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How to Pitch a Baseball

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While home runs might excite the crowd, it is pitching that, in the end, wins championships. Although baseball is a team game, no player could be as important to the fate of a team as a pitcher. The main job of a pitcher, as you might tell, is to get the batter out. This can be done in many ways, one of which is a strike out. Also, while people might not realize it, pitching is as much a mental skill as it is physical. For, when the heat is on and the hitter is throwing balls out of the park, no player could save his team but a pitcher.

How to Pitch a Baseball

Find the above scenario appealing? Want to save your team in adversity? Here’s how you could do just that.

Learn the Grips

Step 1: Choose your grip

There are many ways you could grip a baseball. The important thing is that you have a grip which is comfortable to hold on. Let’s take a look at different grips which you could try.

Step 2: You can check out the four-seam fastball

As the name suggests, these pitches are the fastest, with some of them averaging as high as 153km/h. To do this, all you have to do is to spread your fingers over the ball. Also, your fingertips should meet with the ball laces.

Step 3: Two-Seam Fastball

Although a bit inaccurate and slower when compared with a four-seam fastball, this pitch allows the ball to spin more, hence making it harder for the hitter to make a solid connection. To have this seam, hold the ball along the seams with the help of your index and middle finger.

Step 4: Changeup

Similar to that of a two-seam fastball, the midair moving capability of this pitch is huge. That is, you could easily deceive a hitter with this one. To hold this, put your index finger and thumb in a circle. Afterward, use the remaining three fingers to hold the ball at its center.

Step 5: Curveball

A curveball denotes a delivery in which the pitcher is imparting forward spin the ball. In other words, when a curveball approaches the plate, it would dive in, making it difficult for the batter to judge it. To pitch a curveball, keep your middle and index finger tightly on the seams. Remember, there should not be any gap between the two. Finally, upon throwing the ball, just snap your wrist a little bit in the forward direction.

Step 6: Slider

Although most hitters think it is a fastball, it is only when they get deceived that they realize that this ball is a slider, as it slides to one side. To hold this, grip the ball in such a manner that your middle and index fingers hold the seam at a point when the distance between the seams is at its widest.

Pitching the ball

Step 1: Start with wind-up position

To stand in a wind-up position, both your feet should be shoulder length apart with your face facing the catcher. Your toes should be pointing towards him with your heels situated on the rubber. Lastly, hold the ball in the glove, it should be in front of your chest. Your elbows, meanwhile, ought to be resting on the sides of the torso.

Step 2: Lift the left leg

For a right pitcher, take a small step so that the left foot comes in front of your body. Next, lift the same leg till the thigh gets parallel with the ground.

Step 3: Your arms should give a descending semi-circular gesture

For this point, the front arm needs to be closed whereas the front elbow needs to be at a comfortable angle. Also, the dominant/throwing arm should be at its lowest point, which we call as “sweet spot”. In simple words, this point comes when the arm is perpendicular to the ground, with the elbow slightly bent.

Step 4: Lower the leg

You should be doing this step in tandem with the previous one. Moreover, as you’re moving ahead with this step, slowly began to raise the throwing arm. You guessed it, we are preparing for pitching the ball.

Step 5: Landing the front foot

Finally, land the front foot (left for a righty) on the ground. At the point of landing, your foot should make a 75*angle with respect to the plate. This will enable your body to get in a power position.

Step 6: Extend the pitching arm

As much as you can, extend your pitch arm and let the ball come off your wrist. Remember, don’t try to overdo this as it might snap your wrist and could cause an injury. In other words, it is the ball which should guide your wrist and not the other way around.

Step 7: How to follow through

After pitching the ball, extend the pitching arm further forward and allow the back leg to lift up from the momentum which is carrying it forward. Finally, place it on the ground to get back to the original position.

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