Summer travel coach and dad

My daughter is a sophomore in high school and a good player but she has a problem when hitting with what some call "happy feet". She will get set in the box but when the pitcher starts to throw the ball she will flutter both feet. She will never do this in practice, including front toss or off a machine so it is very hard to work on a solution because you don't realize it is a problem until the season starts.

Any ideas would be appreciated.


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It's a repetition thing
by: Coach Dan

Hi Coach,

I had teh same issue with my daughter. Your daughter prbably doesn't even realize she is doing it. As a result, she never truly gets set for the pitch and is probably either late swinging at the ball or never gets the pop she generates in practice. The happy feet is how she is releasing her nerves.

She needs to figure out how to channel that nervous energy. My youngest daughter played soccer and always would hold her hands like a T-Rex and I never knew why until I asked her this year. She told me that her travel soccer coach told her to do that to direct her nerves to her hands. It worked for her.

Clearly the hands thing won't work for softball, but here is what we did for my older daughter to break the happy feet. What you want to do is get her in a repetition so that she is 100% comfortable at the plate even in her subconscious. She would swing a broom stick 50 times every day so that her swing would become rote memory. I talk about the use of the broomstick here. In addition, you may want to figure out if there is something she can do to channel the happy feet elsewhere. Joe Morgan used to flap his arm before the pitch and that indicated to him how nervous he was. Maybe there is something she can do before the pitcher begins her windup that will get her past the "motion" phase and calm enough to settle at the plate.

Let me know what you end up doing.

Kind regards,

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