Any combination of these symptoms means you could be the parent of a pitcher
- Nausea, dizziness, loss of vision, diarrhea, stomach bleeding – these symptoms may become more intense later in the season or further into the bracket of the tournament
- Severe fingernail loss – Parents of pitchers don’t always chew their fingernails. But when they do, they prefer to chew them down to the nubs.
- Uncontrolled pacing, gum chewing, sunflower seed eating, cigarette smoking or vaping – This is game day and you need to do something while worrying about your kid pitching
- You throw away nearly-new cleats because there’s a hole in the toe – You wish you knew a kid with the same size foot as your daughter’s, who pitches with the opposite hand. That way you could split the cost of cleats.
- You have multiple bruises on your shins – Sometimes you can see the marks that the seams leave on your skin. The bruising goes up when your child learns a new pitch.
- Consistent numbness in your left hand – Catching all those pitches has a side-effect. But having feeling in your glove hand isn’t that important anyway.
- High cell phone data usage – You send frantic messages or emails to your child’s pitching coach to get analysis of what’s going wrong. This chews up data like a teenager on that stupid lip-sync app that has thankfully become uncool.
- You feel your kid is responsible for winning or losing the game / You feel everyone else’s kid is responsible for winning or losing the game – Parents of pitchers can have one of these feelings or waffle back and forth between the two. There’s no logic to it. It’s purely emotional.
- You wish you could draw an ‘air’ strike zone for umpires – Why can’t they wear contact lenses with a rectangle to show the strike zone?
- You prefer sitting on a bucket instead of a chair – the lid is already shaped to your ass
Danielle O’Toole’s stunning recruiting experience and how she bounced back
College Softball Pitchers Share their Recruiting Stories
Pitching Coach Monica Fenton on Common Recruiting Questions
Also: Young players need to compete in the dugout
Michelle Gascoigne joined the Northwestern Softball Pitching staff in 2015 as an assistant coach. The question she gets a lot is “How many pitches should young players have as they enter their recruiting years?”
Here she answers the question and gives advice to young players about improving and how to practice.
As a pitcher in Oklahoma, she combined with classmate Keilani Ricketts to form the best pitching duo in the nation that season, leading the Sooners to the Women’s College World Series championship game where Gascoigne threw a three-hit shutout to secure the national title for OU.
“Do you really have eight pitchers? or do you really have two and the rest are kind of iffy?”
We caught up with University of San Diego Asst. Coach Danielle O’Toole during practice. She explains what makes her and her fellow coaches stay and watch recruits play, even if they’re not the ‘Star’ player on their team.
O’Toole also talked about something that she notices on the recruiting trail. “Do you really have eight pitches? or do you have two good ones and the rest are iffy?” She explains how she worked to improve her multiple pitches.
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This is the 2nd part of our interview with O’Toole. Check out part one of her interview where she talks about how she was recruited and the unnamed school withdrew their commitment.
Coach O’Toole pitches for USA Softball and the Chicago Bandits. She was hired as an Assistant Coach in Fall 2017 at the University of San Diego. She was also the University of Arizona’s ace pitcher.