Choosing the Right Softball Pitching Instructor: Part II

Washington Softball Pitcher

Choosing the Right Softball Pitching Instructor: Part II

In part I we discussed the types of pitching instructors to avoid. In this section we are going to illustrate what qualities a superior pitching coach should be able to demonstrate.

1.   Fundamentals- A pitching coach should know and understand the fundamental biomechanics of fastpitch pitching. For the beginning or novice pitcher, fundamental mechanics are the single most important aspect because every pitch will originate out of a basic windup. Once the fundamentals are mastered the pitching coach should continue working on advancing pitch speed and actual pitches (i.e. drop, change, rise, etc.).

2.   Adaptation- Every pitching coach should be able to adapt or modify lessons and pitches for each student. They should be able to work with a varying degree of styles without compromising fundamentals. Fundamentals ALWAYS remain the same.

3.   Mental game- A smart pitching instructor can teach students about the psychology of the game, of pitching to hitters and getting through trouble spots. As a fastpitch pitcher climbs the ladder of success, the more reliant they become on the mental aspects of the game. A good mental approach can give the students an early advantage over their peers.  

4.   Honesty- A pitching coach should be completely honest with both the student and the parent when discussing what is in the best interest for all involved parties. They should able to be truthful about a student’s potential because not all students have the drive or skills required to become highly successful.

5.   Cost- A good pitching instructor will have a fair price that is commensurate with their experience, types of students and location. The pitching coach should be able to speak openly with clients in regards to price and work with those who are serious about their craft.

So a good pitching instructor will be able to teach the fundamentals, a variety of pitches and be able to adapt sessions to each student. They should understand and be able to explain some the mental aspects of the game and how it affects the game. The pitching coach should be objective and honest about each student’s potential. Finally, their cost should be commensurate with their experience.

Next week we will wrap up this series with Part III, Important Factors to Consider…