Last updated on August 22, 2023
Pitching speed is one of the most important skills for fastpitch softball pitchers. Being able to hurl the ball at high speeds can give you an edge over your opponents and help you dominate the game. But increasing your pitching speed is easier said than done. It requires a combination of strength, technique, and practice; an incredible amount of practice in fact. In this article, we’ll go over some tips and techniques that can help you increase your pitching speed and take your game to the next level.
- 1 Fundamentals of Pitching
- 2 Improving Pitching Mechanics
- 3 Training for Increased Pitching Speed
- 4 Working With a Coach
- 5 FAQ
- 6 Conclusion
Fundamentals of Pitching
If you want to increase your pitching speed in fastpitch softball, you need to master the fundamentals of pitching. Proper mechanics, leg strength, and mental toughness are all essential components of a successful pitcher.
Pitching mechanics are the foundation of a good pitch. Without proper form, you won’t be able to generate the power and speed needed to throw the ball as hard as you want to. Making sure you understand the proper mechanics is only a small part of it, the much more important, and usually quite a bit harder, part is making sure you’re using those proper mechanics with each and every pitch.
Strong legs are critical for generating power and speed in your pitch. Most of the power in your pitch is actually generated from your legs. To improve your leg strength, focus on exercises that target your lower body, such as squats, lunges, and calf raises. Additionally, make sure you are using your legs to push off the rubber during your delivery.
Pitching can be a mentally challenging position. It requires focus, concentration, and confidence. To improve your mental toughness, try these tips:
- Visualize yourself throwing a perfect pitch before each delivery.
- Stay focused on the task at hand and don’t let distractions get in your way.
- Believe in yourself and your abilities as a pitcher.
- Stay as calm as you can, you can lose fundamentals with too much emotion.
By mastering the fundamentals of pitching, you can increase your fastpitch softball pitching speed and become a more effective pitcher.
Improving Pitching Mechanics
To increase your pitching velocity, improving your pitching mechanics is key. Here are some areas to focus on:
Arm Whip and Arm Circle
Your arm whip and arm circle are critical components of your pitching mechanics. To increase your pitching speed, focus on getting a full arm circle and a fast arm whip. Make sure you are not slowing down your arm circle or arm whip, as this can decrease your pitching speed.
Leg Drive and Push-Off
Your leg drive and push-off are also important for increasing your pitching velocity. Focus on pushing off your back foot and driving your stride leg forward. This will help you generate more power and energy in your pitch.
Follow-Through and Release Point
Your follow-through and release point are important for ensuring that your pitch is accurate and consistent. Make sure you are following through with your pitch and releasing the ball at the right time and in the right location. This will help you hit your target and increase your pitching velocity.
To improve your pitching mechanics, here are some additional tips:
- Focus on your posture and body position, making sure you are standing tall and maintaining a strong core.
- Practice your grip on the ball and windmill rotation to increase spin and velocity.
- Focus on your lower body, including your stride leg and push-off, to generate more power and energy in your pitch.
- Use a competition mindset during practice to simulate game situations and increase your pitching velocity under pressure.
Training for Increased Pitching Speed
If you want to increase your pitching speed in fastpitch softball, you need to train smart and be dedicated. It takes time and effort to improve your pitching velocity, but with the right training, you can see results. Here are three key things to focus on when training for increased pitching speed: strength and conditioning, velocity drills, and weighted balls.
Strength and Conditioning
Strength and conditioning are essential for increasing your pitching speed. Strong legs and core muscles are crucial for generating force and power in your pitch. Here are some exercises you can do to improve your strength and conditioning:
- Squats: Squats are great for building leg strength. Make sure you’re using proper form and start with a weight that’s comfortable for you.
- Lunges: Lunges are another excellent exercise for building leg strength. You can do walking lunges or stationary lunges.
- Planks: Planks are great for building core strength. Start with a 30-second hold and work your way up to longer holds.
Remember to rest and recover between workouts. Your muscles need time to repair and grow stronger.
Velocity drills are designed to help you increase your pitching speed. Here are some drills you can do:
- Long toss: Long toss is a great way to build arm strength and increase your throwing distance. Start by throwing from a shorter distance and gradually work your way up to longer distances.
- Resistance band drills: Practice your normal pitching sequence with proper mechanics with a resistance band attached to a fence or pole behind you. This will help your legs get stronger as you push off with the resistance pulling you.
- Plyometric drills: Plyometric drills are explosive exercises that can help you generate more power in your pitch. Some examples of plyometric drills include jump squats and box jumps.
Weighted balls are another tool you can use to increase your pitching speed. These balls are heavier than regular softballs and can help you build arm strength. Here are some tips for using weighted balls:
- Start with a lighter ball and gradually work your way up to heavier balls.
- Use weighted balls sparingly. Overuse can lead to injury.
- Always warm up before using weighted balls.
Working With a Coach
If you want to increase your pitching speed in fastpitch softball, working with a coach can be highly beneficial. A coach can provide you with personalized feedback and help you develop a training plan that is tailored to your specific needs and goals.
Here are some tips for working with a coach to increase your pitching speed:
- Find a coach who has experience working with pitchers. Look for a coach who has a background in fastpitch softball and has experience working with pitchers of all skill levels. A good coach should be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses and provide you with constructive feedback to help you improve.
- Consider a Velocity Program. Some coaches offer Velocity Programs that are designed specifically to help pitchers increase their speed. These programs typically include a combination of strength training, conditioning, and pitching drills that are designed to improve arm speed and power.
- Take private lessons. One-on-one lessons with a coach can be highly effective for improving your pitching speed. During these lessons, your coach can provide you with personalized feedback and help you make adjustments to your form and technique.
- Work with your catcher. Your catcher plays an important role in your pitching success. Work with your catcher to develop a strong rapport and improve your communication. Your catcher can also provide you with feedback on your pitches and help you identify areas for improvement.
- Be open to feedback. When working with a coach, it’s important to be open to feedback and willing to make changes to your technique. Remember that your coach is there to help you improve, and their feedback is meant to be constructive.
By working with a coach, you can develop the skills and techniques you need to increase your pitching speed in fastpitch softball. Whether you choose to take private lessons, participate in a Velocity Program, or work with your catcher, a coach can provide you with the guidance and support you need to achieve your goals.
How do I add 5 mph to my fastball?
- Focus on improving your mechanics: Proper mechanics help you generate more power and speed in your pitch. Work with a coach or watch videos to identify any flaws in your technique and work on improving them.
- Strengthen your legs, arm, and core: Stronger muscles can help you generate more speed while pitching. Incorporate exercises like push-ups, planks, lunges, squats, and medicine ball throws into your routine to improve your arm and core strength.
- Practice consistently: Consistent practice helps you develop muscle memory and improve your technique. Set a regular practice schedule and stick to it to see improvements in your pitching speed.
Adding 5 mph to your fastball requires consistent and dedicated practice. Following these tips can help you achieve that goal.
How do I improve my leg drive in fastpitch pitching?
Leg drive is an important component of fastpitch pitching. Here are some tips to improve your leg drive:
- Focus on your footwork: Proper footwork is essential for a strong leg drive. Make sure you are pushing off the rubber with your back foot and driving forward with your front foot.
- Increase your lower body strength: Stronger leg muscles can help you generate more power while pitching. Incorporate exercises like squats, lunges, and leg presses into your routine to improve your leg strength.
- Practice pitching with resistance bands: Using resistance bands while pitching can help you develop a stronger leg drive. Attach the bands to a fence or stationary object and practice your pitching motion while pulling against the resistance.
How long does it take to gain pitching velocity?
With consistent practice and dedication, you can see improvements in your pitching speed within a few weeks or months. However, gaining pitching velocity takes time and consistent practice. It’s important to remember that everyone’s progress is different, and there is no set timeline for gaining velocity.
Does long toss increase pitching velocity?
Long toss can help increase pitching velocity by building arm strength and improving your throwing mechanics. Here are some tips for incorporating long toss into your practice routine:
- Start at a short distance and gradually increase: Begin by throwing at a short distance and gradually increase the distance as your arm strength improves.
- Focus on proper mechanics: Long toss is only effective if you are using proper mechanics. Make sure you are using proper footwork, arm motion, and follow-through while throwing.
- Incorporate it into your routine: Practice long toss regularly to see improvements in your arm strength and pitching velocity.
Remember, while long toss can be beneficial for increasing pitching velocity, it’s important to not overdo it and risk injury. Listen to your body and don’t push yourself too hard.
Increasing your pitching speed in fastpitch softball requires dedication, commitment, and mental toughness. As a softball pitcher, you need to be willing to put in the time and effort required to improve your pitching speed. This means practicing regularly, following a proper training regimen, and working on your mechanics. It’s important to remember that increasing your pitching speed is a gradual process. You may not see results immediately. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results right away. Keep working hard and stay committed to your goals.
Hunter Tierney is a passionate writer, loving dad, and true sports fanatic. His experience helping his two daughters through softball, in addition to playing baseball at the collegiate level, gives him a fresh perspective on all things softball. He earned his business degree from the University of Phoenix where he also took writing and journalism courses.