facebook-button twitter_button youtube_button





Frozen Ropes home page



Fastpitch Tip: Using The Automatic Shake-Off

The 2-0 and 3-1 pitching counts in softball translate into "All Systems Go!" for the hitter. Both of these counts are ideal hitting situations for the hitter because:

1. The hitter knows that the pitcher must throw a strike.
2. The hitter knows that the pitch will most likely be a fastball in a good spot to hit.
3. The hitter can be very selective.
4. The hitter can be very aggressive.
5. The hitter can look for a certain pitch (other than fastball) in a certain location.

One strategy the pitcher can use to take some of the aggressiveness away from the hitter in these situations is to utilize the automatic shake-off.

Imagine the hitter looking out at the pitcher in these situations and seeing the pitcher shaking her head once, twice or even three times. Perhaps the hitter begins to think, "Hey, maybe she isn't going to throw me the fastball here." Creating that doubt in the hitter's mind might be all you need to work yourself back into a better ball-strike count. It can negate her aggressiveness somewhat and make her a little more defensive.

The automatic shake-off does not have to be called by the coach. Both pitcher and catcher are conditioned to execute it in every 2-0 and 3-1 situation. This can be accomplished in your daily pitching-catching routines. Our signal is a simple flash of the fingers by the catcher. The pitcher then simply shakes her head noticeably. It can be done two or even three times before a pitch to really create confusion in the hitter.

Making quality pitches in the 2-0 and 3-1 situations is the real key to success, but the automatic shake-off can make the hitter a little more defensive in an absolutely attacking situation.