“My pitching philosophy is simple,” the baseball legend Satchel Paige once said. “Keep the ball away from the bat.”
Executing a proper pitch in softball is one of the most complex motions an athlete can learn, especially when the goal is to make the pitch as fast and accurate as possible. Factor in the number of pitches a player should know:
- Fast Ball
- Rise Ball
And you have quite a task ahead of you.
Understand, however, that no one began their career without mastering the fundamentals, and no one was able to nail-down these skills right off the bat. It takes time, effort, practice, and dedication; all things that make this task doable!
To help, we laid out five tips and tricks used when our own players were starting out in their pitching careers. We believe this provides a great foundational layer to build from.
5 Softball Pitching Tips to Get Started!
A few suggestions:
- Ensure the Proper Stance. First things first: Make sure your pitcher knows the proper posture. The pivot foot should be on or in contact with the pitcher’s plate, and the feet should be roughly shoulder-width apart. The stride foot should be staggered, just a bit behind the rubber. With this kind of stance, the legs will offer the player a stable, sturdy base.
- Think “Start and Rotation”. Most youth softball pitchers fare best when they swing their pitching hand with the ball down past their hip, moving into a backswing. As the hand starts moving forward, the pitcher should move their weight to the push-off leg, relieving any weight on the back leg.
- Change Targets. Do you have a young pitcher who is consistently too high, low, inside, or outside? Rather than barrage them with corrections, instead suggest that they change their target. For instance, if your pitcher is always too high, tell them to start targeting the knee instead of the glove.
- Breathe and Relax. Pitching can be stressful, and one of the best skills a youth softball athlete can learn is how to find a rhythm. Make sure your pitchers take a moment to relax their bodies and to take their time, rather than rushing through their pitches.
- Ignore the Batter. This one is admittedly tough, but remember that even the most skilled pitchers can feel intimidated when another player steps up to the plate. Consistently remind pitchers to act like the batter is invisible, to act like the batter is just one of their own friends or team-mates, or simply to narrow their focus to the target.
This process takes time and plenty of practice, but once these fundamental skills are mastered, you will be a star on the mound in no time.
gearUP is a leading provider of custom youth sports uniforms, including softball uniforms. We are pleased to work with youth softball leagues from across the country, providing high-quality uniforms delivered on-time for game time.