In today’s video blog post, we are demonstrating the “Rise Ball” pitch and talk about the pitching mechanics involved in successfully executing this throw.
“Rise Ball” Pitching Mechanics and Breaking Down the Pitch
On a rise ball, you’re still going to try to get a four-seam rotation on the ball, with a good back spin. So holding the ball across the two seams, you don’t want to feel like the ball’s completely balanced in your hand, but that there’s a little more pressure on the inside of your fingers. You should be able to lift up your thumb and feel the ball more in your fingers while not really gripping it too tight. This will allow you to get as much spin as you can on the ball.
The hips should open on release, and you want to think about turning a doorknob, trying to get under the ball and trying to get all four of the seams to go up and back spin. It’s very hard to throw a perfect rise ball with a perfect back spin. So a lot of times you’ll see the ball spinning at a bit of an angle. The follow-through on this should be the fingers pointing up. I tell my players to try to point up at the chin.
Also, be sure they are keeping their weight back. A good rise ball has to do with having your weight back. If your weight’s forward like you do on a drop, the ball’s not going to rise. So on this pitch, when she’s just working on spin, she’s thinking about leaning back a little bit, getting her shoulders back, and trying to get everything under the ball when she throws. When she does this, she tries to get her foot up high, and reaches a little higher with the glove to get the weight back a little more.
I actually have my 10-year-olds start to learn how to spin a rise ball. They don’t really throw them in games at that age, but it’s great because they’ll learn the right spin. But first, the girls need to have good mechanics before you ever go to a rise ball. They need to be throwing the ball pretty hard in order for that pitch to work. So that’s why, at 10 and under, I think it’s good to learn the right spins of all the pitches. Ten and under they can probably throw, you know, their change-up, drop, throw a curveball. A screwball and rise balls, I like to save for a little later.
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