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Softball is a very competitive game and winning is not just about hitting hard, pitching intelligently is also the key. For most of the novice softball players, they are likely to use the most common pitch – the fastball which can be simply recognized as the pitching of the ball as fast as possible. But just like in any other sport, being unpredictable is an advantage. An arsenal of pitches will be a great start
As the years go by for you being a softball pitcher, the chance of facing more talented and heavily skilled batters are high and the fastball alone will never beat them as they can easily predict your next throw. Being a developed player, you need to train your skills to master the most popular pitches among the best softball pitchers.
But it is important to be reminded that mastery of the pitches requires moderation and avoid any overuse to prevent any injuries from these pitches. The most important skill of the best pitchers is not their powerful pitches alone, but their ability to manage their arsenal of techniques in pitching to preserve strength throughout the game. In this context, you will understand the winning pitches derived from various technical styles -such as the different pitching grips– and gather ideas on how to improve your pitching techniques for a sure ball winning hit.
This is basically the initial skill that a pitcher needs to learn- which is to throw the ball as hard and fast as possible. This pitch is crucial for every pitcher because of its ability to be used as a powerful arsenal for the winning game. However, the power of this pitch should be kept consistent, because a skilled batter will eventually predict it or just get a piece of it and make a hit. To execute the fastball pitch, a coordination of the legs, wrist, and arms. Maximize the power from your legs and compliment the throw by turning your hand palm-up while releasing the ball.
The drop ball is tricky but is not a tool to strike out the batter. It is not designed to dramatically strike away the batter, but rather to fool and force the batter to make a hit towards the ground to the infield. This throw creates a downward spiral motion to fool the batter as he/she hits a small portion of the ball or not even a piece at all. Throwing a drop pitch is nearly identical to the motion of a fastball. To properly execute this throw, the grip of the ball should be aligned with the laces, elbows tight, stand tall and make a snap of the ball off the fingertips in the release.
The change-up is one of the initial important throws that you need to learn. This pitch has a full motion from the throw but is much slower from the normal. Most of the pitchers use fastball as their best pitch, but an advanced pitcher executes an effective changeup to intimidate the hitters and make them off-balance. In throwing this pitch, make a deep hold of the ball and make a full grip around the ball. A snap is not necessary when releasing the ball, but a complete follow through must be executed.
This pitch is a tool to strike out the batter with the use of deception other than the power of the throw. The curve ball handled with a grip same as the drop pitch; the difference is that a twist of the wrist is required in the release. This will create a spinning motion of the ball which will give the batters a hard time tracking and hitting the ball. The batters will only analyze and recognize the path of the ball when it is already late for them to react properly and hit the ball.
This pitch is the most difficult pitch to master, but once a pitcher gets to know the rise ball pitch and properly execute it, this becomes the most difficult pitch to hit for any batter. The pitcher must hold the ball with the middle and ring finger at the portion of the ball where the closest laces are located. Make a grip of the ring finger to the lace and the middle finger at the top of the ball as you release it. Make a quick twist on your hand as you release the ball which will then create a rising motion to the ball.