“My daughter doesn’t look comfortable when pitching”.

We hear that often. The first thing we examine is whether she is using her core, especially the hips, effectively.

Think of the hips as the handle on an archer’s bow. When they are dominant, she is powerful and comfortable. For females, that is very important. The hips are their mass and their strength.

Everything radiates outward from the hips, just as in hitting. Yes, the rest of the body has a role, but it should all be the result of the action of the hips.

A lot of the traditional drills actually run counter to the desired outcome of making the hips dominant. Sometimes parents contact us and instinctively know their daughters are leaving something on the table. As we ask questions, we normally find that everything is starting somewhere besides the core.

Many times kids put themselves in positions that make it impossible for the hips to be effective. A common example is involving the shoulders far too much on the backswing. She has very little power off the mound, the hips and shoulders are now out of line, and most of the rest of the pitch will be spent trying to get the body back in line so she can release the ball. Another issue is having the glove lead the pitching hand too much at the beginning of the circle. If the glove is too far ahead of the ball, it has two choices; swim out to the side until the pitch is finished, or come down early and push the hips into a submissive position. These are just two of the many problems that neutralize hips.

Even if you clean up the form, often the body cannot establish and hold the positions necessary to be efficient. Girls, particularly, have incredible problems with hip stability and mobility, weak hamstrings, other core weaknesses, and even scaps which collapse and cause a domino effect radiating downward into the hips. She really needs to have an expert developing her core so she can use the hips.

If she doesn’t look comfortable she probably doesn’t feel comfortable. That is a cue that she can be much better than she is. However, in many cases she has pitched that way so long that she doesn’t even realize it can feel better. That is when it is important for you to get involved and help her find easier ways to do the things she is trying to do.

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