Nov 7, 2013

Posted by Shanell Calloway in Shopping, Sports And Games | Comments Off on How to throw a fastball

How to throw a fastball

There are a number of different pitches in baseball – the Change-Up, the Curveball, etc. – but how to throw a fastball is one of the very first that we learn to do. Indeed, in its ‘Position Statement for Youth Baseball Pitchers’1 the American Sports Medicine Institute lists it as the first thing that kids should be taught after basic throwing (in case you were wondering, the Change-Up is next).

There are two kinds of fastball; the Two-Seam and the Four-Seam and they are pretty similar, except for the way in which the fingers are placed on the ball and a small change in pressure that you’ll need to exert. This article describes the difference between the two and when and how they should be used.

The Four-Seam Fastball
This ball is pitched straight and because of that it can reach very high speeds (up to 95-100 miles per hour). In order to pitch a four-seam you need to make sure there is space between the ball and your hand, which will reduce the friction and hopefully increase the speed.

You should hold the ball really lightly, kind of as if you’re holding something really fragile, and place your index and middle fingers across the horseshoe seam, i.e. at right angles to it. The thumb should go underneath. It is called a “Four-Seam” because the four seams will appear as if they are moving towards the batter when the ball is thrown.

The Two-Seam Fastball
This is often called a sinker or moving fastball and is executed pretty much the same way as the Four-Seam except for a slightly different placing of the fingers (this time the index and middle fingers are placed on the seams). To pitch a proper Two-Seam, ensure that you put more pressure (only ever so slightly) on the index finger as you pitch.

As a Two-Seam is pitched, the ball will head towards the batter with two seams facing and as a result may be slightly slower than a Four-Seam fastball. It also tends to have slightly more movement which means that it is more difficult for the batter to hit.

The fastball is one of the most commonly used pitches in baseball so take the time to understand the mechanics behind it, when you might use one or the other and don’t forget to practice!


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