Thursday, January 6, 2011

Learning Pitches

Start with developing a good fastball. Ball control and movement is more important than velocity. The aim is to keep batters off balance and mess with their timing. It's nice to be able to blow the ball past the hitter, but pitch location helps to get hitters out.

Fastball
4 -seam fastball is the primary pitch (two fingers across the seams, thumb on bottom)
2-seam fastball uses the same arm motion and speed, but with a different grip (with the seams)

4-seam and 2-seam fastballs

Change-up
The change-up uses the same arm motion of the fastball but the grip is with more fingers causing additional friction on the ball. Young kids often use the claw grip. Older kids tend to use a circle change.

Bonus
Short video instruction talking about the basics of throwing a knuckleball.


Get a Grip

Four-Seam Grip

The basic baseball grip is the four-seam or across seam grip. The four-seam grip is used for throwing fastballs that will stay up longer and move in a straight path to the target. The more spin, the faster the ball cuts through the air.

Use the four-seam grip for infield throws to bases and cut-off throws from the outfield.

Two-Seam Grip

To get movement on your fastball, try a two-seam grip held with the fingers along the seams. The ball will drop and move when thrown well.

Claw Grip

Young players often use all of their fingers to hold and throw a baseball. Some players call this the three finger grip or box grip - used for the change-up by older players. These throws are slow, but more accurate for young players with small hands.