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  How to Correct Low, and Inside, Pitches
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by Gerald Warner, Softball Pitching Instructor

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We receive many questions regarding control of pitches…and the most frequent is correcting the problem of consistently throwing low, or low and inside.  It’s a problem that is pretty typical for younger girls...and sometimes even those who are more experienced.  It usually is attributable to a being “off-plane” during the arm swing, the pitcher's closing rotation, or when a pitcher strides too far off the power line (for a right-hander, that means stepping left of the power line).

When a pitcher throws pitches inside...or inside and a same-side batter, it is likely one or more of the problems:

1)  SIDE STEPPING - Young pitchers who "side step" often throw low (and usually inside).  Right-handed pitchers who step LEFT of the line tend to throw to the RIGHT of the plate (similarly, lefties who step too far right, often throw to the left)

2)  "SNAPPING" THE RELEASE – Some people, even coaches, sometimes tell a young pitcher to "snap your wrist when you release the ball".  Therefore, pitchers often focus too much on “snapping”, and consequently have an early or late forward wrist movement.    I and most other softball pitching instructors who have good track records of helping pitchers develop good speed do not focus on an intentional wrist-snap...especially in their early years of pitching.   Instead, we teach pitchers to use the wrist snap as a natural or intuitive action as part of the arm whip...keep the wrist loose and slightly bent back on the downswing, and the wrist will drive forward automatically at the release.

3)  SLOW TRUNK ROTATION - At the release point of the ball, a pitcher gets maximum torque (and therefore speed) if her shoulders are most of the way closed (facing the catcher) and her hips are no more than halfway closed.   For a right-handed pitcher, if the right side comes around too late, it invariably causes a low inside pitch.  (Similarly, if a left-handed pitcher closes late, the pitch often goes to the left side of the plate).  We encourage a pitcher to always "use your entire body...not just your arm" to pitch the ball.  That helps her have a better-timed trunk rotation. 

4)   TOO SHORT OF A STRIDE - Although a comparatively small percentage of successful pitchers use the short-stride "Stepping Style" method, the majority are "Leap-and-Drag" pitchers.    Leapers who stride considerably shorter than their height often consistently throw low.   The solution, obviously, is to make certain the length of the stride is 90% to 120% of the pitcher’s height.

5)   LEANING FORWARD AT THE RELEASE - The bend-over habit typically causes a younger or beginning pitcher to slow down her pitch, release in front of her body, and consequently throw high pitches.   However, when an older more experienced pitcher becomes more aggressive and adds speed to her fastball, if she bends forward at the release, her pitches often go low and into the dirt.


6)   FAULTY  BACK SWING - A pitcher that uses a back swing prior to the start of the forward rotation often allows the arm to swing "off-plane".   If the arm swings to the middle of the back (instead of on the power line plane), that can throw the entire forward rotation on a right-tilting plane, causing consistent inside pitches.

7)   PRE-PITCH 'FOCUS POINT' - Repeated inside pitches can often be corrected by changing the "focus point"...the spot where the pitcher is looking as she prepares to start her wind-up and during the delivery.   Most younger pitchers will be looking at the catcher's mitt.   So if she is throwing right, instead of staring at the catcher's mitt, look further left...perhaps to the catcher's right knee...all the time while she is standing on the rubber and through her wind-up.   Tell her "You aren't trying to throw there;  you're just looking there as you pitch".



If side-stepping mentioned above is the problem, have her repeatedly practice landing with her toe on the power line.   If you haven't already read it, go to the "Power Line" page in the 1st & 2nd Year Pitchers section of this website.


If a slow closing rotation is the problem, use the "9 o'clock drill" (stand in the "open" position perpendicular to the catcher, glove hand pointing toward the plate, throwing arm straight up in the air)  by pitching full speed and practicing a good trunk closure (to about halfway closed at the point of release)  with the delivery.

If the back swing is the issue, videotape the pitcher from behind so she can see where the arm is going...discovery of the problem is 60% of the cure.



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If you have questions or need more information
E-mail us,  or call Pitching Instructor Gerald Warner in Colorado at (720) 200-4575


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