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Softball Pitching Drills for Beginners

Softball Pitching Tips For Beginners - 5 Steps to Get Started Pitching

The beginning pitcher is going to have to start with basic softball pitching drills and work up from there. Focus on pitching mechanics first and then move on to the intermediate skills. Learning to pitch is a progression that requires a series of steps to become an effective pitcher. Here are the first 5 steps to follow to get started pitching:

1. Practice makes perfect - If you want to be an effective pitcher, you are going to have to practice. Not only are you going to have to practice, you are going to have to practice hard. The way you pitch when you practice is going to be the way you pitch when you play so you need to be dedicated enough to go out and practice 3-4 times a week and be willing to throw 100-125 pitches each practice. If you aren't willing to dedicate this much time to practice, you should probably think about playing a different position.

2. Learn the mechanics first - Many pitchers start off trying to learn control and forgo mechanics in order to get the ball across the plate. This is backwards thinking and will cause problems in the long run. A beginning pitcher focusing on control first will pick up bad habits that will be tough to break. Focus on mechanics first and the control will come as the mechanics become second nature. Softball pitching drills that focus on steady arm speed, not bending the arm during the windmill motion and staying tall are all good drills to work on at this point. You should also focus on the proper release point as well as the correct follow through after the pitch.

3. Speed - After you have a firm grasp of the mechanics of the fastball, then start working on throwing it harder. A good, hard fastball is an effective pitch in the younger age groups and this should be the first pitch you master. Pitchers that can throw a hard fastball accurately dominate the lower divisions. Once you can consistently throw the ball down the middle, start mixing in some drills that focus on ball speed.

4. Control - Once you have good mechanics and decent speed, then you should start working on control. A young pitcher with good speed and strong mechanics will be right on the edge of control as far as their body is concerned. Finding the threshold between control and speed is key when you first get started pitching. Learn how to work inside and outside, high and low and always remember that control isn't just physical, it's mental as well. A pitcher that breaks under pressure isn't going to make it very far. You have to be able to block out distractions and focus on each and every pitch. 

5. Move on to other pitches - Once you've got good mechanics, control and speed on your fastball, it's time to move on to other pitches. The change-up should be your second pitch as a good change-up will carry you through the next couple years. If you have a good fastball and can come back with a change-up that is 8-10 MPH slower you will be able to confuse batter to the point where they won't know when to swing. Make sure you have mastered each pitch before moving on to another one. It isn't uncommon to find kids that are 12-years old and have 5 or 6 pitches that all look the same. This is from trying to learn too many pitches in too short of a time and the pitcher never really learns the mechanics of any of them.

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