Suzy grew up in Waterloo, Iowa where she was the first female to play in the boys baseball program. She was a 4 sport athlete in high school and was an all-state player in volleyball, basketball and softball. She played softball at the University of Iowa, where she also earned a B.S. in Physical Education. Suzy is currently the head coach of 18u Glory Gold, an ASA junior olympic gold team. She has been the head varsity coach at Episcopal and Chantilly High School and an assistant varsity softball coach at West Springfield High School. She has over 38 years of experience either as a player, coach or teaching professional. In addition to her private lessons, she has run or been an instructor for numerous youth, high school and college softball camps and clinics. Suzy gives instruction on all facets of the sport and is known for her knowledge, passion and enthusiasm for the game.
Softball Flaws and Fixes - Dipping the Back Shoulder
Softball coach Suzy Willemssen discusses dipping the back shoulder.
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Suzy Willemssen: Hi, I am Suzy Willemssen and I am Head Coach of the 18 under Blue Jays Gold, Junior Olympic Fast Pitch Softball Team. Again, we are discussing softball hitting flaws and their fixes. This drill is called long tee. It is very important that when you do drills with your players that they are able to get feedback. This is a marvellous softball drill to give you, the coach and your player instant feedback. With the long tee, what we want is the player to hit the ball so she is going to be hitting it on a line, the reason, long is so important is you are really going to see good indication of the ball's flight. A lot of times you are hitting into a net that might be two or three feet away and you don't really get a very good indication if the ball was going to be a pop-up, in the ground, a hard grounder, whatever it happened to be, but when you do the long tee you get a long period of flight so you can really see where the ball would be going. I like to tell my players we want five. A five would be hitting the ball on a line, a direct line. This would be a five. If it is up a little bit, this would be a four, down a little bit, that would be a four. These would be threes as you can see the angle, twos and ones would be like straight up and straight down. So the goal for the player is to hit a five that means they were on time, they were square. So even if they are going to miss hitting a little bit, it is going to be a hard gapper or a hard ground ball that will have a really good chance of getting through the infield. So again, long tee, gives you great instant feedback for both your players and yourself. We also are using Nerf balls because it is a good idea. You don't really want to be taking your hard balls and pounding them into the fence, not a good idea. So we are using Nerf balls, so if it comes off of Megan's bat a little differently, that's the reason why. So here we go, a long tee. Again, the goal is hitting the five and what Megan is doing right now, if she mis-hits it a little bit, she is going to analyze, make a quick adjustment with her goal being the next one, being a nice five, but here you can see she is getting immediate feedback whether she is tapping the ball, grounding it or getting the five. Again, a marvellous way for your players to get instant feedback regarding their swings and I am going to add a little variation. If you don't have space to do long tee, you have to shorten it up a little bit. You can also have a contest and sometimes they do a double tee variation and I like my players to have a little upward swing, so we get more of a gapper than the ground ball. So we put a ball in front that's slightly higher than the one she is going to be hitting off the tee with her job and I have got that lined up for you my dear. With her job, I am trying to knock it off and so you can make this little contest too. Players love competition and this is a fun way to see if which one can knock it off. So again, long tee and the variation double tee, alright moving on to our next softball flaw and fix.