Further breakdown of forearm fire

In today’s video I answer a reader’s question about forearm fire. Check below for the video of Yukiko Ueno referenced!

About the author


Phil Schonberg is a co-founder of Fastpitch Power, inc. He teaches all aspects of fastptich softball, specializing in windmill pitching and coaches' training.


Skip to comment form

  1. John Schiller


    I just watched your video about forearm fire for the first time. I have to say FINALLY! Finally a pitching coach who knows what their doing. I’ve been conducting pitching lessons with young girls now for 8 years, teaching the forearm fire method (although I didn’t use that name for it) and using the same analogy of the wet spaghetti noodle as the arm relaxes after the throw. I’ve had such a struggle with pitchers who come to me after seeing other coaches in the area who teach antiquated open body positions, palm down throwing, and point the elbow follow-through motions. I found your teaching to be top notch and refreshing. Thank you!

    John S.

    1. Phil

      John – thank you for the vote of confidence. It is unfortunate, mainly for the student, that many instructors seem not to understand the optimal bio-mechanics of this particular movement. The analogy that I used in the post of trying to throw overhand from the outfield while rapidly collapsing the throwing hand under the armpit, should clearly point out the flaw in the “hello elbow” delivery for windmill pitchers. It is difficult for me to understand why that method is still being taught. You, however are certainly teaching to the ultimate benefit of your athletes. Keep up the good work.


  2. Shelley Monas


    With all of your experience teaching pitchers forearm fire, have you come up with any other cues, pitch thoughts or drills that will help young pitchers with keeping the angle of their arm, leading down with the elbow into forearm fire? Many want to go up first before they come down, some want to step into the drill, and some get started right and then want to lock out prematurely as the arm comes down. I have learned to continuously film them and have them watch themselves in each of the progressions: target chops, floor chops, alternating chops with pitches to target and forearm fire. Besides filming and viewing film it helps to get them immediately to the mirror again. I encourage them to practice in the mirror. Any other ideas to help the process?


    1. Phil

      Shelley – some of our girls step into their forearm fire drills as well as performing them with a full arm circle that starts very slowly up the front side. The key is to isolate the forearm fire in the awareness of the pitcher. It is less important how you get into it than making sure you are feeling it. There is a very good drill, performed with a football, that I will demonstrate in an upcoming post. Keep on the lookout for it.

      1. Shelley Monas

        Thank you Phil!

  3. j field

    not exactly how that works. What he calls whip action and elbow snap is forearm fire, however that is not exactly how it works. The arm whips across the body and elbow release with the shoulder in right position which is back then with a linear rotation of the hip the arm goes out and should end up in the hello elbow position so that you do not get too much wrist roll. Since Phill cannot pitch he has the general idea but in demo of Ueno she is not vertically stacked with weight back and even though she throws hard you cannot throw a good rise with that posture. Can Ueno throw a rise or a good drop? When I watched her she appeared to throw a heavy ball.

    1. Phil

      John – We show the Ueno video as a demonstration of the acceleration and whip in the lower arm which we refer to as “forearm fire”. Ueno is one of the fastest and most accomplished pitchers in the history of the game in spite of certain aspects of her posture and mechanics which we would consider sub-optimal. As a uniquely gifted athlete, she can get away with things that would significantly limit the development and effectiveness of the average pitcher. The release of the pitch with a “hello elbow” finish and aggressive hip rotation, which is not what Ueno is doing, are two of the most limiting mechanical flaws that we see. Many of our new students come to us either having seen forearm fire in our posts or in person and, after transitioning from “hello elbow”, leave with significantly increased velocity as well as command and control. Our primary objective is always to teach what works trough the understanding of optimal bio-mechanics. If you do a little more research into Ueno’s career, I am certain you could find out what her primary movement pitches were. Good luck.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>