I have coached 17-18 yr. olds for 15 years. My son is getting close to T-ball age, so I have been thinking about coach pitch lately. In this area, coach pitch is usually for 7-8 yr. olds. I'm hoping for a debate on the merits of pitching styles (ie. standing overhand, kneeling overhand, standing underhand).
I see pros and cons to all 3 styles.
1. Standing overhand - Pros...gets kids used to seeing the ball from the overhand release point. Cons...difficulty for some coaches to control the pitches, would seem to develop uppercuts in many of the players.
2. Kneeling overhand - Pros...gets kids used to seeing the ball from the overhand release point at a height similar to what they will see at 9-10 level. Cons...safety risk for the coach, would require being closer to players to control the pitches, coaches developing sore arms.
3. Standing underhand - Pros...control, control, control. Players will hit the ball more often, fielders will get more chances to field the ball and play situations, very unlikely kids will get hit...therefore, they can develop more confidence standing in and taking some hacks. Release point will be closer to what they would see at the 9-10 level. Ball will have less of a 2-plane (horizontal, vertical) then overhand standing. Cons...release point totally different then what they will see at 9-10.
Played some fastpitch softball a few years ago as a sub. Found myself looking for the ball above the pitchers shoulder. Had a heck of a time, and I could rip back in the day.
First of all, I have had 3 boys go through that age group and would recommend machine pitch over coach pitch if that is a possibility. In CP, coach has to much impact on the outcome of the game. If it has to be coach pitch, get down on one knee to pitch the ball. I highly recommend a knee pad and cat like reflexes.
Clearification: My point with not worrying about the outcome in coach pitch is that I'd prefer to see the other team hit the ball and run the bases so my team can have lots of opportunities to make plays and learn the game.