How To Increase Pitching Speed in Fastpitch Softball
Is your fastball not good enough? Here’s a way to learn how to increase pitching speed in fastpitch softball.
Learning how to increase pitching speed in fastpitch softball is one of the most important skills that softball pitchers need to learn. Its obvious advantages are quite evident, but it’s not always easy to succeed in this task.
Hopefully you know all the basics of pitching. You should make sure that you don’t breeze through your pre-pitching warm-up so you can properly loosen up your midsection.
When things go wrong, you concentrate and stay relaxed so that your muscles don’t tighten up. You need your pitching arm to remain loose to produce a faster pitch.
Of course, you also have to keep the fundamentals in mind. In fact, you may want to brush up on those fundamentals.
You need a full body lean without bending at the waist, along with a good push-off and along powerful stride towards home plate.
You have to open your body as you rotate, and then close hard when you bring your shoulders back so you’re standing tall as you release the pitch.
When you release, your arm is straight and your elbow isn’t bent.
If you’re already an experienced pitcher, you can develop a better wrist snap.
Do this with a powerful push-off and you can increase pitching speed in fastpitch softball by as much as 5mph.
You’ll need to practice cocking your wrist backward a bit at the last downswing of your pitching arm.
At the exact release point, you get the speed boost by whipping your wrist forward.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, you need to reinforce them and improve your skills with various drills.
Here are some of the more effective drills that can train you on how to throw faster pitches in fastpitch softball.
Distance pitching. If there’s a single drill you need to learn, this is it. Nothing else beats this in boosting not just your speed but also your control.
After you’ve warmed up properly, you can step back 2 or 3 feet after each pitch. You’ll then have to throw for a longer distance until you’re so far away you can just barely throw to the catcher.
At that point, you can take a step forward until you’re back at the rubber. Then you can throw 15 to 20 fastball pitches.
Weighted balls. The use of weighted balls can increase your strength so you can have faster pitches.
However, you must be very careful. You have to warm-up properly, and you can’t overuse this technique. If you’re not cautious enough, you can injure yourself.
These weighted softballs come in regulation sizes, but they weigh can weigh up to 12 ounces instead of the usual 6.25-ounce weight.
You should start with a 9-ounce ball at first. When it becomes too easy as you get stronger, you can switch to a heavier ball such as the 10- or 11-ounce version.
You can also use underweight balls for speed training. These can help you practice your fundamentals, and then you can switch to the overweight softballs before you practice with the regulation balls.
1-knee drill. This is to improve your upper body strength to boost your pitching speed. Kneel on your pitching-side knee when you face home plate, while you keep your body straight.
Then in this position throw a minimum of 30 full-blast fastballs. This can work without a catcher, if you throw quickly against a fence.
Speed drills. These are done at the end of practice. The drill requires you to pitch at full blast 15 times without a windup, and the pitches must be done as quickly as possible.
This is better with 2 softballs, so the catcher can throw the ball to the pitcher quickly. If done right, the 15 pitches and throwbacks can be done in a minute, or even in 45 seconds.
Once those 15 pitches are done, rest for a minute, and then do it again. You should be able to do at least 4 sets of 15 pitches. Do another set until you’re tired, and then do a final one.
Just remember that a fastball is only one of the weapons in your arsenal of pitches. To succeed as a pitcher, you need additional pitches in the mix. But obviously, a fast pitch does help!
If you want more fastpitch softball tips, drills and equipment reviews visit http://fastpitchsoftballgear.com/ to learn more.