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Monday, October 19, 2009

Learn How to Pitch Faster and Smarter With These Fastpitch Softball Pitching Tips

By Marc Dagenais

So you want to pitch faster? You can choose to focus only on strengthening your muscles, or you can take a smarter option and take a complete approach to your pitching.

But before I get misunderstood, I'm not discounting the importance of strengthening your muscles to be able to pitch faster. What I'm saying is that it's not all there is to pitching. And becoming a smart pitcher means you can pitch more effectively with lesser effort.

Want to be a smart and efficient pitcher? Here are some tips I have for you:

1. Focus on the mechanics first. Many players focus too much on strength training to make them pitch faster. But nailing the mechanics before anything else should be your priority as a pitcher.

The proper pitching mechanics teaches you to throw the ball correctly. Throwing the ball correctly solves two problems: it teaches you how to throw the ball without exerting much effort, which at the same time minimizes your chance of injuries due to incorrect mechanics.

2. Do your warm-ups and stretches. How fun would it be to be able to pitch fast right out of the dugout? However, it doesn't work that way. If you want to pitch fast, you must do your warm-ups and stretches first.

Why? Because doing these helps loosen your muscles which helps you pitch better and prevent injuries due to pulled muscles.

3. Keep yourself relaxed. While stretches and warm-ups help loosen your muscles, tension can cause a reverse effect. So try to keep yourself relaxed before every game. Try to breathe regularly, loosen muscles on your upper back, neck and shoulders. If listening to music helps, you can do that too.

4. Improve the strength muscles involved in pitching. As I mentioned earlier, I'm not at all discounting the importance of strength training to improve your pitching speed. So work out your schedule to include training your muscles involved in pitching such as in your forearms, wrists and shoulders.

5. Don't forget accuracy. Although this isn't exactly an advice on how you can pitch faster, I just thought I'd remind you to take the time to focus on your pitches' accuracy as well. After all, pitching isn't just about speed, but also on how well you can pitch inside or outside the strike zone.

6. Vary your throws. An arsenal of different pitches is the bane of any batter out there. It keeps them guessing what you'll be throwing them next, especially in tight games. So work on having different pitching techniques and don't just focus on speed alone.

It takes more than just these short and quick tips on softball pitching to help you throw faster. It also takes a huge amount of time training and practicing incessantly until you refine your technique. So work on them and at the same time take into consideration the tips I have for you here. And I'm pretty sure how they will positively affect your game will be evident soon enough.

Marc Dagenais is a softball peak performance coach that helps softball players and coaches improves their game by sharing with them the tips and strategies used by the world's best softball players and coaches to achieve extraordinary performances. Visit his site and sign-up to get his FREE softball hitting tips!

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