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Pitching is not simply about chucking balls at the batter and hoping that he or she does not manage to hit it. Accuracy and strength is essential for any pitcher, and one can enhance these two aspects by improving their grip, stance, legwork, and throw.
To start, hold the ball firmly in your hand, but make sure that your grip isn’t too tense. There should be some space between the ball and your palm. Using the ball’s seams as guides for finger placement, position your index to last fingers along the top line, and move your thumb below to rest on the opposite one.
With your hips squarely facing the home plate
, stand with your right foot slightly in front of the left. As softball regulations require pitchers
to place both feet on the pitcher’s rubber before starting the game, there will not be sufficient space for you to stand comfortably with your feet apart. Maximise the space that you have by placing your left toe on the backmost length of the rubber.
Before starting your pitch, raise your heel and push your right toe into the ground. Placing your weight on your right foot, lunge your body forward via your left leg. Your left leg takes the impact of the weight transfer, providing ample force to your pitch. During this movement, your right foot should be naturally dragged along, ending up behind your left foot. The strength of your throw should not just come from your arms, but also from your lower body. This stride must ideally be a powerful one, rather than just a large step forward.
Your throw should be done simultaneously with the leg movement explained above. Generate momentum with circular arm swings in preparation for the pitch. However, it is important to ensure that the tempo and rhythm of your movements are not affected by unnecessary motion - minimise your swings to only what is required for adequate momentum. When making the pitch, make sure not to release the ball too early or late during the swing, as it will cause your ball to end up at somewhere other than your desired spot.
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