How to Teach Beginners the Windmill Fastpitch
Fastpitch softball is a game that is dominated by pitching. Pitchers can throw the ball at speeds up to 70 mph and they can also throw drops, risers, curves and changeups. A fastball that reaches 70 mph thrown from a distance of 46 feet corresponds to a baseball thrown at better than 90 mph. To hit a high speed with your pitch, you will throw the ball with a windmill motion.
Grip the softball with your thumb on top of the ball going across the seams. Your forefinger, middle finger and ring finger should be on the opposite side of the ball, with your middle finger directly underneath your thumb. Space the ball out on your fingertips so the ball does not get deep in your hand.
Stand with your right foot on the pitching rubber and your left foot about 12 to 18 inches in front if you are a right-handed pitcher. Do the opposite if you are left-handed. Start with your weight primarily on your back leg. As you begin your pitch, transfer your weight from your back leg to your front leg.
Bring your pitching arm back to shoulder height. As you begin your motion forward with your arm, bring your glove hand down so you can gain additional leverage as you throw the ball. Concentrate on the catcher's mitt as you prepare to release the ball.
Step with your left foot directly toward the plate. You cannot take a rocker step backward or step to the left or right when you are delivering a windmill pitch. You must step straight ahead. Release the ball when it gets to thigh level as you come forward with your step to the plate.
Snap your wrist forward as you let go of the ball. You are not just letting the ball leave your hand, you are snapping your wrist to gain extra speed and momentum. Keep moving your pitching arm forward until you have made one full revolution. This will give you maximum speed on your windmill pitch.
Have the student practice by throwing against a wall.
Watch for signs that your pitcher is simply not dealing well with the stress of being front and center.
- Dale Davidson/Demand Media