In softball, throwing generates the most errors on the field, so it’s important to learn the proper mechanics. This iSport lesson will introduce the basic fundamentals of throwing a softball.
First, we’ll discuss the grip. The four-seam grip, also called the “C-grip,” is the easiest grip to learn. It offers you the most control over the ball, and it will provide more spin on the ball, resulting in higher velocity.
Grab the ball and turn it in front of you so the seams make a “C” or horseshoe. It does not matter which direction the “C” is facing.
Place your index, middle, and ring finger along the top seams, and your thumb below your index finger. Your pinky will not be on a seam.
Do not palm the ball.
Now that you know the grip, we’ll isolate the body positioning for the throw:
First, start squared to your target. Then, with your throwing-side foot, take a step toward your target and as it lands, turn your foot so its heel faces your target.
As you take this step, turn your shoulders so your glove-side shoulder faces your partner.
Use your glove or bend your glove-side arm and use your elbow as a pointer and point to your target.
Bring your throwing arm up behind you, bending your elbow so your arm makes an “L” at about shoulder-height. Then turn your wrist so the palm of your hand and the ball are facing away from you. Having the ball facing away from you with your wrist turned will prevent you from pushing the ball.
Now, take a step toward your target with your other foot. As your foot lands, it too should be turned, so it’s pointing in the same direction as your other foot, and your body should not be turned perpendicular to your target.
Immediately after your front foot lands, lead with your elbow and bring your throwing arm forward to throw. As your elbow is coming forward, bring your glove-side arm in towards your body to aid in your throwing arms’ forward momentum.
When your arm is about 45-degrees in front of you, release the ball by snapping your wrist. You should feel the ball roll off your fingertips, especially your middle finger, in a perfectly spiral rotation.
After you release the ball, bring your throwing arm down toward your opposite-side hip. Your body should now be facing your target. Then follow through with your throwing-side foot by allowing it to step or drag forward.
Throwing takes time and patience to master. And you shouldn’t just be throwing to warm up. If you’re serious about your game, take some time and throw to simply get better.
Let’s review what we just learned about throwing a softball:
Always use a four-seam grip
At the top of your throwing motion, your elbow should be at about shoulder-height and the ball should be facing away from you.
You should be perpendicular to your target as you throw.
And finally, when you release the ball, feel it roll off your fingers in a perfectly spiral rotation, don’t palm the ball.