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Softball Pitching Tips

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The DO’s

    1. Always try to make your pitching arm pass over the head (12 o’clock position) while your weight is on the drive leg.
    2. Always try to swing the arms up with the body.
    3. Always try to swing arms up with the body.
    4. Always land with your stride leg pointed between 30 and 45 degrees.
    5. Always try to release the ball at the hip.
    6. Always push your drive leg off the pitching rubber.

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The Don’ts

  1. As you bring your arms up for the pitching motion, your pitching arm will make a 360 degree circle while your balance arm will go up about 90 degrees and come back down. Do not let your balance arm swing off to the side; it will diminish the power of the hip snap.
  2. Do not lean over as you bring your arms up. If you do, your natural 360 degree arm circle will begin out front and cause you to let go late.
  3. Do not land side ways on your stride leg. If you do you are likely to develop knee, hip, or ankle problems.
  4. Do not release the ball out in front of the body (except on the change-up). The ball should be released behind the shoulders.

Here are some tips for fastpitch pitchers to improve or adjust your Drop, Rise, and Curve and change up.

Pitching a Fastpitch Drop

  • Try taking a shorter stride to raise your release point.
  • Keep your pitching arm close to your body to avoid injury
  • Lean a bit forward when releasing so that your head and shoulders are over you front foot. Land on the ball of your foot.
  • To drop your ball more decrease your speed to 90 percent of your maximum speed.

Pitching a Fastpitch Rise

  • To increase the rise in your fastpitch pitch try spreading your fingers more and squeezing the ball out of your fingers as you release. Doing this will give your pitch more spin.
  • A sideways spin will flatten out this pitch.
  • Don’t try to force the ball to rise; it is the spin that should control this.
  • To make the ball rise in a fastpitch pitch instead of curving try one of these solutions while pitching;
  • Look to see that your elbow is not distancing itself from your body when you release.
  • Look at your right shoulder to see if it is too high when you release.
  • Your wrist snap may be sidewaysPlay with different grips or finger pressures and try to relax them.
  • If the ball is rising to high while pitching your fastpitch rise try one of the following solutions;
  • Shorten your stride.
  • Monitor where you are releasing the ball and make sure you are not holding on to the ball too long.
  • Relax your grip, focusing on the thumb pressure.

  • Lower your shoulders to get under the ball instead of bending at the back and getting behind the ball.

  • Pitching a Fastpitch Curve

    • Pay attention that you don’t lean to much to the side your glove is on. Otherwise you may lose control and throw a drop ball instead. Allow your wrist and shoulders to create a spin. Also remember that while pitching a curve ball in fastpitch your palm should be facing the sky when you release.
    • When pitching a curve ball in softball keep in mind that it is not about the speed of the pitch, it is about the spin that you put on it. If your ball is hanging in the air you may be trying to pitch to fast. Also make sure that you are dragging your back foot and not stepping as that would cause your shoulder to bring your shoulder forward.
    • Has your ball been rising instead of curving? Adjust your pitching arm so its not folding against your side when you release. Let your elbow move away from your body. Also raise your pitching shoulder.
    • Visualization tools may help as well. Before you start your pitch visualize a line or series of dots from your mound to the outside corner of the plate.

    Comments on Softball Pitching Tips »

    March 5, 2015

    Samantha Smith @ 10:27 pm

    Hi, I am a lefty pitcher and I was just wondering why my fastball sometimes is a weird curve, drop, or even rise when I dot even know how to throw those pitched I only throw a fast and change. My pitching coach doesn’t even know why they do this. Thank you for your time.

    Samantha Smith

    September 4, 2015

    Skyla Daniels @ 7:03 pm

    Hi I think I have an issue with accuracy. I think this but I always strike out but when the girl steps up to the plate I lose focus and my pitches go crazy. I think I have it all down but my thinking is in the way. What should I do?

    September 5, 2015

    Marc Dagenais @ 2:13 pm

    Accuracy is pretty much a matter of consistency in your mechanics.

    A few suggestions:

    1) Optimize your pitching mechanics – the better your technique, the more consistent your movement, the better your control and accuracy. Have it checked by a pitching coach.

    2) Mental focus – it’s also a lot in staying focus. Don’t think too much, just think of delivering the pitch. Many pitchers start thinking too much about their technique or simply thinking a lot, they lose focus and they aren’t natural anymore.

    3) Don’t try to aim or place the ball, that scews up technique. Let your natural mechanics do the work. By aiming the ball, we change our natural mechanics.

    4) Practice accuracy every time you train, practice and warm-up. Have a catcher set up target for you. You can also use the wall of a school and use chalk to draw target.

    Good luck!

    October 24, 2015

    Mila Star @ 3:20 am

    When I try to pitch a curve ball it comes out of my hands all wierd and i dont know why it does this but it flys off in any random direction that it wants too.

    February 29, 2016

    Payton @ 8:57 am

    Do you have any tips for increasing the speed of your pitch? I have a fairly fast pitch already, but adding a few mph would be great!

    April 16, 2016

    Shauvie @ 9:13 am

    Try not to worry about your speed all what you wanna do is to get the ball over the plate so u can get the strikes and get the batter out. If u get full count (3 balls, 2 strikes) try to get a strike and if your catcher drops the ball have her throw the ball to first to get her out.

    May 2, 2016

    Awesomesoftball @ 8:38 pm

    thanks im a fith grader and the tips helped me out a lot i threw a curve ball on my coach thanks so much

    June 8, 2017

    Riley @ 7:53 am

    hey okay so this is my first time playing softball and i love it but i’m scared i’m not as good as the other girls that will be on my team. anything that could help me?

    May 3, 2018

    Kathleen Catalano @ 9:43 pm

    Distance throwing at the end of her workout is one of the best. Based on her age, say 13-16, have her throw a designated number of pitches from 45’, 50, 55, 60, etc. you can also do increments of 10’. High level pitchers can move back to over 150’.

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