Tag Archive: Fastballs

Focus Drill: Hitting Spots

Effective windmill pitchers need to be able to thread a needle with their fastballs. In today’s video, I discuss how you can improve your fastball command and hit any spot you want.

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Troubleshooting Common Pitch Location Problems

When you’re learning windmill pitching for the very first time, the ball is probably going to go everywhere… and that’s normal! Once you sort of get the hang of it, however, you may notice that when you miss your pitch location, it is often in the same spot, or the same two spots. I find myself constantly reminding my students WHY pitch after pitch lands inside, outside, high, or low; I tell them to memorize the reason so they can self-correct in games and practices. Whether you’re a parent trying to teach your daughter to pitch and you’re not quite sure how to troubleshoot location issues, or you’re a Fastpitch Power student already and you need a cheat sheet to help you remember, this post is for you!

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Reach, Track, Fire and Drive

What follows is one of my favorite muscle memory drills which helps pitchers see and feel their bodies at various, crucial points in the delivery. Please note the following when performing this drill:

1. The pitcher should be 25 – 35 feet from the catcher, depending on age and level.

2. Coaches commands should be a minimum of 2 to 3 seconds apart to allow the pitcher to sense and adjust any mechanical flaws, as well as keep her balance (if she cannot keep her balance, it’s an indication that she needs to strength train).

3. This video is a demonstration for a fastball. The drill can be adapted for any pitch. Look to future posts for other pitches.

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A Closer Look at Forearm Fire

Forearm fire is the terminology that we at Fastpitch Power use to describe the proper release of the ball in windmill pitching. Some of you may have heard part of it referred to as “internal rotation,” describing the positioning and movement of the pitching arm, elbow, and wrist as they travel down the back side of the arm circle and move through the throw zone. It’s a natural and powerful movement, and we believe it is critical to pitching with maximum velocity and command while minimizing the chance of injury. Because forearm fire utilizes the arm’s natural articulation together with gravity, many pitchers just do it without thinking about it. For those who don’t, it can be frustrating to learn. Today’s video provides a breakdown, and an explanation of its advantages over upward elbow snap, sometimes referred to as “hello elbow.”

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Where have all the fastballs gone?

I try, as often as possible, to attend softball tournaments where our students are performing in game situations. In doing so, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend, prevalent at the NCAA level, that is now filtering down to younger and younger pitchers: The reluctance to throw fastballs. No doubt learning to throw movement and off-speed pitches is a critical component of any pitcher’s development. But let’s take a closer look at what I believe is a serious case of “throwing the baby out with the bath water.”

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