, the majority don’t reach their maximum potential, and a large percentage end up with short-term, or even career-ending, pitching injuries.  If you are doing any of these 10 things, find a way to stop it... (click here for full article)

A Potentially Dangerous Pitch Release...the "Over-the-Top" Drop/Fastball

We receive many e-mails and telephone calls about pitching mechanics that can cause injuries to pitchers… often learned from watching another pitcher, or even being taught by a well-meaning coach or pitching instructor.   Below is an e-mail that we received from another pitching coach who, like many, are concerned that a large number of pitchers are being taught to throw a “dropping fastball” by using a twist, snapover release somewhat similar to the rollover drop ball.   (click here for full article)

How to Create a Striped Ball
A striped softball is an excellent tool to assist a pitcher with making certain that she has  (a) the correct rotation and (b) the maximum spin speed on her breaking pitches.   If you are highly intelligent, have very good athleticism, and are skilled in freehand art, then you too can create a striped softball.   Otherwise, you can get a 12-year old to do it for you.  Seriously though, this is one of the best tools for a pitcher who is constantly trying to improve her drop, curve, screw, and rise balls.   (click here for full article)

Recommended Products for Pitchers 
There are several good training products that we recommend for our pitching we've listed a few below, and where to buy them.  
(click here for the full list)

Recent E-mailed Questions and Recommendations
Each week we receive e-mails and telephone calls from visitors to this website.  We would appreciate hearing from you, too, on any question or recommendation relating to girls fastpitch softball pitching.   Click here for Recently-received Questions and Recommendations...and our replies.

How to CORRECT the "Leaping" Problem
Young pitchers…and often even those with years of experience… can develop a “leaping” problem.  Pitching rules (for girls and women) state that a pitcher cannot become totally airborne during the pitching sequence…at least one foot has to remain in contact with the ground until the other foot lands...  (click here for full article)

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Why Your Pitcher MUST Have a Good Change-Up
Even though many softball pitchers think they can, very few are able to overpower all batters with their fastball.   In time (sometimes as soon as the second time through the line-up) some of the opposing team’s better hitters will  time a fastball-only pitcher and start hitting the ball.  A change-up offers a change-of-speed alternative... (click here for full article)

How to Be a Softball Parent
It is probably the toughest job on the field.  It is hard to do well, and seldom does anyone applaud you when you do it right.    1.  Softball is a SPORT - Kids are supposed to have FUN playing softball.  2.  Your daughter might not be as good of an athlete as you were when you were in school.  Don't force her to be something she isn't... (click here for full article)

What REALLY Constitutes an Earned Run?
In a majority of the situations the person keeping the official scorebook for the game looks only at how the run-scorer had initially gotten on base to determine whether or not the scored run was earned or unearned.  As you will see below, scoring rules generally require that the scorer or coach reconstruct the inning to determine... (click here for full article)

For New Pitchers - What to Do...In What Order
Step 1 - Develop good mechanics:
a)  Start with your upper body, neck, and arms fully relaxed…relaxed muscles are fast muscles
b)  Let your body fall forward
(with your full body…don’t bend at the waist)
as your start your arm forward, and push off the rubber to help get a long “reaching out”  stride... (click here for full article)

Other relevant articles on this website:

The Basics...Grip, Stride, Arm Rotation, Release

What is an "Average" Pitching Speed?

The Best Pitch Location - Low or High?

Toe Drag...How to Correct the Leaping Problem

Make Your Breaking Pitches Break Better

The Power Line and Its Effect on Speed and Control

Every Pitch...Even a Fastball...Has an Arc

The Best Change-Up

Drop Ball I - The "Peel" Method

Drop Ball II - The "Snapover" Drop

Throw Faster by Using a Good "Body Lean"

Size, Arm Length, and Pitching Speed

Warm Up Right to Pitch Effectively

Recommendations for Beginning Pitchers

Recommendations for 1st & 2nd Year Pitchers

Recommendations for Experienced Pitchers

From time to time, pitchers from outside of Colorado have requested to meet with Gerald and have a one-on-one pitching evaluation when they visit Colorado.  For more information and details about a personal diagnostic pitching evaluation session in the Denver area, CLICK HERE





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