No I don’t hate slow pitching. Remember, I played baseball where we see slower pitching as a green light to kill the ball! But I know someone who says they do…
One of the things that drives me crazy has always been listening to fastpitch players whine about a pitcher being slow. It has become one of the oldest excuses for failure our game has ever known. and it’s just plain dumb!
Now, Forrest Gump said, “stupid is as stupid does” so let me explain why I think softball players want to cling to the idea that hitting slower pitching is more difficult. Here are a couple of the reasons (excuses) players live by:
I don’t train to hit 50 miles per hour, I train to hit 60 plus. Everyone can agree that getting prepared to battle the fastest pitchers is a great goal and something that all hitters should do.
Great idea except that pitchers who really pitch above 60 miles per hour are outnumbered by about 10 to 1 by pitchers who throw 57 and slower.
I have worked so hard to increase my bat speed that I can’t slow it down for the slower pitchers.
You should never slow your bat down to hit slow pitching! You just wait longer to take the same swing you would take against a fast pitcher. The swing never changes, just when you launch it!
No one in college pitches that slow so why waste my time worrying about the slow pitchers?
Many, many college pitchers, even in Division I, throw in the 50’s. Now everyone wants to worry about being ready for Paige Lowery speed but the truth is she is the exception, by a large margin.
So what is the solution to this age old conundrum?
Hitters need to change their attitude about slow pitching.
1. Start to see slow pitching as an opportunity to excel rather than a reason to fail. It’s going slower so you get to watch it longer and then destroy it.
2. Understand that you don’t need to change your swing you just need to change your attitude. Wait for the ball and then crush it. Yes it is that simple.
3. Physics tell us that the ball is moving towards you after the pitcher releases it. It will get there, I promise, watch where it is headed and then when it gets there, mash it.
There are dozens of baseballisms that I think do not apply to our game but I have to give baseball players credit where they deserve it. You will never hear a baseball player whining about a pitcher throwing slowly, they love to see that much more than the guys breaking the sound barrier.
Fastpitch players can learn the same lesson!
About the Author: Tory Acheson brings a wealth of knowledge to the Fastpitch Prep staff. He has coached at all levels of the game, including the last 25 years at the college level at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, Tennessee Tech and Kennesaw State. He began his coaching career at the high school level spending 9 years Whitnall High School in Greenfield, Wis. and is now working as a professional softball instructor.