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Slow-Motion Pitcher Animations

Videos are a great training aid for learning skills, but sometimes it’s helpful to be able to look at at a looping animation. For your reference, I’ve compiled some slow-motion looping animated GIFs of a few pitchers that we feel exemplify excellent pitching mechanics.

Yukiko Ueno

GIF-ueno1

NOTE: In the above video, Ueno is warming up, not pitching in a game. Her push foot does not remain in contact with the pitching rubber as she’s pushing off, but in a game situation this would be illegal. Please refer to the animation below to see her game-time footwork:

 

GIF-ueno2

Jillian Schonberg (Fastpitch Power instructor)

GIF-jill-change

NOTE: Jillian is throwing a push/circle/palm change-up in this footage. The body mechanics would be the same in a fastball, but the arm would have much more whip, like Ueno’s above.

Monica Abbott

GIF-abbott

Blaire Luna

GIF-luna2 GIF-luna1

Some things we like about these particular pitchers:

  • They load well and push hard off the pitching rubber
  • They drive through with their knees forward and only their big toes grazing the ground
  • They maintain contact with the ground with their drive feet until after the ball leaves the hand
  • Upper body posture, tracking, and glove work are excellent
  • In the non-change up examples, forearm fire (arm whip) is excellent. Palm is up or to the side as the hand approaches the throw zone, the elbow leads the whipping action, and the wrist loosely snaps and turns over as part of the whipping action.

About the author

Carly

Carly is a windmill pitching specialist and co-founder of Fastpitch Power. She has coached teams at every level from 10U to NCAA. She also designed and built fastpitchpower.com. Please feel free to leave questions and site feedback in the comments or via our contact page!

10 comments

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  1. jordan

    carly,
    it’s interesting to see that all of these pitchers presented here have or use a backswing.
    what do you think about the Renfroe sisters? they don’t have a backswing.

    tnx

    1. Carly

      That’s a good question. While there’s nothing technically wrong with a backswing, I always advocate not using one. I think you can do a better job hiding the ball and minimizing the amount of time the batter has to track the ball without one. However, every pitcher is different and some just can’t comfortably get the same momentum going without a backswing.

  2. tony

    Monica seems to be lifting and replanting her drive foot during wind up you don’t see this to often is it legal? Also do like the pitcher to finish straight up or across the body? Thanks

    1. Carly

      Hi Tony, both great questions. I forgot to mention that like in the first Ueno animation, Abbott is also warming up. Many pitchers exaggerate their movements during warmup to get loose. In a game situation, her foot WOULD remain in contact with the rubber. Good catch.

      As for the finish, I’m not too particular about it provided 1) that no matter where you follow through, your arm flows through all the way to the target FIRST, and 2) the follow through is relaxed and natural, not forced. Each type of pitch will also differ slightly.

      1. tony

        Carly, just had one of my pitchers throw a TRUE perfect game in the 14A semifinals of a tournament we were in Kansas. Thanks for your valued info on the little things that make a huge difference.

        1. Carly

          That’s awesome! I’m so glad to hear it!

  3. Kaidy

    Carly, I am a pitcher and truly admire you and everything you have designed and I am 13 years old turning 14 in February. I have a 53 mile an hour fastball and it is true because I clocked it on a radar gun. I need help on my drag because I can’t get my hips around fast enough, any ideas on how anything could help??
    P.S I am in 8th grade.

    1. Carly

      Hi Kaidy! I’d love to help but I need some more information. What does your leg look like when you drag now? Where is your knee pointed? Are you dragging the side of your foot or breaking contact with the ground at all?

  4. Sunny

    Hi Carly. I am a Junior and i moved to a new school. This is the 3rd year that they have had a softball team and they need HELP , but my question for now is …. they need a pitcher and I have been playing ball since the 6th grade . I’ve played for some very competitve teams, played every position — aside from pitching. Since I am the most experienced player I am more than canidate for the position. I need help I have the “BASIC” things down but I’ve only been pitching for 3 days and our season starts Feb 10. Anything could be of help to me.

    1. Carly

      Hi Sunny, you’re not the first person who has asked me this question so I put it where everyone can see! Check out the answer here here: http://www.fastpitchpower.com/reader-question-ive-never-pitched-team-needs-help/

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