PITCHING - fastpitch softball



Pitching: Is there one right way to pitch? Is there one method that works for everyone?
Do all winning pitchers have the same form? No, No and No. There is no standard form all pitchers have, but all great pitchers do have one thing in common - THEY PRACTICE!
There are plenty of videos, CD’s or books on pitching. You can borrow a lot of these from the library. They all have many different exercises to help improve pitching.

Younger or beginning pitchers: Correct method; There are 3 steps to follow, and maybe a 4th if them can perform the first three.
1. The step or leap
2. Rotate the arm 360* in time with the step.
3. Let the ball roll off the fingers
(when you can do these 3 continually)
No. 4 Scoot or snap the ball away.

1. The step or leap must be at least equal to the pitchers height, or more. By pushing off on the rubber you get your entire body moving quickly forward. Your head stays at the same level. If your head goes higher during the leap then it was when you started, you’re doing it wrong. Pick a starting point or a starting rubber and in front of you mark a line on the ground with stick, chalk, lay down a glove etc. at least equal to your height. More is better.

2. Now stand still, while holding a ball in your hand rotate your arm one time imitating a pitch, now rotate it 2 times, 3, 5, 6 times in a row. That is the windmill part - as in windmill pitch. Now start your step and at the same time rotate your arm. Your arm must be down in the lowest position as your left foot clamps down (right foot for left hand pitchers). You must get this timing correct. Everyone says it feels good and right when you do it correctly. Practice.

3. Once you get the leap and arm rotation down pat, try releasing the ball, let it roll off your open hand. When the hand and ball is at the lowest position or straight down, lift your thumb off the ball, the centrifugal force will hold the ball in place. As your hand risers toward the catcher, let the ball roll off your fingers. Do not try to control the ball with your thumb, let it roll off your hand and fingers. At this point the ball will go over the back stop or into the ground. Keep doing it, you will adjust the release point until the ball travels straight and fast toward the catcher. DO NOT SLOW YOUR ARM DOWN. Girls will think they have better control if they slow down, not true. Take a bigger step, speed up your arm, let the ball roll off, all of a sudden it will come together and it will look and feel great.

4. Once you can do the first 3 steps you can move on to the 4th step. As you hold the ball put 3 fingers on a seam (stitches) of the ball, as you feel the stitch rolling over your finger tips scoot it away using your fingers. When you throw overhand, do it in slow motion and watch your wrist and fingers. The wrist is cocked way back and the fingers firmly on the ball as you release it the wrist snaps forward and the fingers dig in and cause the ball to spin as you release it. This is basically the same motion you use in underhand windmill style. It feels funny at first then it becomes very easy. That’s it. When you get good at this, step, arm, wrist it becomes very easy to throw a curve or drop pitch.