Have you always wanted to master the skill of pitching a slow pitch softball? Are you dreaming about your teammates and friends congratulating you that you made a perfect pitch? When you are not on the field, pitching seems incredibly easy.
However, once you grab the ball in your hand, you realize that you need some skills after all. That inspired me to look at how to pitch slow pitch softball. I figured out that it is fairly easy to learn the technique, but it takes practice to master it. If you want to become an expert of slow pitching, keep reading and check the step by step instructions provided in this article.
What You Will Need To Follow This Tutorial
If you want to handle your training properly and become an expert in throwing slow pitch softball, there are certain things you will need before you start exercising. Here is the complete list of essentials to acquire before you start practicing:
- Softball – you cannot throw a ball without the ball, so make sure to get a proper-sized softball first.
- Softball glove – you need to have it during actual games, which is why you should acquire one for training, too.
- Pitcher’s plate – this is a white rectangular piece that shows you where you should be positioned. It also serves as a place to put your stationary foot to get optimal posture. If you have a softball field nearby, the chances are you will find a pitcher’s plate there. Alternatively, there are pitching mats you can use at home.
- Home plate – this is where you will aim your throw. It would be great if you could also get the help of a catcher during training.
Now that you found all the essentials make sure to practice in a safe environment. Since you will be throwing the ball a lot, make sure that you cannot break anything nearby or hurt someone by accidentally hitting them.
Step By Step Instructions
Step 1: Position Yourself On The Plate
As a pitcher, you need to position yourself on the pitcher’s plate. In the middle of the infield, you will find a rectangle material stuck into the ground. Put one of your feet on this plate and make sure to keep it there during the entire pitch. While that foot needs to stay on the plate, you can move the other leg as you see fit for optimal momentum.
Take a look at how the white rectangular piece looks like:
Pro Tip: Experiment by making a couple of test throws alternating feet on the plate. That will give you an insight on which position gives you better momentum.
Step 2: Grab The Softball Properly
Use your dominant hand to grab the softball. The thumb should be placed on the bottom while the remaining fingers should be put across the stitching. If you are playing in a competition with official rules, keep in mind that you need to touch the glove with the ball before pitching.
Pro Tip: Consider making the glove and ball touch at your waist before you move into the pitching form.
Step 3: Find Proper Posture And Throw
Finding an optimal posture is essential for a perfect pitch. The crucial thing to remember is that you should be in a position that allows you to move easily and precisely. Start by turning your body toward the batter and bending it slightly forward.
Now, swing the arm in which you hold the ball backward. If you are striving for an underhand pitch, you should also rotate your hand. It is now time to swing the arm forward to get the necessary power for the pitch. Once your hand is in line with your thigh, throw the ball. Make sure to throw the ball toward the home plate.
Step 4: Practice, Practice, Practice
If you completed the first three steps, you could brag that you successful threw your first soft pitch softball. However, fun only begins now. If you want to perfect your pitch, you will need a lot of practice. It would be wise to find a catcher that will work with you. While there are pitching mats you can use to practice at home nothing can substitute an outdoor environment that will make you feel like you are playing an actual game.
Here is an excellent video on pitching mechanics in softball:
Step 5: Learn Curveball And Knuckleball Techniques
Once you have the basics sorted out, you can consider learning different pitching techniques. There are two options to consider:
- Curveball – when you start swinging your arm forward, make sure to turn the wrist towards your body. That will enable you to curve the ball when throwing it. You should practice experimenting with spins of various intensities.
- Knuckleball – here, you want to grip the ball so that the knuckles of 4 gingers are sticking up. You need a shorter swing,and there is no need for a spin. When releasing, try to push the ball with your fingers. This is an advanced technique and will take a bit of exercise.
Additional Tips When Pitching A Slow Pitch Softball
The step by step guide above provided you with all the basics, but here are some additional pitching tips that you may use when practicing:
- If you cannot find a batter to train with you, consider buying a practice net. These nets feature a batter’s figure with the strike zone painted on it. You can use these nets both indoors and outdoors.
- Give your best to relax while pitching. Once you understand the basics, try not to think too much and let your body learn the moves. When playing actual games, try to deal with the pressure as much as possible. Nervousness and stress may disrupt your pitches. Relaxing is one of the keys to making a perfect pitch.
- Experiment with different pitches during actual games. It will take some exercise to learn the standard underhand pitch, as well as the curveball and knuckleball. Once you are certain you know how to execute all three, make sure to mix and match to confuse the hitter.
- If you have the chance, always practice on the field where you will play matches. That will help you to get used to the location.
- Take a look at the hitter before you throw, try to read them and adjust your pitching technique accordingly. Over time, you will become better at doing this.
- Be professional and modest when celebrating successful pitches. That way you will show respect to the opponent.
That rounds up our guide on how to pitch slow pitch softball. As you can see, the process itself isn’t that difficult as long as you follow the detailed steps provided in this guide. It will take a bit of practice to perfect your pitches, but the willingness to improve is what makes a great softball player.
I hope that you enjoyed reading the article as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you liked the guide, make sure to share it on social media. Do not hesitate to share your experiences from the training field and provide additional tips on slow pitching in the comments section.