Fastball softball is most influenced by the skill of the pitcher more than any other position. We must strive to develop competent pitchers in order to ensure a strong program. The art of softball pitching requires patience and practice, patience and practice, patience and practice…Pitchers have different strengths. Here we present the basic fundamentals that may help young developing pitchers and their coaches to facilitate successful pitchers.
The first offering of instruction is a series of videos. I have selected a series of instructional videos featuring Amanda Scarborough, an All-American pitcher, ESPN analyst and coach. Selecting a pitching coach is encouraged for pitchers who desire to enhance their opportunity to pitch at an advanced level. In our community we have a highly regarded college softball program whose coaching staff provides us with opportunities to enrich our softball playing skills. These videos, along with the written fundamentals that follow provide you with a solid resource of knowledge. Your ability to determine how you can apply this instruction to your game is a skill in itself.
Pitching Mechanics by Gerald Warner, Softball Pitching Instructor
I have often observed that pitchers, even those who have extensive experience, have often learned a “wrong” way of doing some part of the pitching motion or delivery, and consequently might have developed habits that can limit their ability and success…or even cause injuries. In many areas of pitching there is no “right” or “wrong” way of doing something, but instead a method needs to be chosen that best fits a pitcher’s personal ability and comfort-level.
However, with the fundamental “mechanics” of pitching, most qualified pitching instructors will agree that most of what we have listed below are the recommended procedures.
IMPORTANT: There are a lot of steps to learn here. Don’t try to do them all of them at once. Take things one at a time. Nobody learns the basic mechanics overnight…take plenty of time to learn and practice each step. For most pitchers, developing a correct pitching form…doing all of the mechanics correctly…can take many months, or even years.
BEFORE PITCHING – Always do a pre-practice pre-pitching routine. Pitchers who don’t take adequate time to properly get ready to throw the ball run the risk of injuring themselves, and always pitch slower and with less accuracy. A good preparation always involves (1) Jogging (to loosen tight body muscles), (2) Stretching (arms, legs, hamstrings, throwing arm shoulder, and midsection…stomach/abs and lower back) for several minutes, (3) Loosen the throwing arm by starting with easy Overhand throws from a shorter distance (4) gradually working back to a Longer Distance and harder overhand throwing. Then, do the same thing underhanded: (5) Short distance underhand pitching, then gradually working back to (6) Full-distance, Full-speed pitching.