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09/15/2023

How To Throw A Softball

How To Throw A Softball

Throw the ball…it sounds so simple. 

We’ve been throwing things since we were little. At first it was that building block you threw at your sibling when you got mad as a toddler. Next, it might have been skipping rocks on the lake with your family over a camping trip. Regardless of when you’ve thrown, the motion of throwing something overhand or sidearm is probably pretty natural to most.

So now go grip a softball and see how it feels. It’s bigger than your hand and definitely harder to grip than that building block or skipping rock. You could give it a whirl and blindly toss it somewhere out in front of you…but could you toss it accurately to first after fielding it?

Well, if you are looking to throw a softball better -or- you’re looking to teach your daughter to throw a softball…this is the post for you! Keep reading to learn the basics on the grip, form and release needed to throw a softball powerfully and accurately!

 

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THE GRIP

If you were blessed with extra long fingers and were able to wrap them entirely around a baseball during your playing days, know that things won’t be the same for you or your daughter with a softball. 

Renowned softball instructor Dan Blewett (Snap Softball) explains that the incorrect grip will most likely put “different finger pressure on one side of the ball versus the other” which will ultimately cause the throw to be inaccurate. He instructs that the best manner in which to grip a softball is to place three fingers across the seams as shown in the graphic below:

Baseball Grip Versus Softball Grip

Be sure to remind your player to grip the ball with their fingers as much as possible. This can be harder for a young lady as their hand size may require them to pack the ball a little firmer into their palm. However, if they can, be sure to reinforce the idea of holding the ball in their fingers. Employing the fingers (and not the palm) will be extremely beneficial later when the ball is released.

 

THE FORM

We are going to break down the throwing form into the four smaller subcategories. But most ex-baseball players turned softball dads will be glad to know that the softball throwing form is going to be the exact same thing as the baseball throwing form! Let’s dive in…

  • Hand Break - The best way to practice a hand-break is going to be from the center of your stomach. You could practice this with the mindset of just having fielded a ground ball or caught a fly ball. But for simplicity’s sake, let’s just say that you’re already standing with your legs spread, your lead foot aimed at your throwing target and your glove plus throwing hand together at your stomach.

    At this point, (1) separate your throwing hand and your glove from each other (2) raise both your glove arm elbow and throwing arm elbow to approximately shoulder height and (3) try to have the palms of both your throwing hand and glove hand pointed toward the ground (as shown below).

The Hand Break Within The Process Of Throwing A Softball

 

  • Rotation - Once your player gets to the position shown above, have her rotate her hips towards the target at which she is throwing. Her throwing arm will naturally follow to create the necessary elbow angle for throwing.

  • Elbow Angle - The common thought is to have your player create a 90% angle at the elbow of her throwing arm and it is a good thought to bear in mind while throwing (however, Coach Dan Blewett points out that the elbow will more likely be at a 70-80 degree angle when the action is completed in real time). Keeping the elbow close to that 90% angle prevents her from just winging the ball if she were to have her arm stretched straight -or- shot putting the ball if her arm were bent completely at the elbow.

Elbow Angle When Throwing A Softball

 

  • Arm Action Forward + Glove Pull - While your player’s torso is rotating and her throwing elbow is creating that (close to) 90% angle, the throwing hand will naturally come forward in a throwing motion. To assist your player in throwing with some power, be sure and have her pull her glove hand down to her glove side hip. This allows the throw to receive strength from both her throwing-arm side of the body and her glove-arm side of the body.

Glove Pull When Throwing A Softball

 

THE RELEASE

Like the form, the release of a softball throw will follow principles that are similar to that of a baseball throw. When the arm comes forward to throw a softball, your player will want to focus on the snap of her wrist at the time of release. 

If you remember from earlier, we recommended that your player hold the ball with her fingers. And although, it can be hard to keep a young player from packing the softball into their palm, try and get them to hold the ball in their fingers as much as possible. Holding the ball in the fingers allows for a low amount of friction on the softball. And when the ball is thrown with the least amount of friction and the proper wrist snap, the player will achieve more backspin on their throw.  Backspin will ultimately lead to more speed and distance on a throw.

Wrist Snap For Throwing A Softball

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Hopefully, our blog post has given you a baseline for teaching your daughter on how to throw a softball. We imagine that you’ve found it pretty similar to throwing a baseball with the biggest difference being the grip. There are a few details that have been left out, but we hope that this explainer kept things as simple as possible for you!

A big shoutout is in order to the YouTube Accounts: MegRem Softball and Snap Softball. Their videos on throwing softballs were extremely helpful when building out this blog post.

If you’re hoping to buy a glove while you’re here at JustGloves, please know that we can help! We have a team of Glove Experts that are trained to assist you and you can contact them in three different ways: (1) Call at 866-321-4568 (2) Email via experts@justgloves.com (3) Do a live chat RIGHT HERE!

 

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