Before I begin this month’s newsletter, I want to WHOLEHEARTEDLY apologize to everyone that received a DVD that did not work. My partners at SoftballOne and I sold out of our first batch much faster than anticipated. In an effort to get the remaining orders filled, I convinced SoftballOne to let me make some copies in Manila Philippines last month when I was coaching there and boy did my plan backfire! Anyway, we have a new WORKING batch made and they are availble online at the website. In the meantime, if the copy you received isn’t working properly, please let me know so I can get a new one out to you.
We are also in talks right now about the next edition of the video series where I will focus on the riseball. I plan to go over right and wrong things about it, demonstrate it properly and prove to those doubters that it does indeed rise, not just incline. With any luck at all, we may film in the next 2 months or so.
Often at clinics and private lessons I get asked repeatedly from parents (and sometimes the students) about wanting to learn the riseball NOW. As I’ve said before, we live in a society of “I want it NOW” and the age old days of putting in the hard work is going out the window. The simple truth is, the riseball is the toughest pitch to learn. It can take people years. It can take others weeks. There are many variables.
One of the most common things told to me at lessons and clinics is how easy I make things look and how simple my approach to pitching seems to be. While I don’t think I do anything new or revolutionary to pitching or coaching, I do think there is something that has helped me… I’ve just cut out the junk that has crept it’s way into mainstream thinking about how pitchers should throw and what they should do.
I get told by many fathers out there that they know baseball pitching, however, they know nothing about softball pitching. The truth is, there are more similarities than most people think. The problem is, a lot of the afore mentioned junk that has came into the game today about how people should pitch has really separated the two. And that’s unfortunate. Because it’s not really that much different.
Like in golf, if one thing goes wrong with the back swing.. the ball is doomed to be a bad shot. Everything has to be working correctly mechanically to get the most effectiveness. Sure, there are some golfers with ugly swings that are relatively successful. Just as there are are pitchers with horrible mechanics that have moderate success. But, by and large, do you ever see someone with terrible mechanics at anything in the top spot of their sport? Not often.
The riseball is no different. Everything has to be working correctly before the pitch will work. Everything from the basics to the most difficult part. In my opinion, this is why there are so many riseball doubters out there and people who think it’s nothing more than an angled pitch. Slowly but surely bad mechanics and teaching has been handed down and passed along from one generation to another. This progression (or regression) has made genuine riseball pitchers almost extinct.
It’d be very pretentious of me if I were to say that unless the pitcher learns mechanics MY WAY, they won’t have a riseball. That’s not really true. But, the truth is… we can’t put the cart before the horse and learn a riseball without the right mechanics. Regardless of who your coach is. Any coach worth his /her salt will not let you get ahead of yourself in the development. It would be counterproductive for them to do so.
So, be patient with the riseball. Make sure the mechanics are set and running smooth, that will make the pitch much, much easier to learn.