Pitching slow is a requirement when you are playing slow pitch softball. So, it follows that a softball player may need to learn to how correctly pitch slowly.
In order to do this, you will need to practice an underhand technique and then even widen your talents and capabilities by learning how to throw a curveball and a knuckleball. This guide will tell you how to do all of those things, so that you can be the best slow pitch softball player around.
What are the basics?
In order to learn any different kinds of pitching in softball, you will first need to learn the basics. In this case, the basic throw is the underhand pitch. This is a necessity to learn when you are playing slow pitch softball.
All of the other types of pitch will rely on your ability to perform the basic underarm pitch first. Here is a step by step of how to hold the ball:
- Take the ball in your dominant hand, right in the palm.
- Wrap your fingers around the whole ball so that your hand feels comfortable.
- Grip tightly with your fingers as well as your thumb.
Is there a perfect stance?
There is a recommended stance in softball. Whether you decide to follow this stance is up to you, but you should feel comfortable in your softball pitching stance. Here is a step by step:
- Make sure your feet are around shoulder width apart.
- Face your whole body in the direction that you want to throw the ball.
- The foot at the back should be the foot on the same side as your dominant hand, the hand with the ball.
- Keep your knees loose and not locked, this will result in a bad pitch if your body is no loose.
What about the actual throw?
Now that you have the stance down, you need to think about the motion of your arms.
- Swing your dominant arm back in a swooping underarm movement.
- Don’t bring your arm above the level of your waist when you pull it back.
- Your palm should be facing your target as your arm swings back through.
- As you bring your arm forward, release the ball as you step forward with your dominant foot.
- The objective is to release the ball when it reaches a point just past your thigh.
How can I throw a curveball in slow pitch softball?
Now that you have the technique for a basic underarm pitch, you can start adding flares to the way you pitch. Here are some steps to throwing a curveball.
- Unlike holding the ball in your palm, hold it with your first two fingers on top of the ball.
- Make sure your thumb and index finger are on opposite seams on the ball.
- Press your palm into the ball.
- Your thumb and index finger should be at 12 o’clock and 9 o’clock as you are looking at the ball (or 12 o’clock and 3 o’clock if you are left-handed).
- Step back into your usual stance, feet being shoulder width apart.
- Pull your arm with the ball behind you so that your palm is facing up and not to the ground.
- Bring your arm forwards sharply and throw the ball, twisting your wrist to the left as you throw. This twist should be about 90 degrees to the left (to the right if you are left-handed).
How can I throw a knuckleball in slow pitch softball?
This is yet another specialty pitch in softball. Although there is much the same preparation as there is for a curveball, the technique is different.
- Maintain the usual pitching stance.
- To hold the ball for a knuckleball, curl your fingers in a way that looks like you are itching something.
- Press your curled fingers against the ball.
- Put your thumb on one side of the ball and your knuckles on the other.
- Pull your arm behind you, palm facing the ground, level with your hips.
- When you throw the ball, make sure your thumb is leading the way.
- Release with your thumb first and then with your fingers.
There are a few ways that you can pitch in slow pitch softball, but the basic underarm pitch is obviously the essential to learn first. Once you have learned the basics, you can begin to add your own flare onto the pitch with throws like the curveball and the knuckleball.
You can create your own unique additions to these pitches as long as they abide by the rules of slow pitch softball and land in the strike zone, you will be fine. And once you know how to pitch for slow pitch softball, you will be always asked to play as a pitcher.