As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. This is especially true for fastpitch softball pitching. To succeed, you’ll need to throw tens of thousands of pitches throughout your career. And before those pitches, you need to master your pitching mechanics. The following tips for fastpitch softball pitchers will help you stay on your game and keep your mechanics in check when you’re not on the field or at your lessons.
This one is a classic. So much of a great pitching delivery involves the spin. Isolating this action will help you improve as part of your full approach.
How to: Toss a softball up in the air to yourself. Focusing on increasing your spin and keeping the toss under 3ft.
Avoid: Cheating yourself. It’s easy to do a bunch of tosses. It’s a lot harder to stay purposeful throughout the exercise. We talk a lot about needing to “want it.” This is true with foundational skills practice as well.
How many: 500/week
This is a relatively low intensity exercise that packs a punch in your fastpitch softball pitching game. Bonus? Working on this skill will help you throw more strikes in gametime.
How to: Start with your feet in the X position. Focus on your stance while you practice your arm circle. Spin the ball to the target.
Avoid: Using your legs! Try not step or lean until you’ve mastered your arm motion.
How many: 100/week
Practice finding your position.
You’re probably familiar by now with the idea of your power line, X Position, and even your “Stride.” We know these things as some of the most important foundations of your pitch.
How to: Practice striding and landing on your power line and landing in the X Position. Help yourself out by getting the right tool to practice with. You’ll find lots of trainers recommend using a board that's taller than you and about 6 inches wide. This can help you learn to balance more effectively than standing directly on the ground.
Avoid: Injury! Be careful when using a tool for this exercise like a board. Keep your eye on the prize and remember to be mindful of your surroundings.
How Many: 500/week
The Full Monty.
Or, as others may call it, Full Motion. While it’s important you master your foundational elements of pitching first, you should step up to the plate (too corny?) and practice your full motion pitch frequently.
How to: Find yourself some space and someone to catch. Put your training and practice into motion. Get yourself a handful or two of balls to work with so that you’re not chasing missed deliveries.
Avoid: Poor mechanics. Keep in mind that practicing your full motion the “wrong way” can hurt your game (and your body). Work with a parent, coach or teammate to practice, and ask your trainer for tips on how often you should be practicing in between games and lessons.
How many: Work with your coach or trainer to decide on an appropriate amount for you.
With these tips for fastpitch softball pitchers in mind you should be ready to hit the mound and continuously improve your skills. Remember, greatness takes time and dedication. You’ve got it in you, just keep working on your muscle memory and find your stride!