by Gerald Warner, Softball Pitching
softball is an excellent tool to assist a pitcher with making
certain that she has the (a) the correct rotation and
maximum spin speed on her breaking
If you are highly intelligent, have very good athleticism,
are skilled in freehand art, then you too can create a
Otherwise, you can get a 12-year old to do it for you.
Seriously though, this is one of the best tools for a
pitcher who is constantly trying to improve her drop, curve,
screw, and rise balls.
Every breaking pitch needs to spin in the correct
direction, and needs to be rotating at a fast speed.
A ball with a stripe drawn across
the center of its four seams is the best visual indicator of spin
direction and spin
(1) Find a cup or glass that is
just the right size to allow a softball to sit in the opening, with
just a little more than half of the ball sticking above the
the right size cup is kind of fun, because it might involve buying a
few different sizes of Slurpees, soft drinks, etc. from your local
convenience store or sandwich shop).
(2) Place the ball softly
push it hard into the cup) into the top
with the “narrows” of the seams at the absolute top. Take some time to make
certain the ball is correctly set with the middle of the
close-together seams straight
(3) Using the top of the cup as
your guide, use a felt-tip permanent marker to draw the first
line around the ball… passing through the middle of the 4 wide-apart
(4) After completing the first
line, turn the ball over with the other set of
the top, and draw the second line the same
(5) Leaving some planned open
areas, fill in the space between the two lines with another color
permanent marker (like
the red one in this example). We recommend that you
do not fill in the middle areas totally so it will be easier to see
the speed of the rotation when the ball is thrown.
(See the example at the top
of this page).
pitchers who use a “4-seam” release on each of their breaking
pitches, the stripe will make it easy to see the straight or angled
direction of the rotation, AND the partially-filled in color will
give an indication of the speed of the spin.
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Article by Gerald Warner of
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E-mail us, or call Pitching Instructor Gerald Warner in
Colorado at (720) 200-4575