Softball coaches clinic coming to Manheim, PA in December

I just wanted to send a quick post out in case any softball coaches could benefit. This event looks like an excellent opportunity to keep fastpitch coaching skills sharp during the off-season! And it’s in Lancaster County, PA.

Post a comment if you’re coming and I can show you around the facility, or if you have questions. I’ll be there! Please forward or retweet the link to any coaches or athletes that you think might benefit. I’d really like this event to become an annual success that draws the county’s best and brightest coaches and athletes to demonstrate and share their knowledge and experiences.

They also offer athlete rates too for players.

  • classroom and on-field demos on a bunch of skills and topics from leading coaches
  • featuring Natasha Watley (USA Olympic Gold Medalist)
  • includes a welcome bag
  • access to the show floor and presentations
  • Friday evening through Sunday 12/16 early afternoon
  • each coach gets catered lunch on Saturday, continental breakfast Saturday and Sunday
  • social Saturday evening (one free drink ticket per coach)

Pitcher rants on Twitter, ugh

So the other day, as I’m scanning through my Twitter feed, I noticed a pitcher (who had some success in college) sent a tweet that struck me odd. I’m not a big fan of broad generalizations, to begin with, and the tweet seemed to be a rant about a pitching style that is called ‘hello elbow’. The style, made popular by Doug and Jenny Finch, can be helpful, at times, in keeping girls from chicken winging their elbow out and rolling their wrists as they are releasing their pitch. This finish-high training aid can help to create less torsion (or pull) on the shoulder and less stress on the elbow joint if the pitcher is not keeping the elbow tight to the body on release. I probably would not have replied if it were just that single tweet, but I saw other college pitchers (that also had a bit of success) liking it.

I felt compelled to quickly reply with a video showing the great Cat Osterman releasing her pitch with a very, very high elbow. By the way, Cat has one of the nastiest drop balls on the planet, hmmm… I wonder why?


I felt compelled to quickly reply with a video showing the great Cat Osterman releasing her pitch with a very, very high elbow. By the way, Cat has one of the nastiest drop balls on the planet, hmmm… I wonder why?

The simple fact that two of the best pitchers to ever throw in the game of fastpitch softball, Jenny Finch and Cat Osterman, have either delivered pitches (at times) with a high elbow, or they have instructed young pitchers to utilize this (depending on what pitch they are throwing) points me in the direction that, at least for some girls, a high elbow may have a place. The reality that both of these softball pitchers have at one point or another utilized this style of a high elbow finish (in fact, see image!), and both have gold medals in the USA Olympics and are in the record books time and time again. Isn’t that a reason by itself to not totally discredit it, or at least, not rant against it? Don’t misunderstand me. I do not teach “hello elbow”, but I also do not lock all girls into a single pitching style where they cannot finish with a high elbow either. Outside of the safe fundamental mechanics, there is room for individual style and uniqueness.

What did I reply?

I simply stated that all girls are different. Some girls, especially when they’re very young, will benefit from something as pneumonic and straightforward as the phrase ‘finish high’ to alleviate a bad habit that is forming or even work on a more advanced version of the peel drop. In this situation, this effort could help keep them from potentially damaging their shoulder when they’re throwing a pitch. All girls are different physically! Again, beyond the core fundamentals that keep a girl’s pitching mechanics efficient and safe, they should be allowed to make these explosive pitching motions and finishes somewhat their own, especially when two of the greatest fastpitch softball spin pitchers to ever play the game are doing and recommending it on occasion.