facebook-button twitter_button youtube_button





Softball Coaching Bible



Selecting a Championship Pitcher

 If I had the task of selecting a prospect to develop into a championship pitcher, here are some of the characteristics and qualities I would look for.

1. Age -- I would select someone 9 or 10 years old. It's so important to teach someone the proper mechanics at a young age. The longer you wait, the longer to change someone after they have developed muscle memory of doing it the wrong way.

2. Height -- I would look for someone tall. This is for leverage and she should probably have long fingers for good ball rotation.

3. I would want to get someone who throws hard overhand. As a general rule, these people also throw hard underhand.

4. Personality -- I want someone who is fun to be with. We will be spending a lot of time together so I want someone I feel comfortable with -- not a moody person.

5. Desire -- I want someone who wants to be the best and who is willing to work hard to be the best.

6. Determination -- I want someone who will be determined to stick with something until they get it instead of giving up in frustration.

7. I want someone with supportive parents but not pushy. You can push someone too hard and they lose desire after a while.

8. I want someone who won't make excuses if she has a bad practice or pitches bad in a game. They have to want to improve and correct the problem.

9. I would look for an athlete. It helps to be a good fielder and a good hitter.

10. I want someone whose main interest is softball. It's OK to play other sports but eventually they must choose one sport and devote most of that
time with their main sport.

These are some of the items I would look for. The chances of finding someone with all these traits are slim. It's really fun when you do get someone who has most of them.

Here are a few questions and answers.

Question: Which should come first, speed or control? Answer:

Neither. Mechanics then speed. Control will be there if the mechanics are correct.

Question: How many pitches do you need? Answer: A minimum of three. I think a drop, change up, and probably a screwball. The rise is probably my favorite pitch, but it has to be very good to use it at the highest level.

Question: Should you practice every day? Answer: If you are just starting pitching, I think its ok. However, I have never asked or wanted any of my pitchers to practice every day. I don't think it's necessary.

Question: Does practice make perfect? Answer: Only if you are practicing the proper way. Otherwise you are only practicing mistakes. You are developing incorrect muscle memory.


I'm sure there are some instructors who would disagree with some of the things I've said (maybe all) but these are the things I've found that work best for me. Look for other tips on my web page at www.ernieparker.com or email me at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .