Ultimate College Softball
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JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #121 
2point85 - You probably don't know this, but Miyagi is Cain's bloodline relative. Cain got around after he left the monestary (notice that inscrutable smile). I do already know the source of the ancient Okinawan war cry, "Wax on, wax off".
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"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
bluedog

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Reply with quote  #122 
You can talk about nobody having it right and you are correct....No hitting guru has it all right, or all wrong....

And, the search is surely always ongoing.....

Results are what matters......

The best hitters in the World are MLB hitters....And, there are differences in MLB swings.........They are not all the same.....So, we must sort it out the best way we can........

TomG divides swings in one-plane and two-plane swing patterns.........I believe this is the best way to understand swing theory.....There are major differences in one-plane and two-plane swing patterns........The shoulders contribute differently as do the arms and hands......
Mark

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Reply with quote  #123 

And as Tom's latest favorite guru Hardy points out, one plane is the baseball swing. Two plane or one plane questions are for golf. Tom has had this pointed out repeatedly by Scott Sarginson but this has not affected Tom's prodigious pontificating one whit as he continues to tell us what the gurus really meant to say.

ssarge

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Reply with quote  #124 
Quote:
I know what you mean. We don't use too many fastpitch players as swing models and usually go with MLB players. They just have better/more efficent patterns of movement (Barry Bonds is easily my favorite swing model). On the positive, it seems like there's more high level swings in fastpitch each passing year. Tonya Callahan's swing is a beauty. Also LOVE Brittany Lastrapes' swing. That girl maintains the box beautifully.



Something to consider is that when Bonds was 22, his swing didn't look like "Bonds's swing," either.  He evolved quite a bit.  In fact, he evolved quite a bit after age 30.

MLB players keep playing until they are middle-aged, and play as pros pretty close to year-round on their way to MLB.  No such opportunities for women.  Obviously, strength will never be equal, but from a purely mechanical viewpoint, I think women suffer from far shorter and more compressed careers.

On the other hand, girls in JO - at perhaps about age 14 - are facing far more advanced pitching (relative to the top levels in the world) than are 14 YO boys.  They have to figure some stuff out at an earlier age, just to keep earning a spot to play.  I think a lot of us had kids playing Gold ball at age 14-15, and that means they were facing D1 pitching (at least in the summer time).  Nature of the beast.  My own assessment is that most figure out something that will work, but is not necessarily OPTIMALLY effective.  SO they ook in a reasonable - but not ideal - pattern at a young age. 

myopinion

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Reply with quote  #125 
As far as hit fests and numbers - check out Fresno State at the World Series of baseball. Their numbers are phenominal and have set several new NCAA run production records this year (most in a game - twice, most homeruns).....They are the cinderella team that still has a chance to win it all tonight. I am rooting for them....last night's come back against Georgia was incredible, and untill softball season starts, it's the next best college game to watch...GO BULLDOGS (Fresno's bulldogs not Georgia's bulldogs)

As far as anyone taking shots at how unimpressive ASU was - Last time I checked - they were teh NAtional Champions and deserve considerable admiration for their succesful accomplishment. They had a great season and took it all the way to the championship. No one else did. They all fell short.
tomg

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Reply with quote  #126 
mr coach -

girls/women's fastpitch and bb reaction times are pretty copmparable. little league/12u pitch 50 mph from 40 ft. in softball, and 70mph from 46 ft in bb.

adult fastpitch are maybe 65 mph at  43 ft vs bb 95 at 60 1/2 ft.

there is some more wiggle room due to closing speed being less creating longer impact zone in faspitch

there is more of a mass mismatch between light bat/big ball.

these posts related to actual info can be interesting.
rocklifter

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Reply with quote  #127 
ANyone watch the Sports Science Program on Cable......
Interesting stuff comparing pitches from Jennie Finch and a Minor Leaguer....MLB Im sure wouldnt let someone like Randy Johnson come in and throw some heat......That would have been a great comparison....

Im gonna show my ignorance here as well....but what is it about MLB that they dont want clips and or anything with players in the Majors to be shown? Proprietary money issues?

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Pudge

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Reply with quote  #128 

I guess the numbers say that baseball & softball speeds at the elite level are comparable. But, my eyes, and experience tell me that it is not. My personal feeling is the ball is on you much quicker in softball than baseball. I know it is much harder to hit in softball than baseball. But, turning a 95 mph heater (timing wise), is a heck of a lot easier than a 67 mph heater in softball. Maybe it is the movement. Maybe it is an optical illusion because the pitcher is closer. But, (especially with a metal bat) there were very few baseball pitchers that could tie me up inside as often as softbal pitchers can. Like, I said I could be mental about it, but I think there is more time to read pitches in baseball; even at "comparable" speeds.


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gonein2point85

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Reply with quote  #129 
OC,

I respectfully disagree with you and Pudge.

Yes the reaction time is similar but because of the closing speed, the baseball is in the hitting zone for a much shorter period of time than in softball.

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Pudge

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Reply with quote  #130 
Whew! I was starting to think I was getting old, and lost my "eye"!

I can say that I always find it funny when a baseball announcer uses the old saying, "hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do in sports." I always think, and sometimes yell out, "No it isn't! Hitting a softball is harder!"

But, none of my baseball friends believe me....

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TheHammer

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Reply with quote  #131 
In my  point of view just as a sports fan About hitting is :
CONFIDENCE
If you have it before going up to the plate, your chance of getting a hit is mucho increased.
But also having the physics like Bustos it will increase your chance of getting triples or HRs.
or like Bonds getting all kinds of chemical additives.
Mark

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Reply with quote  #132 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Original_Coach
Pudge,

 
2.85 could you please define clearly to me your used term closing speed?

 

Until 2.85 comes back to answer I'll offer this analogy to hopefully illustrate. If we compare a 60mph pitcher's reaction time available to the hitter of a very few tenths of second to the same reaction time if the softball were fired from a cannon at several hundred mph, only with the cannon backed off far enough the reaction time available was the same, none of us would assume the two tasks were equal in difficulty due to the exact same reaction time. At the greater speed (closing speed) the reaction time is the same but the timing problem is more difficult due to the briefer period of time the ball is in the hitting zone. Yes, I know the analogy is extreme but that's for illustration purposes. Hitting a ball moving 90 vs hitting a ball moving 60 is a different thing even if the available reaction time is the same-due to the greater precision required in the timing solution for the higher speed ball.

WanabeHorsey

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Reply with quote  #133 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Original_Coach
Am I Mr Coach? Ms Coach or OC?  OC, the answer to your question is in the asking opf the question.

I think your answer is incomplete!  I will get back to you on the rest shortly.

I asked for top levels in Baseball and Softball!

You can use MLB and NPF/ISF for models if you wish!

Not 12&U!

Do you know what the reaction times are?

Not the speed of the pitch.

I think I have a pretty good idea of how to teach swing mechanics.
gonein2point85

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Reply with quote  #134 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark

Quote:
Originally Posted by Original_Coach
Pudge,

 
2.85 could you please define clearly to me your used term closing speed?

 

Until 2.85 comes back to answer I'll offer this analogy to hopefully illustrate. If we compare a 60mph pitcher's reaction time available to the hitter of a very few tenths of second to the same reaction time if the softball were fired from a cannon at several hundred mph, only with the cannon backed off far enough the reaction time available was the same, none of us would assume the two tasks were equal in difficulty due to the exact same reaction time. At the greater speed (closing speed) the reaction time is the same but the timing problem is more difficult due to the briefer period of time the ball is in the hitting zone. Yes, I know the analogy is extreme but that's for illustration purposes. Hitting a ball moving 90 vs hitting a ball moving 60 is a different thing even if the available reaction time is the same-due to the greater precision required in the timing solution for the higher speed ball.


That's exactly what I meant but with a better explaination than I could have offered. Thanks Mark.

Btw, I do agree with Pudge that a softball could still be harder to hit, not because of the reaction time but due to the fastpitch strike zone.

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WanabeHorsey

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Reply with quote  #135 
If we could come close to agreeing that there is a correlation respective to each sport, MLB vs NPF, National team and top level D1, (excluding slappers) take a look at batting averages.  Now what say you?
BillSmith

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Reply with quote  #136 
Gonein, I know that tune...

Can't see the ball today
Umpire's zone is like a Chevrolet
No matter what the coach signals or calls
When the zone's a Chevrolet
Not even Team USA
Can expect to even touch the ball

Apologies to Doris,


 

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Mark

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Reply with quote  #137 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Original_Coach


Mark, Thank You! But I am still confused to as what In actuality, "CLOSING SPEED" is?

I can measure ground speed in Miles Per Hour and in Kilometers Per Hour!

But from what i have learned that a term like closing speed is not an actual, measurable or observable action.

 

mph approaching and through the contact zone.

DunninLA

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Reply with quote  #138 

Mark, I think you explained that well. 

There are two ways to think about this:

1) as Mark and others said, how fast is the ball going through the hitting/contact zone?  Answer: about 50% faster with a baseball

2) and I think more relevant -- How much time is the ball within the hitting zone?  That is, how much time is the ball in the approx 18" in which the bat can hit it into fair territory?  Answer: About 50% longer in fastpitch than in baseball.

The two different ways of looking at it describe the same issue -- the baseball, because it is travelling so much faster, spends 1/3 less time in the zone where the bat can connect with it to produce a fair ball.


So, while a fastpitch batter may actually have LESS time to react, the ball sits in the hitting zone far less time for a baseball hitter.


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DunninLA

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Reply with quote  #139 

PD -  you need to clear out some of your private messages   your box is full.  I know you can't bear to erase so many congratulatory messages, but you've got to make room somehow!


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tomg

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Reply with quote  #140 
mr coach-

I know what a reaction time is.

i think reaction time at high levels are comparable between women's fp and men's bb, but I think it is easier to hit at high levels in women's fastpitch because you see the occasional hitter with excellent mechanics with stats far superior to anyone in MLB.

i don't think the hot bat technology is enough to account for this.

problem is, most kids in fastpitch have very suboptimal mechanics compared to MLB. in fastpitch, you can excel with mediocre mechanics/non mlb mechanics. mlb mechanics enable you to keep the hands back better and read the pitch longer.

it's rare to see this mlb 'early batspeed" (2plane) pattern in fastpitch

i think the fact that mlb hitters do not hit fastpitch pitchers very well in exhibitions (women pitchers, not men which present an entirely different reaction time challenge) is more a matter of experience.

Williams description of the impact zone -SCIENCE OF HITITNG - is important to think of in terms of good TIMING being the primary requirment (low timing error for contact).

if the ball is travelling slower through the contact zone, then the cntact zone is longer in terms of timing allowance.

capiche ?
tomg

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Reply with quote  #141 
ms coach --

which part(s) do you disagree with or just all of it ?
JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #142 
tomg - If I were to throw a baseball and a softball, and each left my hand at the same velocity, would the softball "slow up" and give in to gravitational force before the baseball would because it offers more resistance because of size? If so, how would that relate to the difference in the length of the pitches in softball and baseball, and what would that mean to a hitter?
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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
tomg

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Reply with quote  #143 
frank -

larger ball slows down more and 'breaks' more.

how do you think that effects reaction time /
LMUfan

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Reply with quote  #144 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomg
frank -

larger ball slows down more and 'breaks' more.

how do you think that effects reaction time /


Couldn't one argue that a ball that breaks more is harder to hit?
DunninLA

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Reply with quote  #145 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomg
frank -

larger ball slows down more and 'breaks' more.

how do you think that effects reaction time /
I am not a physics guy, but I do not think that it breaks more.  Break is a function of spin and resistance of the ball's surface to the ambient air.  Your statement ignores how much it is possible to spin a 12" softball vs. a 9" baseball.  My gut tells me a 9" baseball can be given much, much more spin than a 12'" softball simply because of the fingers can really grip much more of a baseball.

I have seen snapdragon curves drop over 3' in the last 15' in baseball.  I don't think there is near the equivalent in FP.

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tomg

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Reply with quote  #146 
Couldn't one argue that a ball that breaks more is harder to hit?

yes, but then you would not see the occasional high level fp hitter with stats way better than top MLB hitters.

hitting over 400 is still not uncommon and there are some with very high slugging percentages.

I don't think these can be accounted for by hot bats or inferior pitching.
Chapple

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Reply with quote  #147 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomg
Couldn't one argue that a ball that breaks more is harder to hit?

yes, but then you would not see the occasional high level fp hitter with stats way better than top MLB hitters.

hitting over 400 is still not uncommon and there are some with very high slugging percentages.

I don't think these can be accounted for by hot bats or inferior pitching.
I think wide range of quality of pitching is a major factor in .400 ave and high slugging percentages.  IMO the range of poor to high quality is much wider in FP than in MLB.  Consider how many pitchers are in MLB versus the number in DI fastpitch.  That plus the fact that the competition for players to get to MLB is significanly greater which raises the level of quality in pitching.  
ssarge

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Reply with quote  #148 

Quote:
girls/women's fastpitch and bb reaction times are pretty copmparable. little league/12u pitch 50 mph from 40 ft. in softball, and 70mph from 46 ft in bb.

adult fastpitch are maybe 65 mph at  43 ft vs bb 95 at 60 1/2 ft.



Accurate conclusion, probably.  Part of the premise is inacurate, though.  The distance of the rubber to the back of the plate is not particularly relevant for measuring available reaction time.  Comparison of pitch RELEASE POINT is far more accurate.  To be REALLY accurate, you'd have to compare the hypotenuses of the released pitches, since the baseball pitch is released from slightly higher (due to the BB mound and a BB pitcher release point some 2 feet higher in relation to the body.)  The later is a minor matter.  The release point consideration is NOT necessarally minor.  Could be as close as 35-36 feet in elite softball.  As compared to maybe 54-55 feet in baseball.  But when all of the math is done, the reaction time measurements ARE similar - with one noteworthy exception.  Excluding the 6 weeks of play for 12 YO male hitters in the LL all-star season (46' rubber), the reaction time available to 12-17 YO female hitters is far less than seen by their male peers.  By Gold ball / Area Code (elite BB; comparable to the top 25-35% of gold play) and into college, it evens out.

Of course, the pitch "closing speed" argument is valid.  To put a fine point on Mark's excellent example, a 70mph pitch released from 36 feet is going to be very difficult to hit.  A 700mph pitch released from a cannon situated at 360 feet would allow the exact same release time, but would be impossible to see, much less hit.  So at least in this area, the baseball pitch is clearly more challenging.  However, I believe this is balanced by a couple of factors.  For one, women pitchers generally move the ball both directions - extremely rare in baseball.  And with the wide (Chevrolet-logo shaped) strike zone so ridiculously prevelant in Gold and college play, a real challange.  And while I am on record with a different perspective (than many on this board) of what the rise ball "really" does, without question, it is a different look for the FP batter than anything her male peer faces.


So oevrall, the relative challenge of hitting in baseball and softball is not a simple comparison.  The reason being that there is nothing comparable to the MLB venue for women.  Year-round professional play, engaged in by thousands of prime athletes (majors and minors, plus winter ball), where the ability level percolates and the cream rises to the top.  Comparing NPF to MLB is NOT a fair comparison.

The only level where men's and women's age, experience, and natural selection process (of the best athletes) seems to occur equally and in numbers large enough to provide a meaningful statistical sample is the D-1 level of the NCAA.  (Where despite the assertion to the contrary by Tom G, participants ALL use "hot" metal bats.  -3 drop weights for the male hitters, and -6 or -7 for the power hitting females.  While there IS a difference in technology between these two types of bats due to more drop weight for the female, it is also true that strength differs.  Relative to the overall body strength between participants in either forum, the female swinging a 27-28 oz bat is handling MUCH more weight than the male swinging a 31 oz bat.  In general, I think this is a non-factor - the bats, relative to the strength of the participants, are similarly "hot" in either venue.  And I think Tom continuously raising the point in softball forums - since women will NEVER swing wood bats - is tiresome, at best meaningless, and obviously agenda-laden.  I suspect 100% of those who know the history would agree.)


Interestingly, statistics between D-1 baseball and D-1 softball are pretty comparable.  Both for the top individuals, and the top teams.  And both for the leading statistical players, and for the mean.

The top hitters in each venue end the season in the .450 range (in terms of B.A.).  Top Slug % is usually just under 1.000.  THe top men's HR producer is usually slightly ahead of the top female HR producer, but not by much.

The MEAN numbers are also similar.

The top pitchers in FP are usually more dominant than in baseball, and pitch far more often.  Skews things a ittle, but all-in-all, the numbers are close in the two venues.

Which leads me to believe the challange is similar.  SLIGHTLY different, but similar.  And to me at least, this validates the beauty - however accidental - of the baseball / softball geometry.  The field scales, with age and environment, and does so in a way that equals things out for age / gender / level of play.  Phenomenal, and NO ONE could have purposely designed it that way.  Call it divine intervention.


Not sure that the comparison truly matters.  Both are PLENTY challenging, that's for sure.  As has been often noted, hitting is an activity of failure.  The best hitters in the world succeed at a level which would get them fired from any other vocation.  Even the best pitchers in the world have close to a .200 B.A. against - failing two times out of ten would get most of us fired from our jobs.

Part of the beauty of the sport, IMO, and part of why it is the best possible sport for youth participants.  Because it IS a game of failure.

And is ALSO a game of REDEMPTION.  Because you are always only one AB away from changing EVERYTHING. . . .A beautiful thing.

Best regards,

Scott


JoiseyGuy

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Reply with quote  #149 
I see a vast "left and right wing conspiracy" at work among parents of would be hitters to reduce the strike zone to postage stamp size in the middle of home plate so that their progeny can hit the ball, always using the chevy shaped strike zone as an excuse for ineptitude instead of teaching their daughters how to hit. Next they will be demanding a tee if the postage stamp strike zone doesn't work out or demanding that the change up be outlawed. Their medium is the written word on line and intragroup discussions (complaining "Come on blue; that was in the opposite batter's box") among themselves in the stands. I guess that soon pitching coaches will be forced to say, "Throw the ball down the middle of the plate like batting practice" instead of "Hit the corners with movement", and if that doesn't work there is always slow pitch.
P.S. Biscuit - Are you proud of my hyperbole? I hope that some understand what I'm saying only a tad in jest. Next thing you know, hitters will be using $300 bats that propel the ball 250 feet with half a swing and which get more lively with use.

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"Freethinkers are those who are willing to use their minds without prejudice and without fearing to understand things that clash with their own customs, privileges, or beliefs. This state of mind is not common, but it is essential for right thinking. Where it is absent discussion is apt to become worse than useless." Leo Tolstoy

"Do not try to teach pigs to sing. It will frustrate you and infuriate the pigs who will unite in anger against you, and you will never achieve singing your song". Dr. Petersen
oldscout

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Reply with quote  #150 
Quote:
Originally Posted by merchandise
All this talk back and forth about reaction time, planes, pitching, etc, blah, blah blah is exactly the reason for the inadequate swing.  There are many ways to teach hitting as is there are many ways to execute the swing with at or near the same consistency.  The areas of hitting that should be emphasized and kept simple:

1) Balance & body posture
2) Efficient & forceful movements
3) Effective & adjustable swing paths

Be simple, avoid mixing science and geometry with young hitters.  Great hitters are born, never made...the best are given a God-given talent that requires little instruction.  You can make an average hitter better, but you will never make an average hitter great.  Hitting will always be a work-in-progress and daily fundamental repetition will always be required to live North of the Mendoza Line.
Merchandise- This thread makes more sense to me than any I have read on hitting. If you are willing to " PUT IN THE EFFORT" , you can get better , maybe not great ,but certainly better. 

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