You May Just Discover Your Dominant Pitch April 23, 2018 By Denny Tincher
Updated: Apr 27, 2018
It is wonderful when our instructors hit upon a great truth. I was on the road at a weekend event when a student was hesitant to try a couple of new pitches.
Her concern was that she was quite proficient with her curve, drop-curve, and changeup, and she had been winning pretty well with those. One of our Instructors suggested that she let me show her the new drop we developed, and he also asked her to try our screwball. The reasoning was this: “You might just discover your dominant pitch.”
She was ready to proceed and twenty minutes later she was throwing the screwball and drop so well that her father, who has caught for her from the beginning, was struggling to handle the movement. To say she was excited would be an understatement. We instructors were mightily impressed that anyone could learn two pitches so well in such a short time.
We could have left her in her comfort zone at the start of that session and she would have continued to throw the pitches she knew with some success. Our intention was not to add more pitches to her repertoire but to make sure she was throwing the best possible pitches for her.
This pitcher had tried the drop and it never worked, therefore her reluctance to try again. There are several reasons it came so easily this time. It had been a couple of years since she last tried the pitch, meaning she now had more body awareness. Plus, we have made some changes in her form which made it easier to throw. AND, and she had never tried this drop because we had only recently developed it. You might say she is a different kid learning a different pitch from people who teach differently.
As for the screwball, the way someone once tried to teach it to her was just silly. No wonder she disliked it. We simplified it and she killed it. Because she remained open-minded she came away with two dominant pitches featuring sharp, late movement
As pitchers grow, as their body awareness increases, and as they make changes in their technique, they need to re-visit things that might not have worked before. Look for new approaches and new ideas from new people. Keep searching. You might just discover your dominant pitch.