Before teaching your players a huge variety of softball pitches, you’ll want to start at the fundamentals. The first thing I always go over
with my new pitchers, and even my veterans, is their grip. I’ve been able to increase the power and accuracy of many of my pitchers by leaps and bounds, just by going back to this first step and ensuring they’ve employed the best grip.
Ideally, you want to throw the softball to where you will have four seams rotating through the air – rather than just two, or three. This is what causes such substantial gains.
If we think of the softball as a clock, when it’s in the correct position with all four seams lined up horizontally to the ground, I like to teach my players that they should be aiming for a 12 – 6 rotation on the ball. However, an 11 – 5 rotation as well as a 1 – 7 rotation are acceptable as well.
When teaching them how to grip the ball, make sure they grip with their fingers just over the seams. Instead of burying the ball deep into your palm, there should be about a pinky’s worth of space between the web of skin connecting your index finger and thumb to the ball.
These tiny little adjustments, while they may seem trivial, can make a huge difference when it comes to accuracy, and are absolutely essential for pitchers of all levels. Sometimes the smallest softball tips can have the biggest results.