Father, daughter help local pitchers

Published 12:01 am Monday, May 21, 2012

Young pitchers Madeline Smith, left, and Shyvlie Blaney work with Glen Perilloux, back left, Laura Perilloux, middle, and Taylor Yates on May 13. Glen and Laura Perilloux work with young pitchers each Sunday at the Vidalia softball complex. (Michael Kerekes \ The Natchez Democrat)

VIDALIA — Father-daughter time for Glen and Laura Perilloux usually isn’t limited to just the two of them.

More often than not, there are a number of young girls with them.

Laura, a junior pitcher for Vidalia High School’s softball team, usually works with her father on all things pitching related. But Glen is also the de facto pitching coach for a number of young Miss-Lou girls, and Sunday afternoons, he hosts a pitching clinic with Laura.

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The idea stemmed from the time Laura worked with local softball pitching guru Rut Horne, Glen said. After a while, Glen said he wanted to help other local children the way Horne helped his daughter.

“We were just persistent and kept coming out, and he kind of pointed us in the right direction,” Glen said of Horne’s tutelage.

“Over time, we began to see there was a need for people just starting out in pitching. They didn’t know what to do, and my daughter and I spent hours doing this together. This is kind of a chance for us to give something back.”

Glen said he tries to teach young girls the basic fundamentals of softball pitching in order to give them good habits and good muscle memory from when they start.

“We can relate to these kids, and they want to do it well, they just don’t know how to get started,” Glen said.

Laura said almost everything that she and her dad teach the young girls is the same thing Glen has taught Laura over time.

“If it’s not something he did with me when I was young, it’s something he found recently in a book that he shared with me,” Perilloux said.

The two work in a tandem, Glen said, and they often share advice with each other when working with the children.

“Sometimes I’ll ask her to come over and tell me what she thinks, and sometimes she’ll call me over and ask me what I think,” Glen said. “Between the two of us, we can usually figure it out.”

Laura said pitching requires giving 100 percent in effort, and that’s what she and her father try to instill into the girls.

“It lets them know how hard they’re going to have to work if they’re going to stick with it and be successful,” Perilloux said. “It gives you the right foundation to be successful.”

It’s also very rewarding, Laura said.

“When you see somebody who came out here and it looked like they had no prayer in ever picking it up … and they come back a few weeks later and they’ve got it, that’s rewarding,” Laura said.

Glen said the rewards of passing a skill on to a younger generation is what keeps him coming out week after week.

“It’s pure fun for me,” Glen said. “There are some days I don’t want to be out there, but basically, it’s fun.”

It also allows father and daughter to let off any frustrations they might have let fester throughout the week.

“It’s a good pressure release for us, because Laura and I spend so much time together,” Glen said. “We need a good, positive break.”