Confusion In The Circle?



Coaches, whether we want to admit or not, we have embarked on a meaningful discussion that has the potential to make us all much better at what we do. Coaching is a calling that many people undertake for a variety of reasons. Some want to stay in the game they love. Others want to share their love with their kids or other young people. And some, just like to stay involved in something that allows them the opportunity to keep competing.


Whatever the reason you chose to get involved with coaching, there’s an obligation to keep learning and growing as a coach. It was a real gut punch for me to come to the realization that I had fallen into a very limiting trap. I hope we can help you avoid the same one.


So after talking to about 50 players of varying ages at our holiday camp, I have compiled a list of the things that we as coaches assume our players understand. What did I learn? We are really misguided! 


So here is the list of things we assume our players understand about pitching:


Spin                                      Attack the strike zone (one of my personal favorites!)

Challenge the hitter.         Chase pitch

Fat pitch                              Free pass

Jam                                       Nibble

On the Black                       Mix up pitches

Pitch Around                      Pitch to Contact

Pitchers Pitch                     Tipping Pitches

Waste Pitch


So, while this is certainly not an all-inclusive list, it is pretty informative. If we are using these catch phrases with our players, there is a good chance that they don’t really understand what we mean when we say them.


So what do we do now?  We need to rethink the way we communicate with our players. What we think they hear and what they are really hearing is quite often two very different things.


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.


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