Softball Slow Pitching Techniques
Slow-pitch softball is one of the most popular recreational sports in the United States. It is played in many recreational and competitive leagues. It's largely a hitter's game because players use bigger bats to make contact with a bigger ball and home run sluggers tend to dominate. However, smart pitchers can use a hitter's aggressiveness against him by keeping the ball just slightly out of the prime hitting zones.
This is the basic pitch that is used by most pitchers in the slow-pitch game. Use the floater to get strike one when you have a hitter whom you believe will take the first pitch. Also use it when the count is 3-and-2 and you want to avoid the walk. To throw the floater accurately, hold the ball with just your fingertips and do not let them touch the laces. Come straight up with your hand and let the ball go up to the 12-foot mark and come down.
Throw the slider in slow-pitch softball when the hitter may decide to swing at the last minute and not hit with authority. Put your thumb on the curving "U" part of the stitching. Place your middle and forefingers along the underside of the "U." When your bring your arm forward, flip your wrist in a counterclockwise manner. If you are a right-handed pitcher, your pitch will slide away from a right-handed batter. The pitch only moves a few inches, but the break should come late enough to cause problems for the batter.
This is the pitch to throw when there are runners on base and an explosive power hitter is up who struggles when it comes to running. By throwing the ball with the back part of your wrist facing home plate as you let the ball go, you will create a backspin on the ball. If the hitter does not time it correctly and you can get it to drop just before it reaches home plate, the hitter likely will smash the ball on the ground and you will have an excellent chance at racking up a double play.
Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.