One of the most exciting parts of fastpitch softball is the windmill pitch. This technique allows pitchers to reach amazing speeds with their pitches, giving the game its intense, fast and explosive character. If you want to become a pitcher or help someone who wants to learn the windmill pitching technique, grab your softball gloves and follow these steps:
1. Grip. Place your thumb at the top of the curve on one of the seams. Your middle finger needs to be exactly across from your thumb on the bottom side of the ball, with the index and ring fingers spaced evenly alongside it. Your pinkie should touch the side of the ball, but not grip it. Make sure that the ball is held lightly by the end of each finger, so that it does not lay in the palm of your hand.
2. Stance. Place your dominant foot on the pitching rubber, with the other foot about one foot to a foot and a half in front of the other. If you are pitching with your right hand, this means that your left foot should be in front. Put most of your weight on the back foot, and practice transferring the weight from the back foot to the leading foot. This will help to add extra power to your pitch.
3. Wind-Up. Now that you have your grip and stance set, you are ready to practice your wind-up. Softball gloves for pitchers are specially designed to hide the grip of your hand on the ball, making it difficult for the hitter to guess which pitch is coming. It’s a good idea for you to practice transferring the ball from the glove to your wind-up. But to practice, you should start with the ball at shoulder height with your pitching arm fully extended behind you. When you start the forward motion of your pitch, bring your glove to your side. This helps to put more weight behind the ball and give it more speed.
4. Delivery. Keep your eye on the catcher’s glove as you prepare your delivery. This helps you to focus on the target. As your arm comes down, step forward with your leading foot. This step needs to be in a direct line towards home plate, or your pitch will be off target. The release of the ball should happen just as the ball reaches a parallel line with your front thigh. Snap your wrist as you release the ball to get the maximum speed into the ball, then continue with the windmill motion of your arm until you have completed one full revolution.
While you can learn how to deliver a windmill pitch on your own, you should really consult a coach or another experienced pitcher to help guide you through the process of safely perfecting your pitch so that you can enjoy a long career as a pitcher. The windmill pitch is just one of the aspects of the game that makes it so much fun to play and watch. Longstreth has all of the softball equipment that you need in order to learn and enjoy this amazing game, as well as a variety of Softball bags to carry all your equipment!