By Lacey Waldrop
Pitching Coach, Duke University
Some of the best advice I give young pitchers is to figure out your best three pitches and perfect those. One of those pitches has to be an off-speed pitch.
When I was giving lessons, I would have 12-year-olds coming in and asking me to guess how many pitches they had. They might say that they had seven pitches but I would also answer back with another question, “Guess how many pitches I threw in college?”
I have a drop ball, a changeup and a curveball. When girls show up multiple pitches, they most likely aren’t getting true movement on all of them and that’s when I tell them to pick three that they really want to work. If you can change speeds and hit the corners, you can be a high-level collegiate pitcher. You don’t necessarily need the rest.
The drop movement is a natural pitch. Once a pitcher figures out how to spin the ball correctly, gravity will take care of the rest.
My other advice to young pitchers is don’t listen to the negative and stay true to yourself. You have to be your own player and student of the game. The people who support you will continue to build you up while you chase your dreams.