Don’t Be a Hippie Hitter

pitcher's hips hippie hitter hitting release ball hitting
pitcher's hips hippie hitter hitting release ball hitting

Most hitters think they need to focus on the pitcher’s hip to locate the ball as the pitcher releases it, but that’s not accurate.

See just how far off this advice really is.

I think it’s really important that whenever we tell our players something that we do our best to make sure it’s accurate. So much of what we know in softball is softball-lore. Meaning, it’s been said over and over and passed down from coach to coach without anyone really questioning it. Sometimes that’s good if what’s being said is accurate, but in the case of “watch the ball come out of her hip” – well that’s not accurate at all.

I can understand if you’re a skeptic and not sure if you should take my word for it. After all, who’s to say I’m not just another person passing along more inaccurate softball-lore?

So, the best way to figure out exactly where the hitter should focus when a pitcher lets go of the ball is to look at pictures of pitchers at their release point. This will tell is where the ball is actually released, and where our hitter’s should visually focus.

Let’s start with the front view of 4 different pitchers releasing the ball; 2 lefties and 2 righties, 3 in shorts and one in pants.

pitcher pitch release point front hip blow waist knee

As you can see, all 4 of these pitchers are actually releasing the ball BELOW their hip. In fact, the release point is quite a bit below their hip. When the pitcher’s wearing shorts it looks like she releases the ball at the bottom of her shorts, and if she’s wearing pants the release point is about half-way between her waist band and her knee.

release point side pitch pitcher pitching hip bottom shorts legs

From the side view we see the same thing – both pitchers releasing the ball near the bottom of their shorts line, or about half-way down their leg.

So to help your hitters do a quicker and more accurate job of visually picking up the ball as it leaves the pitcher’s hand, we need to let them know exactly where they should be looking – and it’s not the pitcher’s hip.

For more help with this topic, check out the following:

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