Introduction: How to Pitch in Fast Pitch Softball
Softball is a sport that I could play for the rest of my life; I have played on multiple different teams and have been put into multiple different positions. I am still learning as I go. Today I am going to teach you how to pitch a fast pitch softball. I have been playing softball since I was in 5th grade; in total, I have played 13 seasons of fast pitch and slow pitch. I have played fast pitch throughout all of Middle and High school and I am now a part of a summer slow pitch league. I can play virtually anywhere but I prefer pitching or outfield. I am going to show you five simple steps to become a great fast pitch pitcher.
All you really need is a glove and a softball, but it also helps to have an actual pitching plate, cleats and home plate with catcher.
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Step 1: The Ball Grip
Step 1 is determining the ball grip. For different types of pitches, you would hold the ball a different way. Today, we are going to focus on just the C-Grip technique. When looking at a softball the stiches make a “C” shape. Your index, middle, and ring fingers should be placed on the top seam that makes the “C”. Your pinky should comfortably fall on the bottom seam where the seams come closest together. Grip the ball and rotate it to the side of where your thumb is. It should be on the bottom seam in the middle. Hold the ball with the pads of your fingertips. If you are holding the ball correctly, you should have a space in between the ball and your palm the size of your index finger. If you are holding the ball and it is touching your palm you will not throw accurate pitches. It is also very difficult to release a ball correctly if you hold it like that.
Step 2: Getting on the Mound
The next step is to get on the mound and stand how it is most comfortable for you. When pitching you need to start with both of your feet on the pitching mound. You need to have one on the mound when you release the ball but it can come off for a follow through. It is considered an illegal pitch if either of your feet are off the mound before the ball is released. For me personally I like to be aligned with home plate. I am right hand dominant so I like to have my right foot aligned in the middle of home plate. I like to have my right foot in front of the pitching plate with the heel of my foot touching the plate. My left foot on top with just my toes touching the plate. Glove and ball in hand, holding it by your chest. Do what ever you feel is most comfortable for you.
Step 3: Movement and Momentum Building
Step three starts to involve the movement and momentum building. Once you have your grip and you are positioned on the mound, you can begin your pitch. Let us begin with the footwork. To gain momentum you want to rock back onto your non-dominant foot, stepping off the plate, going back. After that, leap forward with your non-dominant foot, it helps to pretend there is a helmet in your way, as if you are stepping over the helmet. Push off with your dominant foot making sure it stays on the mound when you release the ball. Once you release the ball, your foot is allowed to leave the mound.
For step four and five let’s add the arm rotation. Start in your starting position, when you step back with your non-dominant foot bring your glove down to your right hip bringing the ball back past your hips, starting your wind-up. When you start to step forward with your non-dominant foot you mimic the action with your arm, following through by making a big circle with the ball. When you are drawing the big circle with the ball you should be stepping forward, your dominant foot still on the plate, your gloved hand should be pointing at your target. Keep your throwing arm as straight as possible. Release the ball at your hips, flicking your wrist giving it some spin; your hand should be brought up to your shoulder. At this point, your dominant foot should be dragging off the mound. As some tips, pretend you are in a tunnel, keep your hips facing the target only changing when you are about to release the ball. A tip for your arm is the count to three and release on three. When pitching fast pitch the ball should pass your hips three times. Once going back when building momentum, second when you bring it forward when you start drawing the circle and the last and third time when you release the ball. And with that you can now throw a fast pitch.