Pitching softball is one of the most important parts of the game. Effective pitching wins the game in many cases and there are more than one way to pitch a softball well. Typically, pitching the ball includes gripping it right, throwing it perfectly and aiming it precisely. Here we are going to focus on what are the many ways of holding a softball when pitching it in a game. The hold determines how fast the ball will move after pitching and in what direction will it travel.
The curve ball grip is a popular way of holding a softball during pitching. It involves holding the ball so that three fingers rest on top of the ball while the thumb curves along its side. To hold the ball in a curve ball grip, hold the ball in your hand and bend the thumb so that it comes to rest just below the side of the ball. Now place the middle three fingers on the top of the ball so that the middle finger is directly in contact with the leather on the ball. After holding the ball in this grip, the players should take care to pitch it in such a way that their pitched arm crosses over their abdomen after the throw.
A drop ball is a useful way of holding the softball during pitching. It is particularly useful when the pitcher wants to bring some change in the pitching style so as to surprise the batter. The drop ball hold involves gripping the ball at the ‘U’ portion of the seams with the help of four fingers. When the ball is pitched using this hold, it should be released with a flick of the wrists. This adds more spin to it and makes it harder for the batter to hit it.
This particular method of holding a softball is suited for such pitchers who can throw the ball real fast. Throwing a softball using the rise ball grip helps the thrower use this speed even more effectively. The grip involves holding two fingers on top of the ball, and the thumb at the bottom. The top fingers should be placed so that they come to rest at the part where the two seams of the ball come together. When using this pitch, the player should release the ball so that the fingers come at the top of the ball right at the moment of release. This adds a lot of speed and backspin to the throw.
Although most softball pitches are meant to carry a lot of speed, it is very useful to occasionally throw a slower ball. This is often successful in tricking the batter and breaking down the hitting tempo. The exact hold of the change-up throw requires holding the ball in a five-finger grip. Compared to standard softball pitches, the change-up pitch can slow down the speed of the throw by up to 30%. To accomplish this, the player should throw the ball with the outside of the wrist pointing to the catcher. This throw is different from the standard softball pitch which involves releasing the ball with the inside of the wrist pointing to the catcher.
Four Seam Fastball
This is a fairly standard softball hold which is meant to give the pitcher advantages in terms of speed and spin. In order to pull off a four seam fastball successfully, the pitcher should hold the ball in the palm so that the fingers are positioned along the longer part of the seams. Some players with larger hands may need to curve their little finger to a side in order to ensure a smooth throw. The four seam fastball hold allows the player to pitch with a lot of speed and spin, making it quite hard for the batter to accurately predict the position of the ball.
The fastball pitch is one of the simplest softball holds when pitching. However, it requires the proper legwork to accompany the throw. The release involve a quick but solid step just before the throw. The player should snap the wrist at release and ideally bring up the arm to the height of the chest after throwing the ball.
Knuckle Curve is a very simple hold which is quite similar to the four seam fastball hold but with some modifications. In knuckle curve hold, the players hold the ball with four fingers positioned along the long seams of the ball. One change in this hold is to curve the index finger so that it no longer touches any of the seams. As the pitcher releases the ball, the index finger is pushed out at the same time. This adds an additional spin on the ball, swerving it in the direction of the index finger’s push. Such an instant spin on the ball makes it very hard for the batter to play it.