As one of the first pitches that softball beginners learn, the fastball is the most basic. However, basic doesn’t need to mean ineffective. A strong fastball is a great way to get opposing hitters to swing and miss.
Like any other pitch, having a good grip and proper wrist snap is key to controlling the movement of the ball.
“With a good grip and proper wrist snap, we are going to have more spin on the ball, more speed and hopefully throw more strikes,” says former professional softball player Jessica Vogel.
The grip is how you position your fingers on the ball. With the fastball grip, you will want to look for a “C” within the stitching. This “C” can be either forward or backward.
You can choose to have either three or four fingers touching a seam at all times. This finger positioning will help give you a tight snap off the ball, which will lead to more rotation. The more times you can get the ball to rotate, the more speed you are going to generate.
Now that you know how to grip the ball, it’s important to understand how to release it. You should release your fastball out of the back of your palm. While following through with your fastball motion, you should imagine that you are trying to poke yourself in the shoulder. This will help you get a nice “12-6” rotation on the ball. A 12-6 rotation refers to the numbers on a clock. So, a 12-6 rotation occurs when the ball rotates from where the 12 would be at the top of a clock straight down to six.