4 seamer doesn't rise

I’ve been teaching some kids (9 year olds and an 11 year old) the 4 seam and 2 seam fastball. I point out that the difference is that the 4 seam rises and the 2 seam sinks. Trouble is, the 4 seam doesn’t seem to rise with these kids. Any suggestions? I’m not worried about velocity, I just want to introduce the concept of pitching rather than throwing (through location).
Also, my kids get movement with the 2 seam fastball by pressing down with their middle fingers as they release the ball. Should I be worried that they’ll hurt themselves doing this?

Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but i don’t think a 4 seam fastball is going to rise. The 4 seam should “ride” on a plane to the plate. That is, a 4 seam’s trajectory should be on pretty much a straight line, depending how hard it’s thrown.

Also, their 2 seamers should have movement simply from the physics of the pitch. A little pressure from the index or middle might influence sideways movement, depending on the amount of pressure.

I don’t think it’s going to hurt them physically applying pressure to one finger or the other

I have never heard of a rising 4 seamer ( I am sure someones does.). But like ddmcn said this should be a ride to the plate. The 2 seam will drop some because of the backwards spin put on the ball from the grip.

a ball delivered or hit with backspin (all fastballs have backspin due to the nature of the release) have a tendency to rise. However - this only really occurs over a longer length than from pitchers mound to home plate. You’ve probably all seen a ball thrown from the outfield to second base rise a little or a well hit line-drive rise. Due to the downward angle of delivery and length to the plate the fastball doesn’t really have time to get that same rise effect.

No pitch rises unless it is thrown on an upward trajectory. The lift from the seams pushing into the wind is not enough to offset the effect of gravity. The most that can happen is that the 4-seam doesn’t drop as much as the 2-seam. That may create the illusion it is rising but it is not.

NY Times did a piece on this myth years ago. You can probably find it on their site. They had a scientist explain why and then prove that it’s impossible for a fastball to rise. As noted above, a fairly straight fastball gives the illusion of rising.

Now softball is another matter. A good windmill pitcher can certainly throw uphill!

Quite simply, when you grip the ball across the longer seams , you are placing the ball so the air is catching 4 seams during rotation. It tends to stay straight and is why infielders and outfielders are taught to grip the ball this way so it will stay straight.
The “illusion” from the mound to the catcher is that it rises…
A 2 seamer is gripped so that only 2 seams are catching the air and it is easier to effect movement with only 2 seams. Especially when putting pressure on one of your fingers. The ball can also be held slightly off center with 2 seams and the force and follow through of your hand will naturally cause the ball to move down or cut…

A rising pitch doesn’t exist. Period. It’s impossible for a human to put so much spin on the ball that it surpasses gravity and starts rising.

The illusion is created for example when a RHP pitches to a RH-batter anything but a straight over the top fastball. Unless it’s 100% pure overhand pitch, the axis of rotation will be tilted, creating also some side spin, which makes the ball tail in for right handed batters. So if the pitch is high and to addition of that also tails closer to the eyes of the batter, it appears to be rising, but like said, it’s scientifically proved that a human being can’t create the spin or force to make a baseball rise.

I would look at arm angle, lower the arm angle the flatter the pitch will be. Arm angle from 1 to 7 should give what you are looking for.

They did a show on Mythbusters on this too. Its physically impossible. $ 4 seamer will sink less than a 2 seamer will.

Only way you could get it to rise actually rise is if your throwing sidearm, even then it would still dip at the end.

Nothing a 9-11 year old is going to throw will even come close to giving the illusion of rising.

it is impossible to throw a rising pitch without an upward trajectory they did an episode of mythbusters with roger clemens and proved it is impossible

once again it does not rise. you would literally to throw the ball like 150 mph and have to get more backspin than top spin. the four seamer looks like it rises because it doesnt fall has expected but later

Asbolutely, there is no rise…it’s just preception to what our mind expects. :shock: